Fidel Castro marked his 85th birthday outside of the public spotlight Saturday, with little fanfare around the aging revolutionary icon who is rarely seen in public these days but still casts a long shadow over Cuban society.
There were no announced celebrations of Castro's birthday, though the previous night two dozen musical acts from across Latin America held a concert in his honor.
"What we say in the songs of our invited artists will be little next to what he deserves," Alfredo Vera, one of the organizers, said late Friday. "Congratulations, beloved and eternal comandante."
The former president didn't make it to his own birthday bash — hardly a surprise since he appears infrequently since he stepped down in 2006, at first temporarily, and then permanently in 2008, due an intestinal illness that he later said nearly killed him.
Nor did his younger brother and presidential successor Raul Castro attend. Instead, first Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, who also delivered the keynote address on Revolution Day July 26, was the highest ranking among several government officials in the presidential seats at Karl Marx Theater.
As Cuba's president, he outlasted nine U.S. presidents and five decades of U.S. hostility. Must have been the Cuban Cigars that he smoked until he stop!....
HASTA LA VISTA ...CUBAN CIGARS:)