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In brief: Castro in old garb for university talk

Sat., Sept. 4, 2010

HAVANA – Fidel Castro dusted off his military fatigues for the first time since stepping down as president four years ago, a symbolic act in a communist country where little signals often carry enormous significance.

The revolutionary leader wore the cap and uniform – minus the star and laurels he held as commander in chief – at a speech early Friday to students at the University of Havana. The clothing was sure to revive speculation the 84-year-old is seeking a larger role in Cuban politics after turning power over to his younger brother Raul.

Castro repeated his warning that the world stands on the brink of a nuclear conflagration due to tension pitting the United States and Israel against Iran. Castro has repeated the message since emerging from seclusion in July.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – A Honduran who survived the massacre of 72 migrants in Mexico helped untie the only other survivor – a wounded Ecuadorian – and the two fled together, an official said Friday.

In an interview with El Heraldo newspaper, Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Alden Rivera revealed details for the first time about the escape.

Mexican officials had previously said there was only one survivor of the massacre – the Ecuadorian who stumbled wounded to a military checkpoint and alerted marines. The Mexicans said when they learned that a Honduran also survived, they kept it a secret to protect him.

Investigators believe the Zetas drug gang kidnapped the migrants and gunned them down after they refused to work for the cartel.

After the shooting stopped, the Honduran survivor managed to untie himself, then helped free the Ecuadorian, who had been shot in the neck, Rivera said.

Rivera did not say whether the Honduran was hurt but the Ecuadorian survivor, Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla, told state-run television in Ecuador on Thursday that the Honduran managed to avoid being shot.

Lala, 18, was flown home to Ecuador on Sunday after recovering from his wounds at a Mexican hospital. The Honduran is under the protection of Mexican security forces.


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