Photos show first public appearance of Cuba’s Castro in a year

Cuba

Cuba Fidel Castro A screenshot of Cuba’s website Cubadebate shows Fidel Castro on their opening page in Havana, Cuba, Saturday April 4, 2015. Former longtime Cuban president Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in more than a year. The official website Cubadebate says Castro showed up to greet a group of Venezuelans visiting the capital of Havana last Monday. Cubadebate published four images on Frday April 3, 2015 that show Castro sitting inside a vehicle, each with a different person stretching an arm through the window to shake his hand. Castro’s face is largely obscured by a dark-colored baseball cap.(AP Photo)

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro appeared in public for the first time in more than a year, the state-run television network Cubavision said on Saturday.

The broadcaster showed four still photos on its newscast of Castro greeting a group of Venezuelans who were visiting the capital, Havana.

The newscaster said the encounter happened on Monday, March 30, at the Vilma Espin Guillios educational complex and that it wasn’t planned as part of the Venezuelans’ visit to the island.

Castro was visiting the school, which the Venezuelan group also happened to be visiting, according to Cubavision.

In the images, Castro is seen sitting inside a vehicle and four different people stretch an arm through the window to shake his hand.

Castro’s face is largely obscured by a dark-colored baseball cap.

Castro’s last previous public sighting was on January 8, 2014, at the opening of a Havana cultural center sponsored by one of his favorite Cuban artists, Alexis Leyva, alias Kcho.

In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother, announced they would re-establish diplomatic ties, opening a new era in the previously turbulent relations that arose after the Castros came to power in 1959.

Fidel Castro stepped down due to illness provisionally in 2006 and definitively in 2008, handing off to his younger brother Raul, 83. Fidel writes an occasional newspaper column, receives dignitaries at home, and rarely appears in public.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press and Reuters.