Cuba celebrates Fidel Castro's 85th birthday

Updated: 2011-08-13 13:30


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Cuba celebrates Fidel Castro's 85th birthday

A couple poses with a picture of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro during birthday celebrations for Castro by the Cuban Solidarity Brigade and his supporters in Managua August 12, 2011. Castro will turn 85 on Saturday. [Photo/Agencies]

HAVANA - A grand gala was held Friday night to celebrate former Cuban leader Fidel Castro's 85th birthday.

The former leader did not show up, neither did his brother and current leader Raul Castro, nor Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who finished his chemotherapy here Friday.

Twenty-two Cuban artists and eight from other Latin American countries performed at the "Song of Loyalty" gala held at the Karl Marx Theater, the country's largest with 5,000 seats.

Several Latin American cultural and political figures attended the event, including Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Tomas Borge, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, and Cuban government officials and intellectuals.

Fidel Castro started handing over power to his younger brother Raul in 2006 after falling ill and undergoing surgery for a serious intestinal condition, but he keeps writing editorials on issues of world interest.

Fidel confirmed in April that he would no longer be part of the top leadership of the Cuban Communist Party.

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