Castro in good health and lucid

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dismissed reports that he was dead or near death in an article published on Monday in Cuba's state-run press.

He accused news agencies and enemies of Cuba of spreading “stupidities” about him, particularly a report from a Spanish newspaper last week that said he had suffered a massive stroke and was in a vegetative state.

“Birds of bad omen! I don’t even remember what a headache is,” he wrote.
The article in Communist Party newspaper Granma was accompanied by photographs showing him walking outside on a sunny day on what appeared to be a farm.

He wore a straw hat and red plaid shirt, used a walking cane and, in one photo, held a copy of Granma from Friday.

The photos, Castro said, were “proof of what liars they are.”
Social media has been alight in recent weeks with rumors about Castro, who is 86 and has been in declining health for several years.

He ruled Cuba for 49 years before resigning in 2008, citing age and infirmity. Younger brother Raul Castro succeeded him as president.

Elias Jaua, a former Venezuelan vice president, said on Sunday he had met with the Cuban revolutionary leader over the weekend, showing reporters pictures of the meeting and saying Castro was in good health and lucid.

Castro had not written one of his "Reflections" opinion columns for state press since June 19 or been seen publicly since March. As for how he spends his time now, Castro wrote, "I like to write and I write. I like to study and I study."

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