Cuban Gov. Prepares for Fidel Castro’s 90th Birthday

By Fabian Flores  (Cafe Fuerte)

Fidel Castro at the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in April 2016. Photo: Omara Garcia Mederos/ACN
Fidel Castro at the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in April 2016. Photo: Omara Garcia Mederos/ACN

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba will be transformed into one giant concert on August 13th to celebrate Comandante Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday, announced the island’s cultural authorities.

According to information released by the Cuban Institute of Music (ICM), at 10 am on Saturday, August 13, “a great cantata and concerts” will be held across the island for Fidel Castro’s birthday.

The press release from ICM added that “over one hundred children’s choirs and concert bands will sing in unison, across the country, at cultural institutions, in squares and parks to celebrate with a lot of joy the birthday of Fidel, the father of all of Cuba’s children.”

Festivities promoted by government offices and Communist Party organizations for Castro’s 90th birthday are focusing particularly on the younger generation, especially children, from collective messages to neighborhood quimbumbia games.

On June 2, the Cuban Federation of University Students (FEU) celebrated the leader’s upcoming birthday at the Law Department with a festival called “Fidel is my specialty” selling books, flags, photos and hats.

The day ended when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” around an enormous cake in front of the Law Department, with dozens of grade school pioneros present.

Meanwhile, the reedition of the historic route to Dos Rios, promoted by the Jose Marti Youth Movement (MJM), will take place from July 26 until August 13, dedicated  to Fidel Castro’s birthday.

Yusuam Palacios Ortega, President of the MJM and renowned for his impassioned speeches reaffirming his revolutionary commitment, said that the initiative is a tribute to both Jose Marti and “a present to his most loyal disciple, Fidel Castro” on his 90th birthday.

Palacios said that 30 young people would walk the route from Playita de Cajobabo, in Imias in Guantanamo province, to Dos Rios, in Granma and during their camping out, will read texts by Marti and speeches by Fidel Castro.

A mobile app for Android phones will become available  on July 19 with Fidel’s speeches, thoughts and “reflections”, which the march participants can use while taking part in the Marti route to share information with residents in the places they’ll pass through.

Send a message to Fidel

The Joven Clubs (Youth Computer Clubs) also launched a number of initiatives for teenagers. In Artemisa, the “Joven Club announced that they would open up a service for sending “birthday emails” to Castro.

Those interested in wishing the ex-President a happy birthday can do so by writing to the email: [email protected].

The Joven Club plans to publish a book with all of the messages they receive, which will be given to Castro on his birthday.

Castro made his last public appearance during the closing ceremony of the 7th Cuban Communist party congress, on April 20th.

55 thoughts on “Cuban Gov. Prepares for Fidel Castro’s 90th Birthday

  • Happy birthday Fidel! You and the 26 of July Movement are an inspiration to millions world wide even American youth like me.
    I am going to address the haters on this page:
    1) The hateful propaganda against anyone unwilling to bow down to US imperialism and neocolonialism is still going strong. These commentators here may very well be agents paid to trash Fidel’s name across the internet.
    2) These commentators may be members of the wealthy Cuban land owner families who had their land taken away to be communally used. And are now sad that they can’t gain personal wealth by exploiting others. Sorry the right to amass wealth is not a right.(The slave holders in Cuba and America thought they had the right to gain wealth by exploiting others, the enslaved people thought the opposite. )
    3) These haters are completely out of touch with what is going on in the world. The earth is being polluted and destroyed, wars are killing millions, people are starving even as there is enough food to feed the planet, millions dying of preventable disease, and even when there is a cure if you can’t afford it die! All because of capitalist greed. All because a small group (relative to world population) of global capitalists who’s only aim in life is wealth accumulation with no care for our environment and the suffering of humanity. Fidel is the opposite of that. He is one of the few world leader who is truly concerned with the well being of humanity.

    4) Fidel is anti war especially nuclear war. His speech against nuclear war is to be found here.
    “Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!” –Fidel Castro

    5) Can conditions in Cuba be improved? Absolutely. The answer to any unfortunate conditions is Cuba is world socialist revolution for world peace. Not capitalism.

    Viva Fidel! You and the 26 of July Movement will be forever remembered as heroes!! May we soon see world peace.

