Fidel Castro Visits Havana Aquarium

Fidel Castro Visits Havana Aquarium Havana, Jul 17. -The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, paid a surprise visit to the Cuban National Aquarium and immediately began chatting with two girls and a small group of workers.

The facility's director, Guillermo Garcia, informally welcomed Fidel Castro and introduced him to staff members, most of whom are women.

After reviewing with visible happiness photos and mementos of the Aquarium's 2002 reopening and greeting a large number of workers, the island's revolutionary leader was invited to attend a underwater dolphin show, unique worldwide.

Workers included ocean biologist Celia Guevara March, daughter of legendary Argentine-Cuban guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara.

This is Fidel's fourth public appearance during the past eight days. Last week he visited the National Center of Scientific Research; then discussed his views and concerns over the growing military tensions in the Middle East for the TV program Mesa Redonda (Round Table) last Monday, and also paid a visit to the World Economy Research Center.

In the fluid and pleasant chat with the facility's workers, Fidel Castro asked about the relationship between the trainers and animals, and possible risks of attack, which, it was explained, are rare and due to human mistakes.

After taking photos with the Aquarium's trainers and staff, the island's leader commented on the reasons for his initial questions regarding the trainers' time under water, due to his experience as a legendary scuba diver.

Later, he asked about the Aquarium's schedule and the staff's working hours, especially those who host the shows with animals three times a day, advised by doctors specializing in underwater medicine from the Naval Hospital for the underwater show, whose main risk is apnea repetition.

The Cuban National Aquarium, founded exactly 50 years ago, on January 23, 1960, has over 3,000 animals, 23 of them marine mammals, including eight dolphins, and 15 sea lions, the facility's main attraction.

The center receives some 3,000 visitors per day, and between 25,000 and 30,000 tourists per year.(Prensa Latina)