Cuban state television captured a rare public appearance by former leader Fidel Castro on Saturday at a convention of cheese connoisseurs, where he spoke for four hours in the town of Guatao, near Havana.
The meeting was more than just a discussion about cheddar, gruyere, and provolone. Castro, 88, also reportedly addressed the "problems affecting the population's nutrition, like climate change and frequent wars" during his first public appearance in more than three months.
Rumors and secrecy about the revolutionary leader's health have abounded since Castro handed over power to his younger brother Raul, 84, in 2006 while he struggled to recover from an illness.
The conference, reportedly organized by the Food Industry Ministry, was also attended by the minister and senior officials from that organization, as well as 19 "cheese masters," Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma reported.
Castro's appearance at the event came amid thawing relations between Cuba and the US, and just three days after Raul formally announced that Cuba would be restoring diplomatic relations with its former Cold War enemy after a 54-year freeze.
In January, Fidel Castro wrote in Granma that while he doesn't "trust the policy of the United States," he also does not "reject a pacific solution to the conflicts."
Photos via Estudio Revolución
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