Cuba announced today that interim leader Raul Castro will give this week’s Revolution Day address.
The defence minister continues to assume his older brother Fidel’s previous roles, consolidating a caretaker rule that increasingly looks permanent.
The announcement on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma doused the few remaining hopes among Fidel Castro’s ardent supporters that he could make a surprise appearance as the nation’s leadership prepares to celebrate Revolution Day, the armed July 26, 1953, attack on the Moncada military barracks in eastern Cuba that launched the revolution.
Although the assault failed, and many militants died, the rebels went on to oust dictator Fulgencio Batista six years later.
Granma said about 100,000 people will attend Raul Castro’s speech, starting early tomorrow in the central-eastern provincial capital of Camaguey, and that it would be carried live on state television and radio.
Although the ailing 80-year-old Fidel traditionally has presided over the annual Revolution Day celebration, Raul has delivered the key July 26 addresses at least twice, most recently in 1997.