Carnivals held in Havana to mark 90th birthday of Fidel Castro

Several thousand Cubans enjoyed traditional carnivals in Havana on August 13, to celebrate the 90th birthday of revolutionary leader and former President Fidel Castro.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Emilia Diaz, Havana Resident
“This carnival is dedicated to the birthday of our Commander in Chief, whom we have to follow with honor and dignity. The commander is always leading us and we follow behind him.”

The festivities took place for two weekends in run along the emblematic Malecon, including parades of float and band, dance companies, salsa groups and various cuisines.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Armando Gonzalez, Havana Resident
“Who will be better, and what will be the better way to pay tribute to a struggle that he has led through, not only in politics, but also with popular culture. He has always taught us how to safeguard the most important thing, which is the people.”

This time, 17 groups competed for the annual Carnival Prize, including the University Students Federation, the winner last year.

Meanwhile, dozens of similar activities were held across the country on the day to mark the anniversary.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Santa Arias, Havana Resident
“No one deserves it than he does. Actually, he deserves more. If we could do more, we would do it. All Cubans today wish him good health. He has done enough for our people.”

Leading the Cuban Revolution all the way through, Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-supported dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

He faced the United States for decades and built a socialist model that marked the history of the 20th century in Latin America and other developing countries.

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