New photographs of a smiling, tracksuit-clad Fidel Castro greeting workers at a scientific think tank were posted on the blogs of two Cuban journalists and a media website yesterday, offering a rare glimpse of the reclusive revolutionary leader in a public forum. Castro, 83, appears slightly stooped but otherwise healthy in the pictures, which were said to have been taken Wednesday during a visit to the National Center for Scientific Investigation in Havana.
One set of four photos appeared on the blogs of two official Cuban journalists and apparently were taken with a worker's mobile phone. The worker said Castro stopped, said hello and blew kisses to the employees. "They didn't let us get close to him, but when he left, there were too many people standing around and I was standing just three meters (yards) from him," gushes the worker. Castro had not been photographed in public since falling seriously ill in July 2006.