Sister says Castro getting better
Younger sister sees good and bad sides of ailing dictator
Juanita Castro: "He's very sick, but he's not dead."
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MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Fidel Castro is still "very sick" but no longer in intensive care, and he is expected to recover and take back the reins of Cuba, his sister Juanita said in Florida on Wednesday.
Fidel Castro fell ill earlier this week, requiring him to undergo emergency intestinal surgery. He handed over the communist government's to his brother Raul, who is vice president and defense minister. It was the first time Fidel Castro had ceded control of Cuba in 47 years.
Cuban television reported Tuesday that the Cuban leader was in "good spirits." But his hospitalization has nonetheless spurred a deluge of speculation, some saying that Castro is on his deathbed, others saying he's already dead.
But Juanita Castro says her brother is "doing better" and she expects that Raul's executive appointment will be temporary.
"He's very sick, but he's not dead," she said. "He is very sick, but he has left the ICU."
She hasn't spoken to Castro since 1963, the year before she emigrated to Miami. But Juanita Castro said her information about her brother is accurate.
"I have my way to know everything -- not everything, but some very important things," she said.
Rumors about Fidel Castro's demise prompted many in Miami -- home to thousands of Cuban expatriates -- to take to the streets in celebration, a display Juanita Castro found distasteful, she said.
"I am very disappointed," she said. "It is not necessary to make this demonstration."
Juanita and Fidel Castro have rarely seen eye to eye. She said that in the the 1960s and 1970s she often criticized her brother over the thousands of political prisoners in Cuban jails or for what she called general subversion by Cuba throughout Latin America.
In October 1968, six years after she left Cuba and nine years after the revolution that put Fidel in power, Juanita Castro took to the Miami airwaves and denounced her brother's government as "bankrupt, absolutist tyranny."
Though she still opposes her older brother's politics, Juanita Castro said she is concerned about him.
"The blood, it's very strong," she said. "He's my brother; I am worried that he is suffering."
Fidel Castro has two brothers and four sisters.
Juanita said she has a special perspective on her brother and sees him as two separate people: "as a Cuban dictator and, the other side, as my brother Fidel. It's the same blood."
"This is a very strong feeling. I can't deny what I feel," she said.
Asked whether she expected to see her brother, famed for his oratory skills, give another speech, she said, "I have no doubt, perhaps."
CNN's Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.
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