People's Daily Online
UPDATED: 11:27, March 13, 2007
Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro on Monday warned against an invasion of his country, saying the price paid by invaders would be high.
"If anyone attacks us, we're ready to pay any price necessary, but the price paid by the invaders of our country would be much higher," said the 75 year-old during a speech to troops participating in a military exercises in the western Pinar del Rio province.
Raul, who has been the Caribbean country's defence minister since 1959, called the Cuban revolution "unbeatable."
The exercises are to help the country improve the preparedness of its armed forces, he said, adding that Cuba is training its military for the presence of an enemy politically committed to the destruction of the revolution. The Island nation is less than 200 km from the east coast of the United States.
Referring to Fidel Castro's health, Raul said the leader is "recovering steadily" and that his recovery is satisfactory. Raul assumed control of the government on July 31 when Fidel Castro, 80, underwent intestinal surgery forcing him to cede power.
Meanwhile, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque confirmed the news, saying Fidel is improving and getting back to work.
Roque, who was in Paris for a UNESCO meeting, said Castro's steady recovery was bound to disappoint the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.
"It's not good news for Bush, nor for the government of the United States," Roque said. "But it's the truth that Fidel is recuperating, is doing physical exercise and is much stronger."