  • For me Rich Haney your opinions are irrelevant, but I shall continue to comment when you err from addressing the reality of Cuba.
    Let me remind you for the record Mr. Haney of the questions I asked and which you criticize as not being not “sane, unbiased” My three questions addressed to you were:
    1) Do you or do you not seek freedom of expression for the people of Cuba?
    2) Do you think that the people of Cuba should have open multi-party elections?
    3) Do you favour freedom of the media for the people of Cuba?
    For the people of Cuba these are key questions! But you obviously wish to avoid reality and describe the questions as “rants”. That demonstrates both your inability to address reality and weakness of spirit for you care nothing for Cuba and its people.
    To have to resort repeatedly to yakking on about the long deceased Batista in support of your fallacious opinions similarly reflects a narrowness of mind – not something to be envied.

  • Ask sane, unbiased questions, Mr. MacDuff, and I will respond. Like Emilio Milian in Miami, I’ve had the guts to denounce terrorist acts against innocent Cubans that besmirch everything good that America stood for. Unlike Emilio, I haven’t been car-bombed. Your rants hide behind political correctness derived from, in my opinion, the Batistiano insistence on dictating the Cuban narrative in the the U. S.

  • The PRK (North Korea) is said to enjoy 100% voter turn out, and I wouldn’t exactly call it a democracy. But, at least everyone gets a vote, right?

  • ? When did you see it last, outside of the tourist areas?

  • What a pathetic comment, but I guess it reflects your mind Rich Haney being in a rut!

  • I thought that you folks had more than two parties? Who did Ross Perrot run for? Didn’t your Republican Party Presidential candidate also initially start a run as a Reform candidate? What about the Tea Party – I don’t refer to Boston Harbour! One of us must be ignorant!

  • You have got your dates wrong! Cubans have had no choice of government since 1959. It is not my kind of government, for it is a repressive regime preventing Cubans from knowing freedom. Yes, I do live in Cuba!

  • If you are asking if I think that Fidel Castro passing on would make the world a better place, the answer to you Mr. Haney, is YES!

  • If you are talking about the UNESCO funded restoration of Habana Vieja you are correct in saying that it is looking better than ever – but Mariano, La Lisa and Alamar where the average Habanero lives? Where is the urban rebewal to which you refer – or do you like the Castro regime restrict your activities to the tourist spots?

  • My home is in Cuba – that is why I know of what I speak!

  • I hope you noted that Rich Haney didn’t have the guts to respond to my simple questions

  • Perhaps that is because Elizabeth II hasn’t been responsible for actions like those of Fidel Castro which have resulted in so many Cubans fleeing from their homeland and the imposition of an embargo – which was open to removal if the Castro regime complied with the US Cuban Democracy Act. I assume that you have read it?
    Remember also that it was Fidel Castro who urged a first nuclear strike upon the US – which as Nikita Kruschev correctly pointed out in his response would have brought about a Third World War. As a warmonger and communist dictator, there are few who can admire Fidel Castro.

  • He keeps Aquarama II at the pier of his two island retreat of the south coast of Cuba – Cayo Piedra.

  • Correct – Ireland is democratic and a free country – Cuba is in bondage.

  • With regard to your last sentence, only if they have been released from ther bondage of the Castros and communism!

  • Elizabeth also hasn’t been the target of numerous assassination attempts. Her country also hasn’t been blockaded since World War II.

  • They need freedom.

  • The vote is mandatory in Cuba. The 98% is irrelevant. They vote for one slate of candidates. That’s to say, 3 positions available, 3 candidates to vote for. It’s not even close to a democracy I’m afraid.

  • That was true of the Irish once, too. Not any more.

  • I see a difference, and similarity – nobody gets on board either one of them without an invite.

  • Ask them. It’s usually got more to do with the opportunity to make money. They know there are no ‘perfect’ governments, but some places you can make money and get ahead on your own. Cuba to-day isn’t the yet – for a number of good reasons. Someday ….

  • Well not ‘democratic’ like ours. We have a choice of two parties, they seem to get along with one. And maybe it’s ‘coercion’, or something, but everybody has a vote and 98 percent of them do. Which says something about America where less than 30 percent of the people can and often do pick the government of their (or the Party’s) choice. .

  • Yeppers. Havana was looking better than ever last March. Lots of ‘urban renewal’.

  • Well not ‘democratic’ like ours, we have 2 parties, they just need one.

  • Where do you get this stuff? Batista has been dead for 50 years. Actually, only you talk about him. I would NEVER call you stupid. A few other names maybe, but stupid no.

  • That’s the problem. Cubans have not been “electing” anything since 1954. I did live in Cuba, but you don’t have to live there to understand that democratic elections don’t take place in Cuba.

  • Cubans are succeeding beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, just not in Cuba. I think that says it all.

  • Left it better? Have you ever seen Cuba?

