Fidel Castro said Wednesday he is not yet healthy enough to address Cuba's people in person and can't campaign for Sunday's parliamentary elections.
"I am not physically able to speak directly to the citizens of the municipality where I was nominated for our elections," the ailing 81-year-old wrote in an essay published by state news media.
Hours later, government television broadcast images of a frail but upbeat Castro meeting Brazil's visiting President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday.
The first video of Castro in three months showed him sitting and listening intently with a finger pressed to his forehead, then later standing and speaking, waving a finger for emphasis.
"I have felt very good, very good," Castro says after exchanging a warm hug with Silva.