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Fidel Castro went outside yesterday. It's the 87-year-old Cuban ex-dictator's first public appearance in nine months, and he made it to check out a new Havana art studio.

Aside from a few op-eds and April Fool's jokes, Castro has kept a fairly low profile over the last few years, working on his memoirs and possibly being consulted on any big decisions made by his successor and brother Raul. (For the record, Fidel was a fan of the Obama-Castro handshake.)

Castro stepped out on Wednesday night for the opening of Studio Kcho Romerillo, Laboratory for Art. He is apparently a big fan of Wilfredo Lam's work, although I'm not sure he said to Lam "you're indispensable," as the Christian Science Monitor reported, because Lam died in 1982 and thus would not have been in attendance in corporeal form.

"Looking frail, stooped over a cane, supported by a burly aide and trailed by a man identified as his personal physician," the Miami Herald said, Castro's arrival at the studio was "applauded ... with emotion," as Cuban newspaper Granma put it. He came via van, with his wife, Dalia Soto del Valle. He wore a jaunty scarf (thanks, Polar Vortex) and looked ready to take in some culture:

(AP / Cubadebate)

(AP / Cubadebate)

(AP / Cubadebate)

A Flickr gallery of Castro's night out shows that he greeted various important people and their children and signed a copy of his book, La Victoria Estrategica.

Castro's last public appearance was in April, for the opening of a new school.

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