Asked about this during a news conference in this eastern city, Mr Castro, 66, replied: 'Well, let's hope it won't be necessary because, with the level of work we have at the moment, five years are a very, very, very serious thing . . . So I hope not.' He left the issue open by saying he would have to see how nature treated him.
Cubans turned out in large numbers on Wednesday to vote in one-party national elections. More than 85 per cent of the country's 7.8 million registered voters had cast their ballots before midday, the National Electoral Commission said.