HAVANA – Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said on Thursday that he held a stimulating, wide-ranging conversation with former Cuban head of state Fidel Castro.
“We spoke about everything ... but I found myself with an old man who continues to be brilliant, always the promoter of ideas,” Mujica told reporters on the second day of his official visit to the Communist-ruled island.
The 86-year-old Fidel “is absorbed in pushing for biology experimentation ... (to) find vegetables in the tropical area that may be used to make feed for livestock,” the Uruguayan said.
“Behind this idea: leaving the greatest amount of grains possible for human nourishment,” Mujica said, commenting that the former Cuban president “is full of seeds, of plants, of varieties that are pushing (him) and giving him a reason for existence.”
Mujica spoke during a ceremony to pay tribute with a floral offering to Uruguay independence hero Jose Gervasio Artigas in Brotherhood Park in downtown Havana.
Cuba’s official media on Thursday reported the “emotional meeting” between Mujica and Fidel Castro, which took place after the Uruguayan president held official talks with Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother and successor.
So far, the Cuban press has not released images of the meeting between Fidel Castro and Mujica, a get-together in which the latter’s wife, Uruguayan Sen. Lucia Topolansky, also participated.
Castro left power in 2006 due to a life-threatening illness and since then has made only sporadic public appearances and has received only some of the island’s high-level visitors.
Mujica, 78, was imprisoned under Uruguay’s 1973-1985 military regime for his actions as a leader of the Tupamaros rebel group, which was strongly influenced by the Cuban revolution. EFE