(7 Aug 2010)
1. Wide shot Cuban National Assembly interior as Fidel Castro arrives
2. Medium shot Fidel walking towards podium
3. Wide shot crowd clapping and chanting: “Fidel! Fidel!”
4. Zoom in women weeping as they clap
5. Medium shot Fidel speaking with brother Raul Castro
6. Fidel Castro Jr. and his son in audience
7. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Leader:
“Obama would not give the order if we persuade him. There are many of us behind the effort to persuade the president of the Untied States. We are contributing to that effort persuasively.”
8. Lawmakers in audience
9. Close up Raul Castro
10. Tilt down from Cuban flag and emblem to Fidel speaking to parliament
11. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Leader:
“No, if we persuade him.”
12. Wide shot audience clapping
13. Classic cars driving through Cuban street
14. People walking on street
15. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Julio Samareno, Doctor:
“All of us Cubans were expecting Fidel to recover the way he did, the way he must. We feel much safer because we know we have the leader we need to have.”
16. Bicycle taxis and traffic
17. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Maria de los Angeles, 57, Retired:
“We are so proud that he has rejuvenated like this and that his health has improved so much. The truth is, he is our support, the person who has fortified us as a people.”
18. Zoom out street with people and cars
A healthy-looking Fidel Castro appealed to President Barack Obama to prevent a global nuclear war in a speech on Saturday that marked his first official government appearance since emergency surgery four years ago.
Castro’s speech before the Cuban parliament, along with other numerous recent public appearances, raised questions about how much he will resume a leadership role.
Castro, who turns 84 in a week, arrived on the arm of a subordinate, waving and smiling as the crowd applauded loudly in unison.
“Fidel, Fidel, Fidel!” the participants chanted. “Long live Fidel!”
Dressed in olive-green fatigues without military insignias, he immediately took the podium and delivered a fiery 11-minute speech on his fears of an impending global nuclear war.
Castro then took a seat next to Parliament leader Ricardo Alarcon – instead of sitting in the chair that parliament members leave empty in his honour during his absence.
Current President Raul Castro sat on the other side of the stage, where he listened intensely and took notes as his older brother spoke.
Asked by one parliamentarian if US President Barack Obama would be capable of starting a nuclear war, Castro replied, “No, not if we persuade him not to.”
He patted his hand on the desk for emphasis, then fell silent, seemingly surprising a crowd long accustomed to the longer speeches for which he was famous during his 49 years in power.
Castro’s participation in Saturday’s legislative session marks the revolutionary’s first official government act and his first joint appearance with Raul since emergency intestinal surgery in 2006.
It was bound to raise questions about his future role in the government. Even before he confirmed his attendance at this weekend’s gathering, top leaders and state media had begun calling him “commander in chief,” a title he had largely shunned since relinquishing power.
Fidel Castro was Cuba’s leader for 49 years, starting after his band of rebels toppled Fulgencio Batista on New Year’s Day 1959.
Following his surgery, he dropped from sight and ceded power to Raul, five years his junior. Rumours about his health swirled as he remained for years in near seclusion.
Recently, however, the former Cuban leader has been making near-daily appearances in and around Havana.
You can license this story through AP Archive:
Find out more about AP Archive:
AP Archive, 653676, a3c5d53c1dc03d7311bcf5337248cb5b, Cuba Castro 2, Cuba, Havana, United States, Caribbean, Latin America and Caribbean, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Barack Obama, Ricardo Alarcon, Fulgencio Batista
See other Health articles