  • You don’t see the difference? No, of course you don’t. Bacardi made his money selling rum. You don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Fisel lives his privileged life…and Fidelito….off the sweat of my brow ( when I liv d in Cunb) and the sweat of every Cuban on the island.

  • …tell that to the Cubans who still risk their lives, and in many cases die, trying to get to the US. They obviously don’t agree with you.

  • The conversation is not about Batista. he is dead, dead these many years. He and his cohorts never even came to the US. So, what is there to protest? ….he’s dead!!!! The Castro dictatorship however goes on.

  • Cubans, electing their government? What a hoot! Cuba is a Castro family enterprise. That’s why when Fisel was forced to take a back seat, head appointed his little brother. …and I lived the reality that is Cuba. You can’t BS me. But then again, I’m not your audience, am I?

  • “Vice like grip”. Ha! The days of obvious security are long gone, you’ll see more in the airport flying out of the States than you would see in a month on Cuba.

    There are whole generations of Cubans who see more value in the socialist model than in the one that provided opportunities to render services to rich gringos. Thy would be foolish to swap all their accomplishments for a few MacDonalds and a Wal Mart.

    What they have is an underemployment problem – Cuban brains and talent could empower the next century – in Cuba and abroad.

  • is his yacht anything like the Bacardi’s yacht? I saw the ‘small’ one – all 110 feet of it – with Bacardi Junior aboard – docked In the Mayan Riviera town of Tres Rios. He now flies the flag of the Dominican Republic and the pennant of the Bacardi Empire. ‘The Granma’ is a scow in comparison – merely insignificant. I’m making an assumption that Fidel has upscaled a little?

  • So who should a democracy-loving American laud? Surely not president Obama, or the Bushcos, First or Second. America with its two-party, first past the post, 4 year tenure is among the least democratic places on earth when it comes to the value of the individual citizen.

  • So in which enlightened land to you dwell? Or is your freedom the kind that exists in the soul of all men? There are few places that are truly free. All politics are a form of servitude.

  • The Cubans who live on the island have been electing “their own kind of government” since 1964. Obviously not your kind of government but then you don’t live in Cuba, do you?

  • Happy Birthday to Fidel Castro. in his 90 years he has shared the world stage with some of ‘the greats’ as well as a coterie of boneheads and bozos. He is among the former – who left the world a little better than they found it. He changed Cuba and made it a glowing example of what the peoples’ will can do. It may not be a wealthy land – in comparison to the other ‘ city on the hill’ lit by neon and fired by greed, it is a better place. And can stand proud in the family of nations, a helper rather than source of harm, a builder rather than a destroyer, the friend of all, rather than the ally of few.

    It is said that Fidel cried at his birthday – perhaps he was touched by the affectionate greetings of so many , or perhaps, as his time comes to a close, there are regrets and thoughts of things he might have done differently. But there is no self-pity, for he was taught as a boy that with true contrition and penance, his soul – his most valuable possession will have a place alongside the saints.

    Feliz anno Senior Commandante. Viva Fidel! Hasta la Revolucion siempre!

  • To describe Fidel Castro as a “disciple” of Jose Marti is an undeserved piece of flattery for Castro and an insult to the memory of Jose Marti the ‘Apostle of Cuba’.
    Jose Marti’s concern was not for himself, but for the people of Cuba for whom he sought prosperity saying:
    “Being good is the only way to be free. Being cultured is the only way to be free. With human nature in general however, to be good one has to be prosperous.”
    Marti sought:
    “The welfare and prosperity of all Cubans.”
    Fidel Castro has only sought to hold power over and control the lives of Cubans, he brought them a system of imposed poverty, not prosperity.
    Jose Marti wrote regarding the US and it’s citizens:
    “profound admiration for those many basic liberties and opportunities open to the vast majority of American citizens.”
    Fidel Castro urged Nikita Khruschev to carry out a nuclear strike upon them.

