'El Comandante', Cuba's Fidel Castro, has celebrated his 89th birthday with an editorial reflecting on U.S. policy in the ''cruel war'' of WWII -- a day before the American flag is to fly in Havana once more. Gavino Garay reports.
It's expected to be a momentous day in Havana. Tomorrow, with final preparations complete, the United States will raise its flag outside the American embassy for the first time in more than 50 years. It'll come the day after another celebration in Cuba - the 89th birthday of former president and long time US nemesis, Fidel Castro. For ordinary Cubans like Sergio Suarez, Castro is still a hero. SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HAVANA RESIDENT, SERGIO SUAREZ, SAYING: "Our Comandante has been a father for Cuba and the entire world. Historically, he has been a man - since he was born, today, he turns 89 years old - he has been an honest man and all that he has done has been for the social well-being of Cuba and the rest of the world." ...and Castro is not celebrating his birthday quietly. Cubana TV broadcast an editorial written by Castro, criticizing historic US foreign policy..and praising Cuba. SOUNDBITE) (English) NEWS PRESENTER, EDUARDO MORA, READS FIDEL CASTRO'S, : "We never stop fighting for the peace and welfare of all human beings." But the rift that opened between Havana and Washington half a century ago is beginning to heal..at least on a political level. That process takes another step forward tomorrow morning when US Secretary of State John Kerry will symbolically hoist the U.S. flag inside the embassy compound, marking the restoration of diplomatic relations between the former foes.