Fidel Castro Writes to Cubans on His 89th Birthday

Fidel Castro in his most recent public appearance in July, 2015.
Fidel Castro in his most recent public appearance in July, 2015.  Photo: Estudios Revolución

HAVANA TIMES — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, celebrating his 89th birthday on Thursday, is on the front page of the official Granma newspaper and heading all news programs to remind everyone of the damage caused Cuba by the United States and the “due compensation” the island deserves.

His message comes a day before the visit of US Secretary of State, John Kerry for the reopening of the US embassy in Havana.

Cuba is owed many millions of dollars in compensation, wrote Castro in reference to the island’s claims related to damages sustained from the half century US embargo on the island.

Under the historic rapprochement with the United States, Fidel’s brother and current president, Raul Castro, has previously demanded the payment of compensation as a condition for full normalization of bilateral relations. The US, on the other hand, wants Cuba to compensate US companies nationalized in the early years of the revolution.

In his new “reflection”, Fidel Castro also criticized the historical role of the US as a world power, recalling the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago.

“The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing, that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world, is what I wish for all,” wrote the historic Cuban leader his text entitled “Reality and Dreams“.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over the ceremony Friday to officially reopen the US embassy in Havana, with the hoisting of the flag of the bars and stars at the building located opposite the emblematic Malecón seawall.

The US and Cuba resumed their diplomatic relations on July 20 after half a century of rupture and ideological confrontation. The Cuban embassy officially reopened its doors that day in Washington in a ceremony headed by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The historic thaw between the two countries was announced unexpectedly on December 17, 2014 by Raul Castro and Barack Obama. Washington and Havana then negotiated for six months on the conditions to reopen their embassies closed in 1961.


35 thoughts on “Fidel Castro Writes to Cubans on His 89th Birthday

  • August 16, 2015 at 8:39 am
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    She, he, (they?) …..simply an agent provocateur.

  • August 16, 2015 at 1:02 am
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    No, it has held power and control as a dictatorship without open elections for 56 years. If the people of the US fail to support change in their constitution that is there business, but this is not about the US it is about Cuba!

  • August 16, 2015 at 12:59 am
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    As an oppressive dictator – mark my better informed words!

  • August 16, 2015 at 12:56 am
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    Until three years ago, Cubans were not allowed to stay in the hotels at the beaches. You obviously know little about the reality of Cuba. My wife and I entered a well known hotel to the east of Havana for lunch one day. We sat down at a table near the bar, thinking that we would have a drink prior to lunch. Security appeared within two minutes to ask my wife who is black, if she was Cuban? Upon her answering “yes” she was instructed to leave. When I protested, I was asked if I was a Cuban, when I responded that no, I was Canadian, I was told I could stay.
    My response was to take out and open my wallet displaying a considerable amount of CUC’s – a huge sum to a Cuban, and to say that I too was leaving and taking my money with me.
    So don’t swallow any nonsense about Fidel Castro Ruz being concerned about Cubans accessing the preserves of the rich! Remember that there are contrIbuters to the Havana Times who know the reality of Cuba!
    Fidel Castro Ruz himself has a two island retreat joined by a bridge with facilities appropriate for a rich dictator. Cubans are not invited!

  • August 16, 2015 at 12:42 am
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    I did not even mention the USA! There are over 200 countries in the world. Try to get over your myopic views. As I suggested previously if your purpose is merely to berate the USA, then try another blog!

  • August 16, 2015 at 12:36 am
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    What Is the relevance of restrictions placed by the US Government upon its citizens to the Cuban people wishing for freedom? The Havana Times is about Cuba and Cubans. Get on a different blog if you merely wish to berate the US.
    Finally it is in extremely bad taste to make an implied joke of those Cubans who have risked their lives in endeavoring to achieve freedom by rafting to the US – many of them died in their endeavors!
    Would you have their courage?

  • August 16, 2015 at 12:28 am
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    Put bluntly: Balderdash!
    The preamble about “americans” is irrelevant and the statement that Cubans love the Castros is baseless.
    Only one part is correct, that is that Cubans love their country, so do I and I love our home community there, respecting the actual views of Cubans – hence I can state that the Cubans do not love the Castros.
    Many however after 56 years of propaganda put out in the schools on TV, in the Communist Party newspapers and on hoardings across the country by the Propaganda Department of the Commmunist Party of Cuba, think of Fidel Castro (not Raul) as a sort of non present giving Father Christmas and Che Guevara as the equivalent of Robin Hood. But when asked, they invariably would like a multi-party political system (not US two party system), freedom of expression and freedom of information.

