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Venezuelan Doctor: After Stroke, Castro Having Trouble Speaking, Eating

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campaign 2012 new2 Venezuelan Doctor: After Stroke, Castro Having Trouble Speaking, Eating

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There are new reports that Fidel Castro’s health is failing. According to a Venezuela doctor, the former Cuban leader has suffered a serious “embolic” stroke.

Jose Marquina spoke with El Nuevo Herald and said he had “firsthand sources and information.”

Marquina described Castro’s condition as “very close to a neurovegatitive state.”

Castro is reportedly incapacitated, and “has trouble feeding, speaking and recognizing faces,” Marquina said.

Castro was last seen publically in March during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba.

Rumors about the former dictator’s failing health have intensified recently but Thursday, a Cuban run government newspaper published a letter that was purportedly written and signed by Castro.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Castro is in his home in El Laguito, Havana, receiving constant and specialized medical care, Marquina said. The idea of the Cuban authorities and Castro’s family is to maintain him alive and far from public view, the doctor said.

‘He could last weeks like that, but what I can say is that we’ll never again see him in public,’ said Marquina in a telephone interview from Naples.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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