Fidel Castro makes first appearance in four years

HAVANA, (Reuters) – Cuban revolutionary leader  Fidel Castro made his first known public appearance since  falling ill four years ago in a visit this week to a Havana  scientific facility, a blog and a Cuban government website  reported on Saturday.

Photographs posted on state-run www.cubadebate.cu taken by  his son Alex showed a smiling, healthy-looking Castro, 83,  talking with directors of the National Center of Scientific  Investigations.

News of the visit first came out on a pro-government blog,  where photographs taken with a cell phone were posted of Castro  greeting admirers as he left the center.

The blog can be found on the Internet at:  (http://bloguerosrevolucion.ning.com/profiles/blogs/fidel-visito-el-centro)

The blogger, Rosa C. Baez, wrote that Castro was spotted  making a “surprise visit” to the center on Wednesday and  stopped to greet and “throw kisses” to the group that waited  for a chance to see him.

“He is thin, but looked good and, according to our  director, is very good mentally,” said Baez, whose blog appears  on a website entitled “Bloggers and Correspondents of the  Revolution.”

In the photos, the white-bearded Castro wore an athletic  jacket, as he has in virtually all photographs published since  he went into seclusion.

Castro has been seen only in occasional photographs and  videos since he underwent emergency intestinal surgery in July  2006 and ceded power provisionally to his younger brother, Raul  Castro.

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