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.

Still grab from a video taken on January 8, 2014 of former Cuban president Fidel Castro arrives for the inauguration of the nonprofit cultural centre Kcho Romerillo, Laboratory for Art in Havana. Cuban leader Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in nine months, attending an art gallery opening near his home, the local press reported Thursday. National Journal

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