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Fidel Castro Turns 82


Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has turned 82 years old.

The former president marked his birthday privately Wednesday. Mr. Castro has not been seen in public in more than two years.

In July 2006, he underwent emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding and ceded power to his younger brother, Raul, on what was then a provisional basis. After nearly a half-century in power, Mr. Castro permanently stepped down in February and Raul Castro was formally named president.

Cuban Olympic athletes Wednesday sent birthday messages to Fidel Castro from Beijing, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sent him a portrait of South American independence figure Simon Bolivar.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.