Castro Surfaces—Or Does He?

Dictator's byline doesn't put lid on rumors of his death
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2007 11:06 AM CDT
A young girl takes a break next to a mural depicting Cuba's leader Fidel Castro and Revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara during the celebrations of Castro's 81th birthday at the Ernesto "Che" Guevara...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A newspaper article purportedly written by Fidel Castro and published yesterday did little to quash rumors that the Cuban dictator's health is failing and even that he's dead. Castro hasn't been seen in public in over a year, and his brother Raul is in effective control of the government, but Cuban officials insist he's doing well, Reuters reports.

Speculation about Castro's health mounted when his 81st birthday passed unobserved on August 13 and hit a fever pitch late last week, when Miami TV stations reported rumors of his death, the Guardian reports. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has joined in the refutation of the rumors; he said Saturday that Castro "will never die," CBS 4 in Miami reports.