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Cuba Celebrates 60 Years Since Castro's First Uprising As LatAm Leaders Meet with Aging Revolutionary

Cuba's President Raul Castro, left, and Uruguay's President Jose Mujica review the honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at Revolution Palace in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ernesto Mastrascusa, Pool)

Cuba's President Raul Castro, left, and Uruguay's President Jose Mujica review the honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at Revolution Palace in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ernesto Mastrascusa, Pool)

Cuba is commemorating the 60th anniversary of Fidel Castro's failed attack on the Moncada army barracks that is considered the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.

President Raúl Castro is expected to give a speech at Friday's ceremony in the eastern city of Santiago.

The July 26 holiday is sometimes used to make major announcements.

Raúl Castro is in the midst of pushing a series of social and economic reforms including relaxed restriction on foreign travel and a limited opening for small private and cooperative enterprise on the island.

Several heads of state from friendly nations are in Cuba for the anniversary including Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Uruguay's Jose Mujica and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega.

Mujica met with Fidel Castro and said the retired Cuban leader is mentally sharp as he nears his 87th birthday.

The Uruguayan president said he found "an elderly man who continues to be brilliant, always a promoter of ideas."

Mujica told reporters on Thursday that they had a wide-ranging conversation about "everything" in their meeting late Wednesday.

Mujica also met with Raúl Castro.

Based on reporitng by The Associated Press.

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