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.