Fidel Attends Gala Honoring Him on His 90th Birthday

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August 14, 2016
Fidel Attends Gala Honoring Him on His 90th Birthday
by Stephen Lendman
Saturday on the occasion of beginning his 10th decade, Fidel Castro made an unexpected appearance with his brother Raul (current Cuban President) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at Havana’s Karl Marx theater.
Thousands attending the nationally televised event in his honor gave him a standing ovation, chanting “Fidel, Fidel, Fidel…Congratulations father.”
He witnessed a children’s theater company musical tribute, accompanied by video highlights of his decades of service to the Cuban people – delivering social justice Americans can’t even imagine, why he’s so widely revered worldwide.
In written comments, he “express(ed) (his) deepest gratitude for the show of respect, greeting and praise (he’s) received in recent days, which gave (him) strength to reciprocate with ideas that (he) will send to party (officials) and relevant organizations.”
He praised “(m)odern medical techniques (for) allow(ing) him to scrutinize the universe” for so long. He last appeared in April at Cuba’s Communist Party Congress, urging its officials to stick with their revolutionary socialist ideals and not be distracted by Obama’s disingenuous call for normalizing ties.
The US president’s March visit was marred by offensively meeting with dissidents, challenging governance the vast majority of Cubans support.
He failed to end over a half century of lawless embargo – as head of state able to do it without congressional authorization.
Jack Kennedy formalized embargo in 1962 by executive order, using the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) as authorization.
It prohibits trade with US enemies – defined as “any individual (or) government of any nation” at war with America.
Cuba isn’t a US enemy as defined under TWEA. Neither country declared war on the other. No legal authority exists for applying TWEA to US/Cuban relations.
Obama by executive order can rescind illegal embargo regulations. He can normalize US/Cuban relations with a stroke of his pen.
He could have made his visit truly historic. Instead, it’ll be remembered as little more than an asterisk in US-Cuban relations, a failure to do the right thing – providing little hope for meaningfully improved ties ahead, just the false appearance disguising America’s imperial aims.
Fidel is too wise to be fooled. A dozen US presidents failed to oust him. Days after Obama’s visit, he said “we don’t need the empire to give us anything.”
Cuba under Fidel and now Raul Castro foiled over half a century of US efforts to return the country to client state status – wanting its resources stolen, its people exploited, the same intent against all sovereign independent nations worldwide, color revolutions or wars its strategies of choice.
When new leaders succeed Fidel and Raul one day, hopefully they’ll continue the noble tradition that freed Cuba from imperial dominance – a scourge vital to prevent from ever happening again.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.