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Posted July 24, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Associated Press

HAVANA | Looking fit and cheerful, Cuban President Fidel Castro appeared on a televised broadcast of a graduation ceremony for social workers after several recent rounds of rumors that he was ailing.

Dressed in his typical olive-green uniform, the 76-year-old leader stood on a stage Monday at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater and handed out diplomas to scores of graduates.

Castro is expected to deliver a major address in the eastern city of Santiago Saturday at a 50th-anniversary celebration of his July 26 attack on a military barracks that launched the revolution that triumphed 5 1/2 years later.

Rumors about his health pop up regularly, especially in recent years as he has grown older. Castro turns 77 on Aug. 13.

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