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Fidel Castro appears in first photo in months, in talk with Spanish journalist

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In this Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 photo released by the state media Cubadebate website, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, right, talks with Spanish journalist, writer and former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Granma, Estudios Revolucion) (The Associated Press)

Official media have published the first photo of former Cuban President Fidel Castro in more than four months, showing the 87-year-old in animated conversation with a Spanish journalist.

Journalist Ignacio Ramonet tells The Associated Press that the pair discussed Nelson Mandela's death, Venezuelan politics and climate change for 2 ½ hours and "I found him to be in excellent health."

The photo shows Castro seated and wearing a blue sweatsuit, looking intensely at Ramonet and gesturing with his left hand. Ramonet and the website Cubadebate say the photo was taken Friday.

Castro, who left power in 2006 due to illness, has not commented on the death of former South African president Mandela, sparking speculation about his health. Ramonet has written extensively about Castro and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.