85th Birthday, Celebrations, Concert in Cuba, honoring Cuban Leader, Fidel Castro
- Submitted by: manso
- Editorial Articles
- 08 / 12 / 2011
MIAMI (CBS4)- Fidel Castro marks his 85th birthday Saturday, and celebrations are already underway in Cuba.A music concert Friday for the former Cuban leader, organized by the Guayasamin Foundation, will feature 22 artists from Cuba and seven countries, according to the Cuban News Agency.
According to the publication, “the spirit of Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin will permeate the event” held at the capital’s Karl Marx Theater. Guayasamin, a close friend of Castro, managed to convince Fidel to accept the celebration of his birthday back in 1988, the Agency reported.
A three-hour performance will include Uruguayan artist Daniel Viglietti, Omara Portuondo of Cuba, Pablo Nuevo of Ecuador, Cecilia Todd of Venezuela, Liliana Herrero and Raly Barrionuevo of Argentina and Ricardo Flecha of Paraguay, the Agency reported.
Also offering their art will be Braulio Lopez of Uruguay, Chile’s Pancho Villa, the Cuban groups Buena Fe, Anonimo Consejo and Moncada and vocalists Maria Victoria and Candido Fabre.
The event will be broadcasted live by Cuban television, as well as by Radio Progreso and Radio Havana Cuba radio stations.To mark the occasion, a Cuban transgender woman and gay man are set to mark the 85th birthday Castro by getting married.
The Advocate reported that 37-year-old Wendy Iriepa and 31-year-old Ignacio Estrada will tie the knot Saturday in an effort to emphasize the significance of their union for Cuba’s LGBT community.
A Look Back
Castro has been officially out of government but holds veto power over brother Raúl’s plans for economic reforms and hopes for improved U.S. relations.
Over the years, Fidel has made unusually public appearances after a near-fatal health crisis in 2006 that forced him out of the limelight.
Yet, he remains the iconic leader of a revolution that has ruled Cuba for five decades — as well as, up until recently, first secretary of the governing Communist Party. Raúl, 80, succeeded Fidel as president in 2008, but remains second secretary of the party.
His first appearance was at the National Center for Scientific Investigations in Havana on July 7 — the very day Ortega announced Raúl had agreed to free 52 political prisoners. Fidel has never mentioned the prisoner release, the biggest since 1998, in public, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported.
On July 26, 2010, Fidel delivered a floral arrangement at the monument to independence hero José Martí in Havana, at the same time Raúl was in the central city of Santa Clara for the official act marking the start of the revolution. Despite widespread anticipation that Raúl would unveil some economic reforms, he did not speak in Santa Clara.
And on Aug. 7, 2010, Fidel addressed a special session of the legislative National Assembly of People’s Power, which he had requested, in his first official government act since 2006, the Herald reported.
April 19, 2011: For the first time since it’s founding 46-years-ago Castro was not included in the leadership of Cuba’s Communist Party. The news came on the last day of the Cuban Communist Party Congress. It also came on a day when Fidel made a surprise appearance at a meeting of the Communist Party Congress to the sound of thunderous applause.
The revolutionary icon looked unsteady on his feet as he clutched the aide’s arm, and at times slumped in his chair. Many could be seen crying as he was helped to his place on stage, then stood at attention next to his brother during the playing of Cuba’s national anthem.
On June 28, 2011 several new photos featuring Fidel Castro and a recovering Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were aired on Cuban television. Both Chavez and Castro wore track suits and Cun state TV said the two leaders were in the company of family members and “reminisced about the past.”