Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:27pm ET172
By Helen Popper
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro says he has started putting on weight again, in his first interview since the 80-year-old communist leader fell ill and adding to growing evidence he is recovering from life-threatening surgery.
"I lost 41 pounds, but I'm putting weight back on -- already almost half of what I lost," the leftist firebrand told Argentine journalist, lawmaker and friend Miguel Bonasso.
"You have to do things one step at a time. You must remember that the machine being repaired is 80 years old," Castro joked, regarding the pace of his recovery.