HAVANA (Reuters) - Fidel Castro's 80th birthday celebration kicked off on Tuesday with the ailing Cuban leader nowhere in sight but hundreds of admirers from around the world were on hand to pay homage.
The opening of an art exhibit by Castro's favorite artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin, was the first of five days of events that some guests said feel more like a farewell than a birthday bash.
A "Cuban gala" show was due to be followed on Wednesday with a colloquium on Castro's place in history, a concert and a military parade in Havana's main square on Saturday.
Castro has not been out in public since undergoing emergency surgery for an undisclosed illness that forced him to temporarily hand over power to his brother Raul on July 31.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May he burn in hell