Fidel Castro seen in public for the first time in over a year

Fears that the former leader had died after a prolonged spell of illness were quashed after new photos were released

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The Independent US

The former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has been seen in public for the first time in more than a year after rumours spread that he had died.

Castro met with a group of visiting Venezuelans in the capital Havana, according to the website Cubadebate.

Four images were published that showed the politician inside a vehicle shaking hands with four separate individuals.

The revolutionary, who is not facing the photographer, is captured wearing a tracksuit and baseball cap.

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Castro was last seen in public in January 2014 (AFP)

Castro, who will turn 89 on August 13 this year, was last seen publicly at the inauguration of an artist’s studio in January 2014.

It is claimed that the pictures were taken on Monday, but no reason has been given as to why the photos were not published until Friday.

Official Cuban media previously released photos of Castro meeting a student leader, Cuban agents and the Venezuelan president, Nicolo Maduro, in private, in February and March this year.

 

In January rumours swept Twitter that the ex-leader had died. However, this coincided with the death of Fidel Castro Odinga, the son of a prominent Kenyan politician, leading many to suspect users were confused by the similarity of the names.

Owing to ill health Castro temporarily stepped aside as president in July 2006, but his brother Raul assumed the top job permanently in February 2008 when he was elected president.

Since that time there have been fears for the older brother’s health and he is thought to have been receiving care from nurses at his home.

Additional reporting by AP

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