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Posted August 13, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Low-key birthday for Fidel Castro

By Michael Voss | BBC News

Cuba is set to break with tradition and not hold official celebrations to mark the birthday of its 81-year-old president, Fidel Castro.

There were fireworks at midnight in the Cuban capital Havana to mark the occasion but nothing else was planned.

Mr Castro has not been seen in public for over a year after having emergency surgery and power has been temporarily transferred to his brother, Raul.

Many observers believe Mr Castro may never return to front-line politics.

For Mr Castro’s last birthday there were candle-lit vigils and mass demonstrations of affection for the convalescing leader.

There have been no pictures of him recuperating for more than two months now.

State secret

The last ones showed he had put on weight though he was visibly fragile and had a weak voice.

His current condition and whereabouts remain a state secret.

But the man who has ruled this communist state since he led the revolution almost half a century ago continues to make his presence felt through regular newspaper editorials.

Some observers believe Mr Castro has taken on a new role as adviser on important decisions while his younger brother handles day-to-day government.

It has been a smooth transition but so far there have been few signs of change. A recent speech by the acting president has raised expectations that some economic reforms could be on the way.

Now many here suspect that the longer Mr Castro is not seen in public, the greater the chance that this is how the balance of power will remain.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on August 13, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    and then there is this embarrassing kiss ass article from Anita Snow from the Associated Press titled Fireworks Mark Castro’s 81st Birthday.

    I can only imagine that someone is telling Ms. Snow to write “granma-esqe” fluff pieces about Fidel if she wants to stay in the country.

    Sorry Ms. Snow but that’s the way I see it. Your articles from the past several months could have been published in Granma and that certainly is not quality journalism.



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