Uruguayan President Jose Mujica saw Cuban leader Fidel Castro as "old" and "deteriorated" from a physical point of view, but "concerned about the destiny of humanity" during their recent meeting in Havana.

"This old Fidel, deteriorated in health, continues to be a legendary figure. For me he is a source of learning and it's an honor to be able to converse with him," the 78-year-old Mujica said in an interview from Cuba on Uruguay's Canal 10 television.

Mujica said that "the years have come upon" Castro, who is 87 and has been retired from power since 2006, and acknowledged that "physically he has deteriorated, but his biggest concern is for the world he will never see, how man will manage to waste less in the way of resources."

"More than ever, Fidel has concerns of a higher nature for the destiny of humanity," he said.

Mujica's meeting with Castro took place on Wednesday at the second summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, held in Havana.

A former guerrilla who spent time behind bars during Uruguay's 1973-1985 military dictatorship, Mujica last visited Cuba in July 2013, when he traveled to the island on his first official visit since becoming president in 2010. EFE