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Hoy April 19, 2014, 3:26 pm Havana time.
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12/16/13 - CTV News - Cuba's expresident Fidel Castro appears in first new photo in months 

HAVANA, Cuba -- Fidel Castro was healthy and alert while speaking with a
Spanish reporter about current events for 2 1/2 hours last week, the
journalist told The Associated Press Monday.

A photo of the discussion appeared in official media Monday after days of
speculation about the former Cuban president's health, fueled when he
didn't comment publicly on Nelson Mandela's death. The former South African
president was a close ally, thanks to Cuba's backing of Angolan fighters
who battled forces supported by the previous pro-apartheid South African
government of the 1980s.

The photo shows Castro, 87, seated and wearing a blue sweatsuit, looking
intensely at writer Ignacio Ramonet and gesturing with his left hand.
Ramonet and the website Cubadebate say the photo was taken Friday.

Ramonet told the AP that he and Castro discussed a wide range of topics
including Mandela, Venezuelan politics and climate change and "I found him
to be in excellent health and in a good mood, physically, mentally and

Castro left power after 47 years after suffering serious intestinal
bleeding in 2006, handing his duties to his brother Raul. Ramonet has
written extensively about Castro and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,
who died of cancer last year.

"He's interested in everything. The environment, the climate crisis, Chile,
Venezuela, South Africa," Ramonet said of Castro. "Everything interests

"I found him alert, on top of current events," Ramonet said. "We spoke a
lot about Chavez," because Friday was the 19th anniversary of the two
leaders' first meeting.

"It's clear that Castro hasn't forgotten him and maintains great affection
for him," Ramonet said.

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