  • For “a democracy-loving American” to constantly laud Fidel and Raul Castro is a contradiction in itself. Although you claim now to be supportive of democracy, you constantly support it’s denial for Cubans.
    To support the Castro denial of freedom of expression by and for Cubans, but to take advantage of your own opportunity for expression is to me and I think to any balanced observer, hypocrisy.
    1) Do you or do you not seek freedom of expression for the people of Cuba?
    2) Do you think that the people of Cuba should have open multi-party elections?
    3) Do you favour freedom of the media for the people of Cuba?
    These Mr. Haney are basic questions, the answers to which will allow all reading here to assess your true colours if you care to honestly respond.
    I cannot speak as an American and have little to no interest in the constant harping by US citizens against the very country which gives them rights denied to Cubans.
    Perhaps it was not intentional on your part to insult Nelson Mandela by lumping him together with Fidel Castro, but there is a clear difference (with Mahatma Gandhi being similar to Mandela) in the pursuit of democracy. When Fidel Castro came to power, he had a clear choice, like Mandela and Gandhi he could have opted for supporting democracy, but in his thirst for power and that over-whelming self-righteousness, he chose communism and then imposed it.
    It was Fidel Castro who deceived the people of Cuba and the rest of the world when he said on the 16th March, 1959:

    “There can be no danger if we do what Cubans want, if we provide social practice and solve the substantial social problems of all Cubans of liberty, of respect for individual rights, of freedom of the press and thought, of democracy, of liberty to select their own government.”

    All of that is in direct contradiction of his subsequent actions!

    You Mr. Haney have a choice, do you support what Fidel Castro said in March 1959, or his subsequent actions? There is a clear difference and a clear choice.

  • In my “lexicon” it is STUPID to suggest that being squarely anti-CASTRO means that I am pro-Batista. Your ability to “fathom anything is an entirely different subject.

  • Seeing as Batista is dead and gone these many years, I think it’s fair to say he is no longer relevant to the conversation. These pages are about the Cuba that exists today, and that Cuba, for better or worse, is a creation of the Castro regime, now in power almost 60 years!

    Your attempt to frame the debate as an “ether – or”, Castro or Batista, is a non starter. We don’t have to begin every comment with a declaration of our hate for Batista.

    How about this exercise…..go ahead and show us where any of us have ever approved, explicitly or implicitly with Batista.

  • You accuse me of being “hypocritical” when you well know I don’t “justify” or “support” Castro but, as a democracy-loving American, I resent right-wing extremists, foreign or domestic, hiding behind the skirts of the U. S. government to engage in such things as teaming with the Mafia to support a brutal dictatorship in Cuba, assassination attempts against Cuban leaders, the Bay of Pigs attack that the U. S. shamefully tried to disguise, the bombing of the civilian Cubana Flight 455 airplane, and a vast array of undemocratic laws designed to enrich Cuban exiles and severely punish Cubans on the island in the guise of “hurting Castro.” Thus, your typical Castro obsession is not mine, either pro-or-anti. My obsessions, when it comes to Cuba, are the defamation of America’s democracy {and that 191-to-2 UN vote} and the punishment of totally innocent Cubans as a means to supposedly hurt the Castro phenomenon that survived all those assassination attempts, the Bay of Pigs attack, etc., making him a revolutionary hero in the eyes of human rights icons like Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Pope Francis, etc., and inspiring multiple democratically elected Latin American Presidents, etc. As far as I’m concerned, it would be fine with me if Castro’s enemies hadn’t made him an international legend and instead let him just be a local lawyer in Santiago de Cuba unknown to the rest of the world.

  • I guess in your lexicon, Moses, anyone who criticizes Batista is “stupid.” If indeed you have “anti-Batista” protestations, I have yet to fathom them.

  • I am whole-heartedly anti-CASTRO and also anti-Batista dictatorship as well. Your “either/or” assumption is stupid. I am pro-Cuban which means I support open and independent elections in Cuba and an independent media. Real democracy will allow Cubans, for the first time since 1952, an opportunity to choose for themselves what kind of government they want. Sending Shaq to Cuba is yet another meaningless gesture in the normalizing of relations between the US and Cuba.

  • Any born since August 13th 1926 and are now deceased. But if you were to slightly amend the question to ask how many US Presidents has he personally known, I think only Richard Nixon. The record is held by Queen Elizabeth II who has personally met every US President including and following Franklin D. Roosevelt. She as you probably know, is older than Fidel and still carries out a full days work having been fortunate enough to have had a stronger constitution than Fidel and full retention of her mental faculties. Her mother lived to 101. Elizabeth incidentally in 1938 met Joachim Ribbentrop Hitler’s Foreign Minister and who was executed at Nuremburg.

