Sunday, December 03, 2006

80th Birthday Bash

Imagine if there were tanks that rolling through the streets and jets roared overhead with some 300,000 flag-waving people celebrating your 80th birthday, would you ensure that you make yourself available for it. Well, not for the case of Fidel Castro, the head of the Cuban government. The ailing leader, still recuperating after a major surgery done 4 months ago, did not attend in what many saw as a sign his long rule of Cuba may be over.
It was Castro's 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the start of the revolution that put him in power accelerated speculation that he may be fading into history after 47 years in control. It was the biggest military parade in Havana, Cuba since 1986 which capped 5 days of celebrations that felt more like a farewell than a birthday party and included conferences on Castro's place in history. The events were attended by left-wing politicians and intellectuals from dozens of countries.

Castro had emergency intestinal surgery in late July that forced him to temporarily turn over power to his brother Raul Castro. (source: Agence France-Presse and Reuters)

Tags: Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Cuba, Havana

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