Fidel Castro Had a Stroke

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Pope Benedict XVI meets with former Cuban President Fidel Castro (R) at the Vatican embassy on March 29, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. The Pope is finishing up his first trip to Cuba, fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited the communist country.
Photo: L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-Pool/Getty Images

A Venezuelan doctor with ties to Hugo Chávez claims that former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is "very close to a neurovegetative state" after his latest health scare. "He suffered an embolic stroke and recognizes absolutely no one," José Marquina told the Miami Herald. "The people with a condition of this nature have difficulty eating and, of course, they end up with total deficit in their neurologic capacities."

Castro has not appeared publicly since the Pope's visit in March and has ceased writing his "Reflections" opinion columns. "He is not receiving artificial respiration and is not connected to tubes, as some have said," according to Marquina, but is likely not eating on his own. "He could last weeks like that, but what I can say is that we'll never again see him in public."