Former Cuban President and revolutionary Fidel Castro made a public appearance yesterday after a long absence. The 87-year-old dictator was photographed at the opening of an artist gallery in Havana; he was last seen nine months ago.
There are always reports of Castro demise in the heavily censored country.
Castro was photographed by Spanish press attending the opening of artist Alexis Leyva’s studio in Havana donning casual wear instead of his trademark military fatigues. He looked weak and unable to walk without assistance; he was also observed with a cane.
Castro was expected to attend the state funeral of Nelson Mandela, a friend. When he did not accompany his brother, Raul, the rumor mill started that he was near death again. Cuban authorities, immediately, released pictures of him at an interview session to quell speculation. His last public appearance was at the National Congress meeting in April.
The former President gave up his office in 2006 to his brother after an undisclosed illness rumored to be cancer.