  • I despise all dictators whether of the left or right Mr. Haney. I do so because I favour freedom of the individual, freedom of the media, freedom of expression and freedom for people to make their own decisions rather than being controlled throughout their lives by totalitarian political systems.
    I realize that by dragging in Batista and the Mafia you are endeavoring to justify your support of the Castro family dictatorship, but it is of no avail, for it has nothing whatever to do with any views that I have expressed about the oppressive regime which you in your comfort living in the free western capitalist world enjoy whilst pontificating about how others ought to have to suffer repression.
    You Mr. Haney are hypocritical when using the freedom of expression permitted here and throughout the free capitalist world. I say that with justification for you support the Castro dictatorship and heap praise upon Fidel and Raul. Let me remind you that it was Fidel Castro who complained when the people of Czechoslovakia rose up against communist oppression in 1968 and when criticizing Alexander Dubcek by saying:

    ” Certain measures were taken such as the establishment of a bourgeois form of freedom of the press. This means the counterrevolution and the exploiters, the very enemies of socialism, were granted the right to speak and write freely against socialism.”

    You as an adherent to such views obviously wish that I and all others who detest the Castro dictatorship could be censored and not permitted to express our views, but whereas prevention of the right of expression is imposed in Cuba, you cannot stop it here.

  • The anti-Castro propagandists in the U. S. since January 1, 1959 have used the “evilness” of Fidel as their means of promoting the “sweetness” of the Batista-Mafia dictatorship he chased to the U. S. long ago and, even more amazingly, has kept them there. It is interesting, I believe, that such anti-Fidel proselytizing continues full-bore after all these decades even in the final week of June-2016 with Shaquille O’Neal arriving in Cuba as the State Department’s Sports Envoy who will try to assure the Cuban people Americans don’t hate them or threaten them. My, my!! Any kind gesture from the U. S. to the Cuban people always seems to spawn even more vitriol from the anti-Fidel propagandists. He will indeed turn 90 on August 13th but he is not likely to reach 100. What then? The Batista-Mafia promoters will, I reckon, have to adjust their self-serving, proselytizing rhetoric. Right, Carlyle?

  • How Many U.S. Presidents has he outlived?

  • You must be joking.
    It is Raul Castro who was first to openly embrace communism before he dropped out of the University of Havana and when he visited the USSR in April 1953, three months prior to the failed raid upon the Moncado Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Raul has clarified that there will be no change in the vice-like grip which he and the supporting Communist Party of Cuba exert upon the people of Cuba.
    The clarification by Barrack Obama made on March 21st, 2016, that ‘change’ will have to occur within Cuba prior to US policy changing and that reciprocity is required was rejected outright in the letter of March 28th purported to have been written by Fidel Castro, but more probably by the Propaganda Department of the PCC and read in full on Mesa Redondo at 7.00 p.m. that evening, followed by Bruno Rodriguez Carilles in a speech on the 29th March, 2016 stating that there would be no reciprocity clarifies the position.
    Raul has appointed (annointed) Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez to be his successor in 2018 when he retires. Diaz-Canel is a hard-core communist
    The greatest political myth being promoted by the media is that there is undefined change taking place in Cuba. That can only be described as clever political manipulation by Raul Castro and only the ill-informed can accept it. For Cubans seeking to have a quiet life, the requirements are:

    Don’t challenge the system, accept it, stay mute and exist.

  • Cuba? nah, they are actually communists and will probably turn into a capitalist nation once Castro dies due to his brother Raul.

  • I am highly entertained by the expressed view of:
    “Fidel, the father of all Cuba’s Children.”
    By my count he only had about a dozen with four being born to four different women in his record year of 1956 after he left for Mexico, but leaving his seed behind him.
    Francisca (known as Panchita)
    Fidel Angel (Fidelito)
    Jorge Angel
    Adidas have never disclosed the fee that Fidel is paid for wearing their promotional clothing as above, but he changed to more appropriate dress when sailing aboard his yacht.
    I hope that the Castro family regime and the Communist Party of Cuba will include in their multitude of ceremonies and events, a moment of silence.
    Silence for those whose lives were sacrificed by Fidel Castro in pursuit of personal power following his initial fear installing statement of January 21st, 1959:
    “Besides the number of hencemen we are going to execute will not be more that four hundred.”
    Cuban archival materials document 3,615 executions by firing squad since Fidel Castro took power on January 1, 1959, with an additional 1,253 extra judicial killings attributed to his regime.”
    I hope that the celebrations will recall the services of the non-communists who participated in the revolution to depose Batista and subsequently disappeared as in the case of Camilo Cienfuegos or were imprisoned as in the case of Huber Matos.
    No doubt his fellow Jesuit, the Pope, will offer a prayer for the soul of a man who has never accepted the right of others to freedom, who has never accepted the concept of a free press, who has never shown mercy, who has pursued persecution, who pursued nuclear conflict and who has only ever demonstrated an arrogant pursuit of personal power. History will certainly not absolve him for his actions.

  • Sounds like North Korea

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