8 Apr 2009

Castro looks to mend US ties

3:19 pm on 8 April 2009

Fidel Castro appeared healthy and asked how Cuba's leadership could help United States President Barack Obama move to normalise relations between the two countries, said two US politicians after meeting the 82-year-old former Cuban president in Havana.

"Of course, he has been ill. But I think we will agree that he was very healthy, very energetic, very clear thinking," said Barbara Lee, one of three Democrats to meet Castro.

Colleague Laura Richardson said Castro appeared eager to see relations change between the two countries.

"He was very well aware of what was going on," Ms Richardson said. "As he leaned in, he looked directly into our eyes, quite aware of what was happening, and said to us: 'How can we help President Obama?' "