Obama Cuba visit: White House pours cold water on Fidel Castro meeting

Castro is rarely seen in public these days and when photographed in state-run media he has appeared in a wheel chair.

By: AFP | Havana | Updated: March 22, 2016 8:34 am
Barack Obama, Cuba, Obama cuba visit, Obama in Cuba, Obama CUba, Barack Obama Raul Castro, Obama Fidel castro President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro during their meeting at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The White House has all ruled out all but ruled out a meeting between Barack Obama and veteran Cuban leader Fidel Castro during the US president’s trip to Cuba. Senior Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes said that neither the administration nor the Cuba authorities had asked for a meeting between Obama and the 89-year-old.

“On this trip, we are not planning to meet with Fidel Castro,” he said. “We have not requested such a meeting The Cubans have not requested such a meeting of us.”

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Castro is rarely seen in public these days and when photographed in state-run media he has appeared in a wheel chair. Castro met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who visit the island late last week.

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Obama earlier suggested in a television interview with ABC that he may be open to a meeting. “If his health was good enough that I could meet with him, I’d be happy to meet with him. Just as a symbol of the end of, or the closing of this Cold War chapter in our mutual histories. It’s not clear to me what the state of his health is.

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