Cuba’s Fidel Castro Turns 86

Fidel Castro in February of this year at the Cuba International Book Fair. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Fidel Castro turns 86 on Monday August 13, in a stage of his life where he seldom appears in public.

After a remarkable recovery from delicate surgery and near death in 2006, the man who governed Cuba for nearly a half century still writes newspaper columns, which are also read word for word on national television.

His most recent article was published on June 19.

Raul Castro, 81, officially took over the reins of power after his election by the Council of State in 2008. His older brother Fidel became his chief advisor.


8 thoughts on “Cuba’s Fidel Castro Turns 86

  • Lest we get too warm and fuzzy, we must remember how truly tyrannical Fidel was in maintaining his grip on power in Cuba. We should also be careful to remind ourselves that not just by the strength of his personality (which manifested itself in self-promoting 4 hour speeches) but also with billions of dollars worth of Soviet, and later Venezuelan subsidies was he able to remain in control for as long as he did. His fiery rhetoric and fist-pounding notwithstanding, he would not have survived without significant foreign money. Oh yea, and just before we start building the monuments, keep in mind his many failures whose price was paid by the Cuban people. OK, but now you are thinking “what about the embargo?” Rather, than take that as a hint that maybe he should rethink this whole anti-imperialism thing, he used it as a hitching post to unite the Cuban people behind him. I never said he was stupid, only tyrannical. He should get style points for his political shrewdness but as for his sympathy for the suffering of the Cuban people, that is entirely another story…

  • I don’t want to get into a debate with Grady. available on amazon. the private life of chairman mao. doctor li zhi-sui. so are we going to have a use by date on grady’s mount rushmore of great socialists now that grady has criticised all the candidates? it is true that mao got rid of cash my check who many considered a puppet. The Long March by Sun Shuyun, a modern history of mao’s revolutionary struggle, warts and all.

  • Yes, Mao was a socialist, and a great socialist revolutionary leader. His leadership broke the back of foreign domination and ended the semi-feudalism of a great but desperately poor nation. His great failing was the same as that of Lenin, Ho and Fidel: He tried to implement the Marxian perversion of socialism as state monopoly ownership.

    The same great failing afflicted other socialist leaders, including Trotsky and Stalin. Both of these men also were Marxian state monopolists. Neither, so far as I know–certainly not Leon Trotsky–ever had a good word to say about worker-owned cooperatives.

  • !HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FIDEL! Has it been 86 years??!! Seems like only yesterday I saw Edward R. Murrow interview you, and your young son Fidelito, in your suite at the Habana Hilton (now Libre) Hotel shortly after after your columns marched into Habana. You were then 32.. How quickly time passes when you’re having fun! All-in-all, History WILL absolve you, and Cuba has been lucky to have had you as its leader!

  • Mao a socialist? What a fancy idea. Tens of millions died because he had too much power having been the last emperor of China. State ownership of the land in China or rather ownership by the emperor was already practice among the first emperors with everyone else being just subject to their whims.

  • Happy Birthday, Fidel!

    If there were a “Mount Rushmore” for genuine socialist revolutionary leaders, your face would be up there in granite with Lenin, Mao and Ho.

  • cuba won it’s wars with genuine foreign aid. note that the afghan war is not going well. the forgain aid is going to the rich and not the poor. cuban foreign aid was agricultural, medical and educational.

  • happy birthday, fidel. scientific american predicts food and fuel price rises for the next 20 years and it won’t stop there with global warming and population increases. at present, there is drought in america and food prices are rising all over the world, even in australia which is a big food exporter. next year it may be india, china, brasil or argentina or europa. the cuban government should set the example to other counties and invest in agriculture or there will be hunger like in the early years of the special period. food prices will double in bad years. dry land or mountain rice may be the place to start. i have warned of this coming situation with comments in the past. hey, i want some cheap food the next time that i come to cuba !!!

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