Fidel Castro emerges from seclusion to warn of nuclear war

Liz Goodwin

Groundhog Day is when Punxsutawney Phil forecasts the balance of winter by the visibility of his own shadow. So perhaps mid-July can be memorialized as the moment when El Jefe comes out of seclusion to denounce the U.S. nuclear menace.

Castro, the ailing former Cuban revolutionary leader, had not been seen in public for four years. But he turned up in Havana for a photo op last week, and is planning to appear on Cuban television and radio Monday night to warn the nation of an impending nuclear war between Iran and the United States, Reuters reports.

"The empire" — Cuba's neighbor to the north — "is at the point of committing an inestimable error without anybody being able to prevent it," Castro wrote in an opinion column in the state-run newspaper Granma on July 4. "It is advancing inexorably toward a disastrous fate."

Castro underwent emergency intestinal surgery in 2006 and handed over the reins to  younger brother Raul, who has been running the country since. Cuba recently agreed to release 52 dissidents to Spain who were jailed when Fidel was still in power, the BBC reports.