Thursday, August 13, 2009

Enciclopedia de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro Web
4:07PM NZT
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Happy Birthday Fidel Castro
11:30AM Friday Aug 14, 2009
By AP Writer Andrea Rodriguez

HAVANA, Cuba - Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, second from left, with delegation from Pastors for Peace. Photo / AP and IFCO/Pastors for Peace

Related links:
Castro lets dissident travel to Argentina
IFCO/Pastors of Peace: Meeting with Castro
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HAVANA, Cuba — Former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro is celebrating his 83rd birthday. He was born 13 August 1926.

Castro marked this year's birthday with an essay on the global economic crisis, climate change and immigration that headlined Cuban newspapers.

In the essay, Castro criticizes the US, Canada and Mexico for failing to resolve problems affecting Mexican immigration to the US, as well as Canada's decision to impose new visa requirements on Mexicans.

Castro has published scores of essays, titled "Reflections," in state newspapers, including three this month.

Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma, has published congratulatory letters to Castro from three convicted Cuban spies serving time in US prisons. "We will never stop being the proud heirs of your work," the headline read.

Cuba's government organized no official events, but Communist youth groups sang "Happy Birthday" at rallies across the island.

The founder of a New York-based church group that opposes the US embargo of Cuba recently met Castro. Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. of Pastors for Peace told The Associated Press he recently met Castro for several hours at a Havana-area home while he was in Cuba.

"He looked good, like he had gained weight, was sharp and articulate. I hadn't seen him for three or four years," Walker said.

Castro ceded power to his brother, Raul, after he fell ill three years ago and has not been seen in public since.

He stepped down as president in February 2008.

- AP

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