Published: 31/12/2006 12:00 AM (UAE) Castro says he is recovering Agencies Havana: Cuban leader Fidel Castro used his New Year message to reassure people that he was recovering from abdominal surgery. The 80-year-old said it would be a long process and thanked his people for their "maturity and calm" over the past few months. The statement, which was read out on state media, said: "Concerning my recovery I always said it would be a long process, but it's far from being a lost battle. "I have not stopped being informed of the most important information and events. I discuss them with my closest comrades when cooperation on vital matters is called for." The Cuban leader also criticised "global imperialism" for consuming the world's resources. Castro has not appeared in public since July, when he had surgery for an unknown condition. His prolonged absence from the public eye - Casto was last seen on October 28 - has fueled speculation that he may be terminall ill. However Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, a Spanish surgeon who examined Castro said last week that he does not have cancer, just a problem with his digestive system.