Cuba Releases New Photos of Fidel Castro to Remind Us He's Alive

At 88 years old and rarely seen in public, Fidel Castro firmly represents Cuba's past. Yet with all talk lately about the possibilities for the future of Cuba after President Barack Obama's announcement that he'll work to normalize relations with the island nation, the Cuban media decided to trot out new photos of the former president.

Castro hadn't been seen publicly since last August, and at this point it seems like his government strategically releases photos a few times a year to remind the world he's not dead. Indeed, it was only last month when a new string of rumors circulated claiming Castro had died.

See also: The End of the Embargo Could Kill Miami's Cuban Cigar Industry

The new photos were supposedly taken January 28 and accompany a first-person article for the state-controlled newspaper, Granma, written by the president of the University of Havana's student organization.

In a clear PR move, the student, Randy Perdomo García, was invited to meet and chat with Castro about his plan to celebrate the 70th anniversary of El Comandante's own enrollment at the school in 1945.

"Hearing his voice up close, heard so often from afar, stunned me," Garcia writes with all the enthusiasm of a devoted fanboy.

"We talk happily, like two classmates. He with impressive modesty, trying to make me feel like an equal. For my part, not really understanding the extraordinary good fortune that was allowing me to live this singular moment."

Castro is seen in his trademark tracksuit, and though it appears he may be sitting in a wheelchair, the photos seem strategically framed hide exactly what he's sitting on. Castro is also seen holding a recent newspaper, perhaps to reinforce that the photos are indeed current.

In all, the newspaper published 21 photos of the meeting.

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