CUBAN President Fidel Castro tripped and fell as he was leaving the stage after a televised speech on Wednesday night, hurting his knee and arm.
He quickly recovering his composure to say that he was otherwise "all in one piece."
Mr Castro, 78, was shown on live television after his tumble, sitting in a chair at the live outdoor event in the central city of Santa Clara.
People watching television could not see what happened after the Cuban president wrapped up the speech at a graduation ceremony for arts instructors and left the stage.
Television viewers only saw several of his security men running, evidently to assist him.
Mr Castro asked Cubans to forgive him for "any suffering this may have caused.
"I will do what is possible to recover as fast as possible, but as you can see I can still talk," he said. "Even if they put me in a cast, I can continue in my work."
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