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Cuba holds celebrations, exhibits to honor Fidel Castro

Reporter: Michael Voss 丨 CCTV.com

08-14-2014 15:53 BJT

Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro turned 88 on Wednesday. He’s the last of the leaders from the Cold War and remains a controversial figure...an icon of the left, admired in much of the developing world as a champion of the poor-- yet reviled by others, as well as being a thorn in the side of Cuba’s giant neighbor, the United States. Castro’s birthday is traditionally a low-key affair. But this year was marked by several events as CCTV correspondent in Havana, Michael Voss, reports. 

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Birthday greetings Cuban style. This free open-air concert by big name band, Buena Fe, was dedicated to the island’s former leader Fidel Castro who turned 88 on Wednesday. Almost no one attending was alive when Fidel Castro led his revolution back in 1959, and some only have vague memories of him before he stepped down 8 years ago.

Yet for many he remains their Commandante, their Commander. "This was a man who fought and put his life in danger for the Revolution. It’s emotional and I’d like to wish him happy birthday," this man told me. "Fidel is not young but he’s really young at heart, so he inspires us," this woman said.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

This is an exhibition, not of Fidel in his prime, but of some of the rare public appearances he has made in recent years since he became ill and had to give up the presidency.

All of the pictures were taken by one of Fidel Castro’s personal photographers who has followed him for almost 25 years.

"We need to preserve all the images so that future generations can see Fidel as we knew him and not the Fidel which some media try to portray," Castro photographer Roberto Chile said.

Fidel Castro remains as controversial as ever. In a recent newspaper article he called the Israeli bombing of Gaza a Palestinian Holocaust and blamed Ukraine for shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The only recent pictures of Fidel Castro are of him playing host to visiting world leaders. Those who have met him say that physically he is frail but mentally, he’s alert and can still talk at great length of events taking place around the world.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

Fidel Castro’s birthday was also marked by the opening of a photo exhibition which drew crowds of both young and old alike, including some who’d fought beside him during the revolution.

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