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Fidel Castro has made a rare public appearance, as guest of honour at a gala marking his 90th birthday.

His successor and brother Raul and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were among well-wishers at the Karl Marx theatre in Havana.

The crowd chanted ‘Fidel’ as an all-singing, all-dancing show celebrated the life of the revolutionary icon, seen for the first time in public since April.

And it was all broadcast on state television.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro makes rare public appearance at event to mark his 90th birthday pic.twitter.com/YTuss80Nmh

— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) August 14, 2016

“Despite his age, 90 years old, he seems okay,” said Haydee Mendez of the former leader, who led Communist-ruled Cuba until 2006, when illness forced him to step aside.

“With his reflections, the way he is, his measured way, his charisma…he is really admirable.”

“Well, I think he represents something important because after all he resisted, he supported our people, he guided us down a good path and on a global level he kept us at the very top,” said Alesney Chacon, a Havana resident

In an opinion piece in state media, Fidel Castro thanked the people, reminisced about his youth and true to form, blasted Barack Obama, this time for the US president’s failure to apologize for the world’s first atomic bombing, during his visit to the Japanese city of Hiroshima in May.

On his 90th birthday, Fidel Castro writes lengthy letter slamming Obama https://t.co/m1KiG6EEuP pic.twitter.com/vmsBCYuDI8

— The Hill (@thehill) August 14, 2016

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