October 22, 2012
Castro Disputes Health Rumors
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has written an article in state media disputing claims he is on his death bed. It was posted on the cubadebate.cu Internet website early Monday, accompanied by several photographs of the 86-year-old former leader, showing him standing outside while leaning on a cane and reading a newspaper from Friday.
On Sunday former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua said he met with the aging revolutionary icon for five hours.
Jaua said Castro personally accompanied him back to the Hotel Nacional in Havana after their meeting Saturday. Jaua showed the media photographs of his encounter with the former Cuban leader.
Castro's last public appearance was in March with visiting Pope Benedict. Last week there was a flurry of rumors that Castro was seriously ill.
Castro rose to power after the 1959 revolution. He remains popular to many in Cuba, where previous absences have fueled questions about his health. He temporarily ceded power to his brother, Raul, in 2006 while suffering from an intestinal illness, before fully transferring power in 2008.