Fidel Castro's sister denies stroke rumours
Mexico City: Fidel Castro's sister has rubbished rumours that former Cuban leader suffered a massive stroke and was on the brink of death, according to Venezuelan media.
Juanita Castro, who resides in Miami, said that reports of her brother's condition were "absurd" rumours.
The US Spanish-language newspaper Nuevo Herald quoted Venezuelan doctor Jose Marquina as saying that Fidel Castro had suffered a "massive embolism of the right cerebral artery" and had trouble eating, speaking, or recognising people.
Earlier, Castro's son Alex also said his father's health was good, and he was "going about his daily life, reading extensively."
Castro, who ruled the communist island for about 50 years, handed over the presidency to his younger brother Raul in 2008.
Rumors about Castro's deteriorating health have circulated on and off for years, but they intensified after Castro failed to congratulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his re-election in October.
The 86-year-old Cuban revolutionary leader last appeared in public in March when he met with visiting Pope Benedict XVI. Castro also stopped writing his essays, dubbed Reflections, in the local media in June.
The Cuban authorities have not made any official statements on Castro's condition so far.