Cuban leader Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance Monday, meeting about 30 Venezuelans at a school in western Havana, his first appearance in 14 months, local media reported Saturday.
“Casual, inolvidable encuentro con Fidel (Casual, unforgettable encounter with Fidel)” state-run newspaper Granma declared, in recounting the half-hour meeting that Castro had with 33 of the 155 members of II Vuelo de la Solidaridad Bolívar-Martí, a Venezuelan delegation participating in political and social activities on the island through Sunday.
The newspaper published four nearly-identical photos of the encounter, in which Castro, dressed in a blue-and-white track suit and black cap, is shown seated inside the van that took him to the school, Vilma Espín Guillois — located near his home west of the capital — and stretching to shake the hands of some of the Venezuelan visitors.
Since failing health led him to cede power to his younger brother Raúl in 2006, Castro, 88, has made few public appearances. The most recent was Jan. 8, 2014, when he participated in a gallery opening for a longtime friend, Cuban artist Alexis “Kcho” Leyva, also in west Havana.