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Cuba publishes first photos of Fidel Castro in 5 months

Cuba publishes first photos of Fidel Castro in 5 months
BY MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN AND ANDREA RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/03/2015 7:41 AM 02/03/2015 7:41 AM

HAVANA
Cuba has published the first photos of Fidel Castro in more than five
months, showing the 88-year-old former leader engaged in what appears to
be a lively conversation with a university student.

Nearly two dozen images were published virtually simultaneously on the
websites of Cuba’s main state media outlets around midnight Monday. In
them, Castro is seated and discussing current events with the head of
the main Cuban student union. A first-person account by student leader
Randy Perdomo Garcia says the meeting took place on Jan. 23.

The photos are the first images of the revolutionary leader since a set
of photos came out in August showing him talking with Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro.

Perdomo says in a lengthy article accompanying the photos that he and
Castro met for more than three hours in the former leader’s house after
an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of Castro starting his studies
at the University of Havana.

The student leader says Castro said that he is keeping abreast of the
news and performing daily exercises, and he engaged Perdomo in a
wide-ranging discussion of topics including international politics,
agriculture, astronomy, and even Namibia’s donation of animals to Cuba’s
National Zoo.

Perdomo says the two men discussed the release of three Cuban
intelligence agents as part of the Dec. 17 declaration by Cuba and the
United States that they would move to re-establish full diplomatic
relations. The photos show Castro examining a newspaper report on their
release.

“I’m about to go but he continues a conversation about new ways of
fighting some diseases, including diabetes, with the production of
natural foods; about Cuba’s relations with Africa, from its contribution
to those countries’ independence to the end of apartheid and the current
contribution of Cuban doctors to the fight against Ebola,” Perdomo wrote.

Castro did not issue a public statement for nearly a month after the
announcement that Cuba and the U.S. were moving to re-establish full
diplomatic relations. Castro’s public appearances and statements have
become increasingly infrequent since he stepped down from duties as
president after a serious illness in 2006 and handed over leadership to
his younger brother Raul. His unusually lengthy silence after the Dec.
17 announcement sparked intense speculation about his health.

Source: Cuba publishes first photos of Fidel Castro in 5 months | The
Miami Herald The Miami Herald –
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article8978048.html

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