HAVANA, Cuba — President Fidel Castro fell, possibly breaking his leg, after giving a graduation speech Wednesday in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara.
Sending a buzz through the crowd, the 78-year-old leader appeared to trip as he was walking away from the podium.
In an effort to calm the crowd, Castro took the microphone after a few minutes, saying: “Just so that there won’t be any speculation, it seems that I broke my knee.” He apologized for any concerns he may have caused for those who care about him and then joked how his spill was likely to make headlines in the international media.
Looking shaken, the Cuban leader of 45 years was taken to the hospital where he said he would probably get a cast, promising to get back to normal as soon as possible.
Castro’s health has been the subject of widespread speculation for the last seven years. He has at times appeared thin or tired and has disappeared form the public eye for extended periods of time.
Castro’s state of health is considered a state secret and is not discussed by the government.