After nearly three months without word from Fidel Castro, he moved to quell rumors about his health, sending a letter to soccer star Diego Maradona, the Associated Press reported, citing state-run television. Telesur, which is run by Cuba, Venezuela and other allies, said the letter proved the 88-year-old revolutionary leader had not died. The contents of the letter were not disclosed.
Castro handed off the role of president to his younger brother Raul in 2006 following an infection in his colon and resigned as president officially in 2008. He had not been heard from for three months, not even after President Barack Obama announced the United States and Cuba would look to restore diplomatic relations in December. In October, Fidel Castro was credited with writing a column headlined “The Time of Duty,” which focused on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
“We all understand that in fulfilling this task with maximum preparation and efficiency, we would also be protecting our people and the brother peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, by avoiding the spread of the virus,” read the copy which ran with his byline. He mentioned how it had entered the U.S. and could spread and said, “We will gladly cooperate with the U.S. staff in this endeavor, not in the pursuit of peace between the two states, which have been adversaries for so many years, but in any case, for world peace.”
In August, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited Castro for his 88th birthday. A photograph was released from the visit.