Cuba celebrates Castro's 79th birthday

Associated Press
Published August 14, 2005

HAVANA - Cuba honored President Fidel Castro's 79th birthday Saturday, revisiting his nearly five decades in power on the communist island with tributes in state-run newspapers and documentaries.

Dozens of Cuban children danced and cut an enormous blue-and-white cake for Castro - the world's longest-ruling head of government - while front pages bore his photo and loving words.

"We celebrate as your own, with the affection and immense admiration that children feel for the most noble, wise and brave father," a letter said on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma.

Signed "your people," the letter called the president the "dearly loved Fidel" and highlighted his "special sensitivity for others" and "guerrilla spirit of just ideals."

A documentary shown in an Old Havana theater Saturday displayed some of Castro's public speeches, from his assumption of power in early 1959, through the Cuban Missile Crisis and fall of the Berlin Wall, to more recent remarks in support of socialism against the alleged threats of superpowers like the U.S.