Fidel Castro recently turned 86, and rumors of his poor health, or even death, had begun to pop up in media across the world. The former Cuban leader used to publish a semi-regular opinion column for the Cuban state press, but stopped writing the pieces in June of this year.
Today, Castro has finally spoken out regarding his health and possible death. Through the Cuban state press newspaper Granma, the revolutionary released a statement saying that he is in good health and doesn’t “even remember what a headache feels like.”
In his statement, Castro critisized the “imperialist propaganda” of the Western media, stating that it is owned by the “privileged and wealthy. Specifically, Spain’s ABC newspaper was singled out for publishing a report from a Venezuelan doctor who stated Castro had suffered a massive stroke and would not be seen again publicly. Castro went on to criticize the U.S. media’s coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis.
The article was accompanied by photos, such as the one above, proving that Castro is not dead. The photos are credited to Alex Castro, Fidel’s son.
Castro was the leader of the 26th of July Movement, which over threw the government of Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959. In the decades since, Castro has maintained control of the country through the Communist Party of Cuba and a single-party socialist system of government. He stepped aside as the leader of the Communist Party in 2006, when his health began to deteriorate and he required emergency surgery to correct intestinal bleeding. Castro’s brother, Raul, has been in charge of the country since that time.