Venezuelan Doctor: Fidel Castro Suffered Stroke Says he is close to a vegetative state: Miami Herald By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff Posted Oct 19, 2012 6:49 AM CDT 28 comments Comments In this Feb. 10, 2012, file photo released by the state media website Cubadebate, Fidel Castro attends a meeting with intellectuals and writers at the International Book Fair in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Cubadebate, Roberto Chile, File) (Newser) – Fidel Castro has suffered a serious stroke, says a Venezuelan doctor claiming to have inside information on the former Cuban leader's health, reports the Miami Herald. He says that the condition is "very close to a neurovegetative state," and that Castro has trouble eating and speaking, and that he recognizes no one. The former leader hasn't been seen in public since March, and the doctor says it's unlikely he'll be seen again, though he could live for weeks with his current condition. He also says his condition is what prompted Hugo Chavez's recent trip to Havana.