Cuban state television airs video of former president Fidel Castro meeting with cheese-makers in Havana, his first public foray since the U.S. said it was restoring ties with Havana. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Cuba aired video on Saturday (July 4) of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, 88, visiting 19 cheese masters for four hours on Friday in a rare trip outside his Havana home. The video showing the leader alive and well came out three days after his younger brother and current president, Raul Castro, announced a formal agreement with the United States on restoring diplomatic relations after a break of 54 years. It was Fidel Castro's first reported public appearance in three months. That previous encounter, with visiting Venezuelan students, was his first in more than a year. Official media showed images of Castro seated at a panel in an auditorium at a research institute belonging to the Food Industry Ministry. He wore a white wind-breaker, a plaid shirt and gray pants. Fidel Castro stepped down due to illness provisionally in 2006 and definitively in 2008, handing off to Raul, 84. Fidel writes an occasional newspaper column and receives dignitaries at home. Whether he maintains a role in policy-making is unknown.