Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fidel Castro is not dead yet

Long visit with ex-Venezuelan veep ends confusion over former dictator's condition













 Venezuela's former vice president Elias Jaua shows a picture of himself and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, (3rd from L), in Havana October 21, 2012. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is alive and well, according to Elias Jaua, who says he met with Castro over the weekend. Squelching rumours that Castro was at death's door, Jaua, a key aide to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on Sunday showed reporters pictures of the Saturday meeting and said Castro, 86, was in good health and lucid. Man in centre of the picture is Hotel Nacional Director Antonio Martinez and woman second from right is Castro's wife Dalia Soto. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)

DESMOND BOYLAN/REUTERS

Still alive; Fidel Castro (third from left) looks frail, but very much alive during a visit with Venezuela's former vice president Elias Jaua (center).

Fidel Castro made his first public appearance in months Saturday, knocking down rumors that he was near death.
The aging Cuban revolutionary met with former Venezuelan vice president Elias Jaua, who produced photos of the five-hour encounter.
The 86-year-old former president then brought Jaua back to Havana’s Hotel Nacional, where he was staying, and stayed to chat with hotel staff.
“Fidel Castro was here yesterday, he brought a guest and spoke to workers and hotel leaders for 30 minutes,” said hotel commercial director Yamila Fuster. “They told me he looked very good. He was wearing a checked shirt and a hat.”
Online rumors have been flying that Castro was on the brink of death. A Venezuelan doctor claimed last week he had suffered a stroke, and rumors were stoked after he didn’t publicly congratulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his victory in the Oct. 7 election.
He last appeared publicly in March, when he met Pope Benedict XVI.
Castro handed over power to his brother Raul in 2006, but has outlasted generations of American leaders who have sought to oust him. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the speech to the nation by President John F. Kennedy revealing the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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