Fidel Castro is not dead
Fidel Castro made his first public appearance in months Saturday, knocking down rumors that he was near death. The aging Cuban revolutionary met with former Venezuelan vice president Elias Jaua, who produced photos of the five-hour encounter. The 86-year-old former president then brought Jaua back to Havana’s Hotel Nacional, where he was staying, and stayed to chat with hotel staff. “Fidel Castro was here yesterday, he brought a guest and spoke to workers and hotel leaders for 30 minutes,” said hotel commercial director Yamila Fuster. “They told me he looked very good. He was wearing a checked shirt and a hat.” Online rumors have been flying that Castro was on the brink of death. A Venezuelan doctor claimed last week he had suffered a stroke, and rumors were stoked after he didn’t publicly congratulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his victory in the Oct. 7 election. He last appeared publicly in March, when he met Pope Benedict XVI.Castro handed over power to his brother Raul in 2006, but has outlasted generations of American leaders who have sought to oust him. Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the speech to the nation by President John F. Kennedy revealing the Cuban Missile Crisis.