Cuban former president Fidel Castro has made a second public appearance in less than a week, state media said today, marking an unusually high-profile spell for the ageing revolutionary icon.
The communist island’s official newspaper, Granma, published photos of the 88-year-old Castro and said he had met on Thursday with military chiefs and civil servants.
In one of the three photos, Castro appears to be chairing the meeting and is wearing a blue-and-white sports jacket over a plaid shirt. He is flanked by General Leopoldo Cintra Frias and interior minister Abelardo Colome Ibarra.
Granma said that in a “lively exchange,” Castro spoke about rapid population growth and climate change and how water scarcity and international conflicts were affecting commodity prices.
Castro also appeared publicly on July 4, when he met with Cuban cheese experts.
Castro, who biographers say has been passionate about cheese-making since the 1960s, was interested in the quality and production levels of cheese in the communist country, according to the local media.
The one-time revolutionary leader turned power over to his younger brother Raul, 84, in 2008, though he effectively stopped serving in an official capacity in 2006 because of his deteriorating health.
Due to the secrecy surrounding the elder Castro’s health, his rare public appearances are carefully scrutinized by international media and the authorities release images of him receiving foreign officials and representatives of civil society.