Cuba celebrates 50 years of revolution

Jan. 1, 2009 at 10:46 AM

HAVANA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Cubans Thursday commemorated the 50th anniversary of the revolution that brought former leader Fidel Castro to power.

Festivities marking half a century of Communist rule in Cuba will include a series of free concerts throughout the Caribbean island, the BBC reported.

Celebrations, however, will be much more subdued than originally planned as Cuba is still suffering the ill effects of three major storms earlier this year that caused an estimated $10 billion in damage.

Cuban leader Raul Castro -- Fidel's younger brother -- is scheduled to address Cubans from the southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba, where Fidel first claimed victory of the U.S. -backed Cuban dictatorship in 1959.

U.S. officials spoke out against the Cuban leadership ahead of Thursday's anniversary.

"The Castro brothers have not treated their people particularly well," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Wednesday.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Fidel Castro
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm