Last updated at 22:11pm on 2nd January 2007
Fidel Castro was rumoured to be having hospital treatment in Spain.
According to internet reports, the Cuban dictator is staying in a
restricted wing of the Gregorio Maranon Hospital in Madrid.
He is said to have arrived on the same plane as the Spanish surgeon who
flew to Cuba last week to treat him at the request of the island's
Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, who works at Gregorio Maranon has denied
reports that Castro, 80, is suffering from cancer.
The surgeon said he was recovering well from stomach surgery to repair a
problem with his digestive system.
Details of Castro's health problems remain a closely-guarded secret
although Cuban authorities have denied he has terminal cancer, as U.S.
intelligence officials have claimed.
Castro, who has not appeared in public since July, told the Cuban people
his recovery was far from being a 'lost battle' in a New Year message on
state television and radio.
'I am grateful to you for your affection and support,' he said in the
broadcast at the weekend.
'Regarding my recovery, I have always warned that it could be a
prolonged process, but it is far from being a lost battle.'
Castro sends a message to Cuban citizens every New Year's Eve to mark
the anniversary of the revolution on January 1, 1959 that brought him to
Speculation about his medical condition has been rife.
Some doctors believe he may be suffering from diverticular disease,
which can cause bleeding in the lower intestine.
Castro has provisionally ceded his powers to his brother Raul, the
75-year-old defence minister.