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.

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