Happy Birthday, Fidel


Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro celebrated his 83rd birthday on Thursday, August 13. Castro spent his birthday out of the public eye but with an essay on the global economic crisis, climate change and immigration that headlined Cuban newspapers. In it, he criticized President Barack Obama and the leaders of Canada and Mexico for failing to resolve problems affecting Mexican immigration to the United States and 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. A visitor to Cuba who met with Castro recently said Castro “talked about how happy and pleased he is to be able to do his writing, a passion that might have been somewhat limited before because of the day-to-day responsibilities as president.”

Cuba’s Communist Party newspaper, Granma, published congratulatory letters to Castro Thursday from three convicted Cuban spies serving time in U.S. 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.

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