Fidel Castro Makes Rare Public Appearance

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 9 2014 5:25 PM

Fidel Castro Makes First Public Appearance in Nine Months

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Fidel Castro appeared in public for the first time in nine months, attending an art gallery opening near his home on Wednesday.

Photo by --/AFP/Getty Images

Former President of Cuba Fidel Castro made his first public appearance in nine months on Wednesday night when he attended the opening of an art studio in Havana. According to the Miami Herald, Wednesday also marked the 55th anniversary of Castro’s arrival in the capital city after overthrowing the Batista government. Annual celebrations were cancelled this year due to cold weather on the island.

Castro, 87, was assisted by two aides -- a physical therapist and physician, reports the Herald -- and relied on a cane to walk. Images show him wearing a coat, green scarf, sneakers, and stooping rather severely.

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Since ceding power to his brother Raul in 2006, Castro, who ruled Cuba for 47 years, has kept a low profile. His last public appearance was in April of 2013, when he attended the opening of a school in Havana. More recently, pictures of Castro were seen after a private meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in December of 2013.