Fidel Castro Surfaces for Cuban Election

He makes first extended public appearance since 2010
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2013 12:42 AM CST
Fidel Castro Surfaces for Cuban Election
Fidel Castro talks to reporters at a polling station after casting his ballot in Havana yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate)

A frail but definitely alive Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance in Havana yesterday to vote in Cuba's parliamentary elections. The 86-year-old former leader, who is often rumored to be dead or seriously ill, chatted with reporters and other voters in his first extended public outing since 2010, Reuters reports. Castro was stooped and spoke in a weak voice about issues including Hugo Chavez and his brother Raul's economic reforms.

"The people are truly revolutionary, they have really sacrificed," Castro said, praising public participation in the elections. "We don't have to prove it, history will. Fifty years of the blockade and they haven't given in." Only Communist Party-selected candidates were on the ballot in the Cuban elections, which will send 612 delegates to the National Assembly, the BBC reports. (More Fidel Castro stories.)

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