Cuba celebrates Castro's 85th birthday without him

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Cuba celebrates Castro's 85th birthday without him

(CNN) -- Fidel Castro's 85th birthday passed quietly Saturday -- in stark contrast to the week of celebration that preceded it.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a self-declared acolyte of Fidel Castro's socialist revolution, said Saturday on Twitter that he was celebrating Castro's birthday in Havana, where Chavez is currently undergoing cancer treatment.

"Here with Fidel, celebrating his 85th birthday," Chavez tweeted.

"Viva Fidel!" he added.

The week of events to mark Castro's birthday culminated Friday with a gala. The so-called "Serenade to Fidelity" was marked by a three-hour performance by artists from Europe and Latin America, including the Grammy-award winning female voice of the Buena Vista Social Club, Omuara Portundo.

Revolutionary fighters from the 1953 Moncada barracks attacks, considered to be the starting point of the Cuban revolution, participated in the event.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara's relatives were also present, reported Granma, Cuba's official Communist Party publication.

Castro was born on August 13, 1926, to a wealthy Spanish landowner and his household servant.

Considered "the father" of Latin American socialism, Castro is an icon to many leaders of Latin America's emerging left, who grew up in a generation of U.S.-backed dictatorships.

Castro ruled Cuba as until he officially stepped down in 2008 and handed powers to his brother, Raul Castro.

Castro, who appears to be frail and in poor health, has not been seen in public in recent days.

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So the important question.... if and when Castro goes, what will be the commemarative cigar that HSA will release (if any)? Place your bets!

The Cohiba Commandante LE...something around the dimensions of an Esplendidos. Maybe in a jar or some other limited edition packaging?

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Yeah a long and skinny would be good, surely we deserve something like that after all the deletions. Or maybe a huge figurado or rodolfo sized cigar, something that stays on forever and even though the taste and general interest in the cigar have long gone, it refuses to die.... :P

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While we all do have our complaints/criticisms with our varying government heads, one does have to give Fidel credit for an excellent free education and healthcare system in his country. They may not have ready access to very much, but what they have they make sure it gets to all. JMHO :flower:

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