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Castro makes first public appearance in nine months

Published on Jan 10, 2014 2:51 AM
Still grab from a video taken on Jan 8, 2014, of former Cuban President Fidel Castro attending the inauguration of the nonprofit cultural centre Kcho Romerillo, Laboratory for Art in Havana. Mr Castro has appeared in public for the first time in nine months. -- PHOTO: AFP

HAVANA (AFP) - Cuban leader Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in nine months, attending an art gallery opening near his home, the local press reported Thursday.

Official media in Cuba and several foreign news outlets ran photographs showing a hunched Castro, 87, using a walking stick as he attended the inauguration of a gallery by Cuban artist Alexis Leyva.

"He greeted artists and residents who applauded the new arrival with emotion," the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said, describing Mr Castro's outing Wednesday evening to the Kcho Estudio Romerillo. The art gallery is next to Mr Castro's residence in Havana's Romerillo neighborhood.

Mr Castro, wearing a black jacket and trousers and an olive scarf, rather than his iconic combat fatigues, appeared fit in photos of the visit published by foreign media.

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