World

Fidel Castro rumors sweep across social media, but with no sign of death in Cuba

  • FILE - In this July 11, 2014 file photo, Cuba's Fidel Castro speaks during a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, in Havana, Cuba. Social media around the world have been flooded with rumors of Castro's death, but there was no sign Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, that the reports were true, even if the 88-year-old former Cuban leader has not been seen in public for months. (AP Photo/Alex Castro, File)

    FILE - In this July 11, 2014 file photo, Cuba's Fidel Castro speaks during a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, in Havana, Cuba. Social media around the world have been flooded with rumors of Castro's death, but there was no sign Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, that the reports were true, even if the 88-year-old former Cuban leader has not been seen in public for months. (AP Photo/Alex Castro, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 11, 2014 file photo, Cuba's Fidel Castro, center, visits with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, in Havana, Cuba. Social media around the world have been flooded with rumors of Castro's death, but there was no sign Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, that the reports were true, even if the 88-year-old former Cuban leader has not been seen in public for months. (AP Photo/Alex Castro, File)

    FILE - In this July 11, 2014 file photo, Cuba's Fidel Castro, center, visits with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, right, in Havana, Cuba. Social media around the world have been flooded with rumors of Castro's death, but there was no sign Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, that the reports were true, even if the 88-year-old former Cuban leader has not been seen in public for months. (AP Photo/Alex Castro, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children carry framed images of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in a caravan tribute marking the 56th anniversary of the original street party that greeted a triumphant Castro and his rebel army, in Regla, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Castro and his rebels arrived in Havana via caravan on the first week of January 1959, after toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista. The revolutionary leader and former president has not spoken publicly on the historic Dec. 17th US-Cuba detente. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    Children carry framed images of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in a caravan tribute marking the 56th anniversary of the original street party that greeted a triumphant Castro and his rebel army, in Regla, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Castro and his rebels arrived in Havana via caravan on the first week of January 1959, after toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista. The revolutionary leader and former president has not spoken publicly on the historic Dec. 17th US-Cuba detente. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

Social media around the world are being flooded with rumors of Fidel Castro's death. But there's no sign in Cuba that the reports are true, even if the 88-year-old former leader has not been seen for months.

Similar speculation has swept across Cuban expatriate communities repeatedly over the decades, particularly after illness forced Castro to leave his duties as president in 2006.

The new wave was prompted in part by his failure to comment after the U.S. and Cuba declared on Dec. 17 that they would restore full diplomatic relations.

Some websites abroad reported Cuba had called a news conference, likely to discuss Castro's health.Cuban officials told news media in Havana that no press conference had been called, and there were no obvious signs of official preparations for mourning.