Castro Absent From His 85th Birthday Party

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HAVANA, Aug. 13 (UPI) — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was conspicuously absent from his 85th birthday party in Havana, officials said.

Musicians and dancers across Latin America paid tribute to the former Cuban leader with a concert at Karl Mark Theater in Havana Saturday, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Castro has been in poor health for the past few years and rarely appears in public, CBS4 in Miami said.

The Guayasamin Foundation organized the party. It featured 22 artists from Cuba and seven other countries.

Castro survived a near-fatal intestinal illness in 2006, forcing him to relinquish power to his 80-year-old brother, Raul. He permanently renounced his presidency in 2008.

Castro seemed unsteady when he made a rare appearance at a Communist Party Congress in April, walking to his chair with the help of an aide, the report said.

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