Fidel Castro (88) makes rare public appearance in Cuba

Former president visited cheesemakers in first public appearance in months

Screen grab from a video released  by Cubavision showing Cuban former President Fidel Castro  during a visit to the Research Institute of Food Industry in Havana, Cuba. Photograph: Getty

Screen grab from a video released by Cubavision showing Cuban former President Fidel Castro during a visit to the Research Institute of Food Industry in Havana, Cuba. Photograph: Getty

 

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (88), visited 19 cheese masters for four hours on Friday in a rare trip outside his Havana home, official media has reported.

The photos showing the leader alive and well came out three days after his younger brother and current president, Raul Castro, announced a formal agreement with the United States on restoring diplomatic relations after a break of 54 years.

It was Fidel Castro’s first reported public appearance in three months. That previous encounter, with visiting Venezuelan students, was his first in more than a year.

Official media showed images of Castro seated at a panel in an auditorium at a research institute belonging to the Food Industry Ministry. He wore a white wind-breaker, a plaid shirt and gray pants.

Fidel Castro stepped down due to illness provisionally in 2006 and definitively in 2008, handing off to Raul, 84.

Fidel writes an occasional newspaper column and receives dignitaries at home. Whether he maintains a role in policy-making is unknown.