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Officials Confirm CIA Believes Castro Has Parkinson's Disease

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Cuban leader Fidel Castro has Parkinson's disease, a debilitating condition that affects a person's physical coordination.

Officials in Washington have confirmed a report about the CIA assessment published in the Miami Herald newspaper on Wednesday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the assessment was based on a variety of material, including Mr. Castro's public appearances. Cuban officials have declined to comment on the reports.

According to the Herald, the CIA has warned U.S. policymakers to be ready for trouble in Cuba as the 79-year-old leader's health declines. But the Reuters news agency quotes a State Department official as saying Washington does not expect Mr. Castro to lose his grip on Cuba.

Mr. Castro's communist government has ruled Cuba since 1959. Mr. Castro has appointed his 74-year-old brother Raul to be his successor.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.