Category: Politics / February 4, 2013 11:54 AM EST
Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro voted in Cuba's general election on Sunday (February 3) and chatted with well-wishers and Cuban reporters in Havana for more than an hour, in his first extended public appearance since 2010.
Eighty-six-year-old Castro had voted from his home in three previous elections since taking ill in 2006 and ceding power to his brother Raul two years later.
A stooped, snow white bearded Castro was seen on state-run television as he cast his ballot in the late afternoon, wearing a blue plaid shirt and light blue jacket.
The announcer said Castro talked about efforts to reform the economy, Latin American integration, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and other matters.
He was heard in a weak voice praising participation in Sunday's election.
"The (Cuban) people are truly revolutionary. They have made enormous sacrifices. I don't have to prove it; history did. Fifty years of the blockade (U.S. embargo) and they (the U.S.) haven't been successful," he said.
Cubans went to the polls on Sunday to elect a Communist Party-selected slate of 612 deputies to the National Assembly and more than 1,000 delegates to provincial assemblies, at a time of change in how they live and work, but not in how they vote.
Video Source: Cuban Government TV