http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/fidel-castro-apologizes-for-no-show-at-his-birthday-party/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Fidel Castro apologizes for “no show” at his birthday party

Posted November 28, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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AP

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro told hundreds of admirers who traveled here for his 80th birthday party that he was not well enough to meet with them on Tuesday.

In a written message read at the launch of his five-day birthday bash, Castro said his doctors told him he was not in condition to attend the kickoff Tuesday night at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater.

“I direct myself to you, intellectuals and prestigious personalities of the world, with a dilemma,” said the note read at the gathering and broadcast live on state television.

“I could not meet with you in a small locale, only in the Karl Marx Theater where all the visitors would fit and I was not yet in condition, according to the doctors, to face such a colossal encounter,” it added.

The crowd responded by giving Castro a standing ovation.

“My very close friends who have done me the honor of visiting our country, I sign off with the great pain of not having been able to personally give thanks and hugs to each and every one of you,” Castro wrote.

Member Comments

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On November 29, 2006, MiamiCuban wrote:

No doubt there were many disappointed people that Fidel wasn’t well enough to meet with them.  But considering his age and the major surgery he underwent, it’s not surprising that his doctors wanted to remain cautious.

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On November 29, 2006, publisher wrote:

This has to be the end of Fidel. If he can’t even make an appearance for this event, it’s over. The people have to move on.

But then again, it’s not about the people, it’s about Fidel.

Maybe he’ll show up later in the week but I’m guessing that he can’t walk too far and he doesn’t want to be rolled around in a wheel chair.

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On November 29, 2006, J. Perez wrote:

Whenever the end comes, one thing is for sure, His presence and ideas will be felt and debated in Latin America for many years to come, the impact of which is currently influencing many of the more recent elections in countries like Bolivia, Mejico, Brazil and Ecuador.
History might still absolved Him.

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On November 29, 2006, publisher wrote:

Yes, and the Embargo will surely be part of that debate too.

What if? What if the US Embargo never happened? Many will say that Fidel’s perfect government would have worked.

Probably not true but many will believe it.

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On November 29, 2006, J. Perez wrote:

Not a perfect government, but it certainly would have been a different government if the U.S. had a more tolerant and understanding approach to the reforms, needed I may say, that the revolution was undertaking. Of course, given the time and place, that was too much to expect.

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On November 29, 2006, MiamiCuban wrote:

There’s no doubt that without the embargo, things would have turned out much differently in Cuba.  The embargo was supposed to destroy the Cuban economy completely, if not instigate a complete revolt.  And with the added mistakes on the part of the government, it’s been a difficult 45+ years.  But as we can see now, ideas are stronger than physical might, and despite the hardships and the lagging economy, Cuba ended up charting the course for Latin America after all.

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On November 29, 2006, J. Perez wrote:

It is true that Cuba seems to be charting the course for Latin America’s political inclinations, however, it is the U.S. that can take most of the credit for that course by taking the side of those that have exploited these countries and its peoples. It will be interesting to see how Cuba’s new leaders, whoever they might be, handle this opportunity for change that is before them. I believe we are on the brink of exciting things and one can only hope that leaders on both sides of the aisle show better judgement than they have in the past.

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On December 01, 2006, MiamiCuban wrote:

Well said, J. Perez!

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On December 01, 2006, publisher wrote:

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque speaks about Fidel’s ideas living on.

Sounds like people are lining up to talk about Fidel in the past tense.

http://www.ain.cubaweb.cu/idioma/ingles/2006/dec1perezroque_coloquio.htm

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On December 01, 2006, publisher wrote:

And a tribute in a magazine to Fidel

http://www.ahora.cu/english/SECTIONS/culture/2006/December/01-12-06a.htm

He’s not dead yet, is he?