New videos and photos of President Hugo Chavez appeared on state television Tuesday night, showing him on his feet and talking with Fidel Castro more than two weeks after undergoing urgent surgery in Cuba.
An aide to the Venezuelan leader said the encounter in Cuba took place earlier in the day.
“We see him recovering,” Information Minister Andres Izarra said on state television as the short video clips and photographs were shown of Mr. Chavez standing and talking outdoors with Mr. Castro.
Cuban state TV also broadcast pictures of the get-together.
They were the first images of Mr. Chavez to be released since he appeared with both Fidel and Raul Castro in photographs taken 11 days earlier and published in Cuban media.
But neither the new images nor government officials provided details about Mr. Chavez’s health. Despite assurances that he is doing well, the lack of information since the government announced June 10 that Mr. Chavez had undergone pelvic surgery has spurred talk among Venezuelans that he might be very ill.
Officials did not say when Mr. Chavez might return to Venezuela, which next week will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain.
Mr. Chavez seemed healthy and animated as he talked and smiled alongside Mr. Castro in a courtyard fringed with trees, and also sitting down indoors. Mr. Chavez wore a track suit jacket with the colours of Venezuela’s flag while Mr. Castro sported a red baseball cap and a blue and white track suit.
“There we are seeing commander Mr. Chavez very dynamic,” Izarra said, describing the images and adding that he spoke with Mr. Chavez earlier Tuesday about government-related issues.
At one point in the video, Mr. Chavez and Mr. Castro look at a copy of the Tuesday edition of Cuba’s Communist Party newspaper Granma and are apparently discussing it.
“There we saw the president sharing a moment with Fidel,” Izarra said. “They discussed different current events.”
The words of Mr. Chavez and Mr. Castro were inaudible, and Venezuelan folk music played during the short presentation of video clips and photos.