Amid much speculation, Cuba state media releases message from Fidel Castro
October 18, 2012 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
Speculation about former President Fidel Castro's health prompted Cuba to release a message from him Wednesday.
- Long silence from Fidel Castro had fueled speculation about his health
- Son Alex: "The comandante is well, following his daily routine"
- There were no new images of Castro, 86, released Wednesday
- Castro reportedly congratulated doctors graduating from a Cuban medical institute
(CNN) -- Cuban state media released a message from Fidel Castro, the first communique said to be from the ex-leader since speculation over his health reached a fever pitch last week.
There were no new images of Castro, 86, released Wednesday.
He has not been seen publicly since March, when he met with Pope Benedict XVI during the pontiff's visit to Cuba.
Castro's usually frequent newspaper columns and musings suddenly ended in June. But his silence after the re-election of close ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in October prompted many of his opponents to wonder whether Castro was again ailing or perhaps dead.
"The comandante is well, following his daily routine, reading, exercising," Alex Castro, one of Castro's sons, told Cuban state media after the reports of his ill health.
February: Fidel Castro's return
Still, a barrage of postings on Twitter and other social media had Castro at death's door.
Castro never fully recovered after a botched surgery for a still unknown intestinal illness in 2006. Two years later, his brother Raul Castro officially succeeded him.
In the message on Wednesday, Castro reportedly congratulated doctors graduating from a Cuban medical institute on the 50th anniversary of the institute's founding.
The message mentioned the 50th anniversary this week of the Cuban missile crisis and the exodus of physicians from Cuba after the 1959 revolution.
On Tuesday, the Cuban government announced the lifting of some restrictions for Cubans traveling abroad.
Cuban government eases travel restrictions
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories