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Raul Castro Silent, Fidel Absent at Cuban Revolution Day Ceremony

Cuban First Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, delivers a speech during celebrations for the 57th anniversary of the Moncada Barracks attacks which marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, 26 Jul 2010.

Cuba has commemorated Revolution Day without remarks from President Raul Castro or an appearance by his brother, former President Fidel Castro.

Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura gave the main speech Monday to tens of thousands of Cubans gathered in Santa Clara to mark the 57th anniversary of the attack that is considered the start of the country's communist revolution. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was scheduled to attend, but canceled the trip, citing rising tensions between Venezuela and Colombia.

The celebration in Cuba was held outside a memorial housing the remains of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine who helped lead the armed uprising that put Fidel Castro in power in 1959.

The former president has only recently been seen in public since falling ill in 2006 and ceding power to his brother, Raul.

Revolution Day celebrates the July 26, 1953 assault on the Moncada military barracks in the eastern city of Santiago by young rebels led by Fidel Castro.

The attack failed, but Cubans consider it the beginning of the revolution that culminated with dictator Fulgencio Batista's ouster on New Year's Day 1959.

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