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Fidel Castro appears in public first time in 14 months

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in 14 months official Cuban media reported on Saturday.

Photos published in the Communist Party publication Granma showed the 88-year-old revolutionary leader at a school near his home. According to the report, the visit took place on Monday.

The last time Castro was seen in public was January 8, 2014 at the opening of a gallery in Havana.

The website Cubadebate on Friday published four images that showed Castro sitting inside a vehicle, each with a different person stretching an arm through the window to shake his hand. Castro's face, sporting his traditional beard, was largely obscured by a dark-colored baseball cap, while his hair appeared longish and gray.

It was also the first time that Castro had been in public since his brother, President Raul Castro, announced that the United States and Cuba would normalize diplomatic relations.

There had been speculation over Castro's health and possible death in recent weeks on the Internet.

Fidel Castro turned the leadership of the country over to his brother in 2006 for health reasons.

av/bk (dpa, Reuters)

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