Cuba's former President Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance this week, breaking his nine-month-long absence from the public eye.
Photographers captured the country's ex-dictator, now 87, as he stepped out Wednesday night to attend the opening of an art studio in Havana. Castro has mostly kept out of the public eye since his retirement in 2006. (Via The Washington Post, Daily Mail)
Castro became the head of Cuba's ruling Communist party after overthrowing the Batista government in 1959. Castro presided over the bitter deterioration of U.S.-Cuban relations during the Cold War, particularly the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis. (Via The Biography Channel, CBS)
Castro handed power over to his brother Raúl after falling ill in 2006. The former leader continues to publish his political opinions through state media.
Fidel Castro's retirement has gradually eased some tensions between the U.S. and Cuba. Raúl Castro made headlines last month when he shook hands with President Obama during Nelson Mandela's funeral. (Via NBC)
Fidel Castro's kept a low profile since his retirement, but his presence still has a significant impact on South America's leaders. In late December Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited Castro during a state trip to Cuba. (Via Cubadebate)
Castro's last public appearance was in April 2013, when he attended the opening of a Havana school.