  • August 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm
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    Batista and his henchmen fled to Danto Domingo and from their to Portugal. He, and his money, did not come to the U.S. Does that answer your question.

    ….besides, that was almost 55 years ago. Is that all you Castro supporters can come up with? You drag out the dead cat to bet up on time and time again.

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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    ….and still they come! …..says a lot about Cuba, and the USA.

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    No, the Castro family regime took power at the end of a gun barrel, never held elected office, and has never given up power, unlike the other names you mentioned.

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm
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    On that we agree! Hahaha

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm
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    Actually that is not true. Only recently have Cubans been given some access, but even then an economic apartheid exists that keeps Cubans from enjoying the places where rich foreigners go. Only recently average Cubans were not allowed to step foot into these establishments. So what is it Rose, are you counting on that American ignorance you spoke about in another comment so you can get away with your outrageous comment?

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:18 pm
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    Yes….but the reality is that Cubans are the ones who risk their lives leaving Cuba, not the other way around.

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm
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    The problem with Castro supporters is that they ignore reality…and history. If the Cuban people really love the Castros why don’t they allow real elections, free and open elections? Why the sham? In this case it’s Those same Americans, who don’t understand history, in this case the history of the Cuban revolution, who think the Cuban people wholeheartedly support Castro.

  • August 15, 2015 at 8:06 am
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    fidel castral will go down in history. mark my words.

  • August 15, 2015 at 8:04 am
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    good comment. castro could not stand the cuban people not swimming on the good beaches because they were held by rich americans and he was determined to change that. today cubans swim with everyone ele.

  • August 15, 2015 at 8:00 am
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    is the castro family regime like the bush family regime or the kennedy family regime. or clinton.

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:59 am
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    improve what living standards. immigrants are being held in detention cells in the usa, one guy just died after being locked up for three years. now some are suing the usa government because their human rights have been denied.

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:57 am
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    what is freedom. americans are not allowed to travel to cuba. maybe they should get on rafts and just sale out.

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:55 am
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    rich. well said. the trouble with most americans is they dont read. there are more crazies in american politics than castro ever was. cubans love their country. and they love the castros.

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:13 am
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    I do not disagree with anything you point out in your reply, Carlyle. My passion is for democracy and everyday Cubans on the island. I don’t like to see innocent people punished for economic, political, or revenge reasons.

  • August 14, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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    I can vouch for the view of many young Cubans today because my home is in Cuba where I have daily contact with people of all age groups.
    I have repeatedly in these columns expressed my view that the US embargo is counter-productive as it serves as an excuse by the Castro family regime for all their mistakes and incompetence.
    I have also expressed my view that a revolution was required in Cuba to turf out the people you listed.
    I also expressed the view that if – as he promised – Fidel Castro Ruz had after a period of autocratic rule held multi party democratic elections, he could have gone down in history along with Nelson Mandela and Ghandi. But he chose otherwise and Cuba went from one dictator to having another. Fortunately the dictatorship of Batista was relatively brief and unfortunately that of Fidel prolonged – with his little brother Raul being appointed to extend it.
    One can be in support of the people of Cuba and love the country of Cuba without selecting between two evil dictatorships. My hope is that eventually, the people of Cuba will have the opportunity to experience liberty and freedom.
    Yes, I agree that the history of the US in it’s relations with the rest of the Americas is pretty bad from the Monroe Doctrine onwards. But you should understand that in this world there are better political alternatives to those of the one party family dictatorship as exemplified by North Korea, Syria and Cuba and the two party US system. A free Cuba could wisely reject both and opt for a multi-party system based upon that of the Mother of Parliaments. It works better than any other system.
    As for Mother Teresa, I know of nobody who seeks to promote her except the Catholic Church.
    Batista is dead.
    Lansky is dead
    The US Embargo is in the opinion of your elected President, a failure.
    Raking about in the cinders of history is for academics, but there are those of us interested in the future of Cuba and for those of us who have family in the country, the future of Cubans.
    Clear your mind and look forwards!

  • August 14, 2015 at 7:52 am
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    He’s a lucky wacko.

  • August 14, 2015 at 2:34 am
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    That’s some vouching, Carlyle MacDuff. But, perhaps, you should vouch for the end of the embargo and other hostilities unfairly leveled at a small country from a large country that perhaps should not have teamed with the Mafia to support a cruel dictatorship, which spawned a little revolution. Besmirching the “Castro family regime” while you’re preaching to the choir is easy, but defending democracy by pointing out that Batista and Lansky were not exactly angels seems to be beyond your reach. Why not admit that the Batista-Lansky-Mafia rule constituted a “regime” that had zero concern for the welfare of everyday Cubans. Cubans on the island should predicate Cuba’s future, not self-proclaimed Mother Teresa-types in another country.

