Tens of thousands of Cubans gathered Wednesday in the eastern city of Bayamo to celebrate Cuba's Revolution Day.

President Fidel Castro, now almost 80, addressed the crowd. He said that more and more Cubans are reaching the age of 100 thanks to his Communist government's social services programs.

He joked that his "neighbor to the the north" (the United States) need not worry because he is not planning on leading Cuba at that age.

On July 26, 1953, Mr. Castro led an attack on an army barracks (Moncada) in Santiago that marked the beginning of the armed struggle against the regime of then dictator Fulgencio Batista. The barracks attack failed, with many of the assailants killed or imprisoned, including Mr. Castro. But it is seen as the official start of Cuba's revolution.

President Castro and other prisoners were released in May 1955 under an amnesty. He has been in power for 47 years.

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