Castro 'laughs' off Twitter rumors of death

News from Cuba | Wednesday, 4 January 2012

HAVANA - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is "laughing" off rumors about his death that went viral on Twitter, an official Cuban blogger said Tuesday.

"Fidel Castro studied, analyzed and is laughing at the rumors on Twitter," wrote Yohandry Bloquera on his blog (www.yohandry. com). "The CIA tried to kill him more than 700 times and Twitter is going down that road."

Yohandry is an official blogger, who is usually well-informed and reliable in reporting events in Cuba. He said he had interrupted his vacation to refute rumors of Castro's death, but gave no further details other than to predict that "2012 will be a busy year in Cuba."

Castro, 85, retired for health reasons in 2006 after turning over Cuba's leadership to his brother, Raul. But rumors about the former leader's deteriorating health and death have often circulated.

They became widespread on the micro-blogging social network of Twitter on Monday.

Castro reportedly spends much of his time writing about global problems and historical accounts of the Cuban revolution that he led. He published his most recent press release on November 13, and he received his last foreign visitor on November 18, when he welcomed Haitian President Michel Martelly.

In December, the Guinness Book of Records listed Castro as the person with the most assassination attempts against him -- some 638 foiled bids.

Cuban television on Monday said the former leader had sent wishes for the New Year to Cuban doctors working in Bolivia. And he also wished a "speedy recovery" to a local baseball player who was injured in a car accident.

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