Cuba airs new photos of convalescing Hugo Chavez

Associated Press
In this frame grab taken from video shown on Cuban state television, Cuba's Fidel Castro, left, speaks with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in an unknown location in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday June 28, 2011.  Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba two weeks ago and has been unusually quiet since then.  Allies of Chavez have insisted the leader is firmly in control of the country and improving from his operation for a pelvic abscess. (AP Photo/Cuban state television)

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HAVANA (AP) — Cuban state television aired a series of photos Tuesday evening showing a convalescing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meeting with Fidel Castro two weeks after undergoing urgent surgery on the island.

The nightly newscast said the encounter took place in the morning and the two longtime friends "reminisced about the past" in the company of family members.

Chavez seemed healthy and animated as he talked and smiled alongside Castro in what appeared to be the patio and living room of a house. Both leaders wore track suits, as they did in other pictures taken June 17. Between the still photos, state TV briefly aired some live video of Chavez as well.

Cuban television did not say when Chavez might return to Venezuela.

The normally loquacious Venezuelan president underwent surgery in Cuba two weeks ago and has been unusually quiet since then. Officials said it was for a pelvic abscess, an accumulation of pus that can have various causes, including infection or surgical complications.

Chavez's silence and seclusion since then spurred growing speculation in Venezuela and elsewhere that he might be seriously ill, but allies of the leftist leader inisisted he was firmly in control of the country and recovering from the operation.

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