Castro dismisses rumours that he at death's door

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:44am GMT

HAVANA (Reuters) - 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 rumours 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.

On blogs and Twitter, he has been declared dead or near dead numerous times, spurred by a long, unexplained absence from the public eye.   Continued...

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro attends the closing ceremony of the sixth Cuban Communist Party (PCC) congress in Havana in this April 19, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan/Files
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