The first pictures since October of Fidel Castro have been released, and the Cuban leader appears a little better, if still frail, after his recent surgery. Visiting again was Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who has been a regular bedside companion during the six months since Castro handed over power to his brother and went into hospital.
Chavez picked up on Castro’s comment that the battle for his health was not lost, by insisting that the 80-old and his medical team were “winning” the battle. Castro certainly appeared to have more juice in his tank than when last seen, and has put on some weight. However he has still not been seen in public since he fell ill.
Out on the streets of Havana, the appearance seemed to reassure many people: “Lovely. We were all waiting for this. It’s truly great to know he’s doing fine,” said one man. “People’s health is a very important matter, it should never be the subject of jokes. We should never wish anybody bad, anybody.” was one woman’s opinion. Conflicting reports about Castro’s health have been circulating since the start of the year.