  • August 14, 2015 at 2:21 am
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    I’m pro-democracy, not pro-Castro, but if Fidel Castro was the “bad guy” and the “wacko” you spend eons proclaiming he is, how has he survived to celebrate his 89th birthday yesterday riding around Havana in a van with two Latin American presidents? Anti-Castro zealots and pro-Batista fanatics continue to make the U. S. democracy resemble a Banana Republic. But, Moses, tell us how that old bad wacko guy has survived the legions of brilliant good guys and geniuses who have tried to eliminate him, in democracy’s name, for six decades utilizing the assets of a superpower. Remember, unlike the Batistianos, he actually did run to the front-lines in the Sierra Maestra, the Bay of Pigs, etc.,, not to safe havens where he could hide behind a superpower and hurl revengeful grenades back at a much smaller nation. At least give him a little credit for surviving the most assassination attempts, as registered by the Guinness Book of World Records. I think he was about 620 attempts ahead of the second place man.

  • August 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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    The Castro family regime believes that unto those that hath power shall be given.
    Fidel Castro pursued the old socialist doctrine: Everybody equal except me and I’m in charge.
    I can vouch that many of today’s youth in Cuba still have hopes, hope for freedom, hope for the opportunity to develop their talents, hope to be able to provide a better life for their children.

  • August 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm
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    Castro’s socialism is a perfect example of just how good government controls on a cash economy.

  • August 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm
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    Fidel is always looking for a handout. This call for compensation for the “effects” of the embargo is nothing new. We have embargoed or imposed sanctions on a handful of bad guys over the years. Nearly all requested compensation once the embargo or sanctions were lifted. Here’s how much taxpayer money has been paid to these wackos. …. $0.00.

  • August 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    How about the hundreds of millions the former dictator embezzled and the millions of ill-gotten monies his supporters flew the coop with to Miami.Not to mention the back-taxes the Bastitianos evaded under the tutelage of the Batista/Lansky/Mafia regime that ran Cuba.

  • August 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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    I believe about $180 million dollars. But may be less according to value they declared on tax returns filed in 1960.

  • August 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm
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    How about the millions of lives the dictator had destroyed? Does the dictatorship going to compasete the families of those that die in the sea escaping the Socialist Paradise, the victims of the concentration camps (UMAP) and those who lost the youth with false hopes? Just wondering.

  • August 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm
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    Not sure how accurate this is…..”There are currently an estimated 4,500 companies from more than 100 countries that “do business in the Republic of Cuba” within such categories as importing to, exporting from, providing services to, or having investments within the Republic of Cuba.” http://www.cubatrade.org/nonus.html
    For more than 50 years Mr. Castro has proclaimed the U.S. and capitalism as evil. He vowed never do business with the U.S. until we denounced capitalism and embraced socialism. How will he spin the story to the devout followers that have supported the revolution I wonder? Oh, yes, “let’s forget about what I said ten thousand times in my speeches and instead shift the blame onto the U.S. for the embargo.” That will work!
    May God help the Cuban people who only want freedom and a better life for them and their family.

  • August 13, 2015 at 11:34 am
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    “REALITY and DREAMS”
    For the people of Cuba the reality is as Fidel enters his ninetieth year an average income per man woman and child of 33 cents (US) per day. Such is the success of Fidel’s 56 years of “Socialismo”. for the subjugated people.
    The dream for many Cubans is to emigrate from the communist paradise created by Fidel and for others, the opportunity through a change to the capitalist system, to be able to use their talents to improve their living standards and provide a better life for their children.
    For Fidel Castro who despite his claim of January 2, 1959: “I do not seek power and I will not accept it.” did seek power and control and achieved both, the reality and the dream are synonymous.
    Felicidades Fidel.

  • August 13, 2015 at 11:11 am
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    Does anyone have any idea of how the estimated US$1trillion in damages suffered by the Cuban economy since 1960 lines up against the total of claims by people whose properties were taken by the Revolution ?
    A fair way to settle this would be to subtract the smaller figure from the larger and have that amount paid to the party with the larger total damages.

  • August 13, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    how about all the millions of dollars that he owes u.s.a after confiscating their property ,not only that but how about all the millions of dollars that he owes the Cuban people

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