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John E. Baldacci

Maine delegation's 2005 meeting with Castro was memorable

Members of a Maine agricultural trade mission who met late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2005 will likely never forget the communist leader.

Castro, who was 80 at the time, wore his gym clothes to a last-minute meeting in which he engaged in a lengthy discussion about artificial insemination in cattle, former Gov. John Baldacci said. The Down East accent earned a quizzical look from Castro.

"I'm sitting back thinking this could be a scene from Saturday Night Live,'" Baldacci said Monday. "It was surreal."

The island nation is in the midst of weeklong memorial services that began on Monday in Havana. Castro died Friday night at 90.