Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
U.S.

Castro's health

From CNN's Lucia Newman in Havana

image
Castro tumbles after missing a step, breaking his left knee.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Wolf Blitzer Reports
Cuba
Fidel Castro

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Cuba's 78-year-old president walked offstage Wednesday after giving a speech to graduating art teachers when he tripped.

Looking shaken, Fidel Castro took the microphone to explain that he had probably broken his knee and fractured an arm, a diagnosis that was later confirmed.

"But as you can see," he said, "I can still speak, even if I'm put in a cast, and I can continue to work."

Castro even joked he was anxious to see the photographs of his fall which, he predicted, would probably appear on the front pages of the international media.

In Cuba, there was no photo only a short statement in the official press.

The communist leader, who's held power longer than any head of state in the world, is aware his health has long been the subject of speculation. Three years ago he fainted while making a speech.

At times he has looked pale and thin and had difficulty walking. Castro's exact state of health is treated as a state secret in Cuba.

Thursday morning the top Communist Party leadership would only comment briefly.

"He's fine. He's a man of great strength and vitality and I'm sure he'll recover very quickly," said Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly.

In Washington, the Bush administration used the opportunity to reiterate its desire to see him removed from power.

"We heard that Castro fell," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "I guess you'd have to check with the Cubans to find out what's broken about Mr. Castro. We, obviously, have expressed our views about what's broken in Cuba."

When asked if he wished Castro a speedy recovery, Boucher said, "No."

"The situation in Cuba is of our primary concern," Boucher said. "The situation of Mr. Castro is of little concern to us, but, unfortunately, of enormous importance to the people of Cuba, who have suffered very long under his rule. And we think that the kind of rule that Cuba has had should be ended."


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.