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article imageEx-president Castro, 87, makes rare public appearance in Cuba

By Robert Myles     Jan 10, 2014 in Politics
Havana - Former Cuban President Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance Wednesday, his first in nine months. The 87-year-old leader of the Cuban Revolution was attending the opening of an arts studio in Havana.
The event coincided with the 55th anniversary of Fidel Castro leading his revolutionaries’ triumphant entry into the Cuban capital after the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista’s regime in 1959.
Looking frail and walking with the aid of a stick, a bespectacled Mr. Castro, nonetheless, appeared alert and bright-eyed as he talked to artists attending Wednesday’s event. The occasion marked the opening of Kcho’s Romerilllo Art Laboratory Studio, a non-profit cultural center dedicated to experimentation, development and promotion of the arts and human understanding, reports Cuban daily, Granma International.
Former President Castro had led Cuba since the fall of Batista until ill health forced him to relinquish the Presidency in 2006. He was succeeded as Cuban President by his younger brother Raul Castro.
Last week, in Cuba’s equivalent of the State of the Union address, President Raul Castro had given a speech, remarkably free of anti-US rhetoric, reviewing the 55 year history of Cuba’s revolution and its achievements.
At Wednesday’s Fidel Castro could be seen chatting with contemporary Cuban artist Kcho (born Alexis Leiva Machado) and invited guests in a number of images released on the Cuba Debate website. The former President made no public pronouncements.
Fidel Castro has kept a low public profile since demitting office to his brother, Raul. His last public appearance was nine months ago when he attended the inauguration of a school in Havana, although he had a private meeting with President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, one of Cuba's principal allies, in December 2013.
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