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Fidel Castro Dead Rumours Quashed As Pictures Of Cuban Leader Released

22/10/2012 08:57 BST | Updated 22/10/2012 12:18 BST

The cold war may be over - but the propaganda continues.

The state-run website Cubadebate released pictures of Fidel Castro holding a newspaper on Monday in response to rumours he was close to death following a stroke.

Castro also wrote an article published by state-media criticising those who claimed he was on his death bed, the Associated Press reported

Former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jau claimed he met the 86-year-old in the Hotel Nacional on Sunday, in what would have been Castro's first public appearance in months.

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Castro wrote an article criticising those who spread rumors he was on his death bed

He told journalists Castro was looking "very well."

The hotel's director, Antonio Martinez, said: "Fidel is excellent and his health is magnificent."

The comments come after Venezuelan Dr Jose Marquina told El Nuevo Herald the 86-year-old had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and was close to death.

Dr Marquina said: “He suffered an embolic stroke and recognises absolutely no one.”

Castro stepped down in 2006 after an illness.

Fidel Castro