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Updated: August 13, 2011 11:23 IST

Cuba celebrates Fidel Castro's 85th birthday

Xinhua
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A painting depicting Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, by late Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin, is seen during an exhibit in Havana on August 12, 2011. Artists and admirers of Fidel Castro celebrated his 85th birthday starting Friday.
AP A painting depicting Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, by late Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin, is seen during an exhibit in Havana on August 12, 2011. Artists and admirers of Fidel Castro celebrated his 85th birthday starting Friday.

A grand gala was held Friday night to celebrate former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday.

The former leader did not show up, neither did his brother and current leader Raul Castro, nor Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who finished his chemotherapy here Friday.

Twenty—two Cuban artists and eight from other Latin American countries performed at the “Song of Loyalty” gala held at the Karl Marx Theatre, the country’s largest with 5,000 seats. Several Latin American cultural and political figures attended the event, including Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Tomas Borge, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, and Cuban government officials and intellectuals.

Mr. Fidel Castro started handing over power to his younger brother Raul in 2006 after falling ill and undergoing surgery for a serious intestinal condition, but he keeps writing editorials on issues of world interest.

Mr. Fidel confirmed in April that he would no longer be part of the top leadership of the Cuban Communist Party.

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