Fidel Castro, the former President of Cuba, made a rare public appearance — his first in well over a year, reports NBC News. The 88-year-old Castro was pictured greeting several delegates from Venezuela and appeared “full of vitality,” the Cuban state media reported on Saturday. Pictures released by the Cuban State media showed Castro greeting the delegates through the window of his car. He was wearing a baseball cap and a windbreaker and looked fairly healthy. It is unclear as to why the Cuban State media took five days to release images of Castro — said to have been taken on Monday.
This is also Fidel Castro’s first appearance since Cuba’s landmark decision to normalize relationship with the U.S. back in December of last year. U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro — Fidel’s younger brother declared that the U.S. and Cuba will soon re-establish diplomatic ties. Castro has been a long-term adversary of the U.S. The Inquisitr had reported in December that behind the scenes, it was Fidel Castro that took the lead role behind attempts to secure new diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
According to VOA News, there were a total of 33 people from Venezuela, all of whom were on what is being called a “solidarity mission” to Cuba. Fidel Castro spent approximately 90 minutes with the Venezuelan delegation. Venezuela has, since the fall of the Soviet Union, been a very close ally of Cuba. Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde reported that Fidel Castro praised Venezuela and told them that their country has now become a bull’s eye for imperial greed. This is believed to be a direct reference to the sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the U.S. which declared the oil-rich country to be a national security threat.
As already mentioned in this report, this is Fidel Castro’s first public sighting in well over a year. He was last seen on January 8, 2014, at a cultural event held in Havana. That event was sponsored by one of Castro’s favorite Cuban artists — Alexis Leyva — better known as Kcho.
Fidel Castro first showed signs of relinquishing power in 2006 and stepped down as the President of Cuba two years later in 2008. He was replaced by his now 83-year-old brother, Raul Castro.
[Image Via The Guardian]