Cuba releases new photos of Fidel Castro

State media publishes photos in apparent attempt to quell rumours of poor health

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro and president of Cuba’s University Students Federation (FEU) Randy Perdomo look at a newspaper during a meeting in Havana in this picture provided by Cubadebate. Photograph: Cubadebate/Reuters

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro and president of Cuba’s University Students Federation (FEU) Randy Perdomo look at a newspaper during a meeting in Havana in this picture provided by Cubadebate. Photograph: Cubadebate/Reuters

 

Photographs of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro (88) have appeared in official media for the first time since August.

The images were taken during a visit by the head of the Federation of University Students, to Mr Castro’s home last month.

Taken on January 23rd, the photographs show the revolutionary leader slightly hunched over while seated, but appearing animated as he spoke with the student leader.

The photographs were taken after Mr Castro’s brother Raúl opened up dialogue with the United States over normalising relations between the two countries.

Cuba’s Communist Party newspaper Granma published the photographs online with an article titled “Fidel is one of a kind”.

A serious illness forced Mr Castro to step down from his role as president, handing over leadership to his younger brother Raúl in 2006.

Mr Castro’s absence from the public eye has prompted rumours about his health. In early January, it was reported that he wrote a letter to former Argentine football star Diego Maradona, in which he disputed a rumour that he had died.

After 18 months of negotiations, brokered by Canada and Pope Francis, President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro agreed in December to restore full diplomatic relations.

Two days of meetings were held in Havana in January during which matters relating to immigration and trade were discussed.

After weeks of silence Fidel Castro announced his backing for the talks in January despite citing his distrust of Washington.

“I don’t trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts,” he wrote in a letter to a student body at the University of Havana.

“We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the people of the world, including with our political adversaries,” he wrote.

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