Slideshow

What Fidel Castro Looks Like Now

The former leader of Cuba, 87, reclusive and chronically ill, is often the subject of death rumors.

Jan. 9, 2014, 10:19 a.m.

Former Cuban dic­tat­or Fi­del Castro made a very rare pub­lic ap­pear­ance Wed­nes­day night in Havana, Cuba—his first in nine months—to at­tend the open­ing of an art gal­lery ex­hib­it fea­tur­ing the artist Kcho.

Castro did not re­semble the im­age most people con­jure when they hear his name. At 87, Castro is re­clus­ive and chron­ic­ally ill, and of­ten the sub­ject of death ru­mors. He passed power to his broth­er Raul in 2006, when his ab­dom­in­al ill­ness in­tens­i­fied.  

“I was at death’s door, but I came back,” he told re­port­ers in 2010. He now looks frail, but ap­pears to be able to walk with a cane.

The show fea­tured gi­gant­ic sculp­tures made out of rafts, in the forms of what ap­pear to be seated ro­bots. See­ing the two in the same space—Castro and the rafts—could have been an art in­stall­a­tion in it­self: a dic­tat­or gaz­ing at the very ob­jects people used to flee from his coun­try.

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