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Fidel Castro turns 89; says US has hefty debt to Cuba for damages caused by long embargo

  • FILE - In this July 4, 2015 file photo, a poster of Fidel Castro with a message that reads in Spanish: "Fidel, forever Fidel!" decorates the administrative office window of state-run food stores, in Havana, Cuba. Castro is celebrating his 89th birthday, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba “numerous millions of dollars” for damages caused by a decades-long embargo. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)

    FILE - In this July 4, 2015 file photo, a poster of Fidel Castro with a message that reads in Spanish: "Fidel, forever Fidel!" decorates the administrative office window of state-run food stores, in Havana, Cuba. Castro is celebrating his 89th birthday, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba “numerous millions of dollars” for damages caused by a decades-long embargo. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo provided by the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), Bolivia's President Evo Morales, right, greets Cuba's Fidel Castro inside a van parked outside Morales' hotel in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Morales is in Cuba for Castro's 89th birthday. (Ivan Maldonado/ABI via AP)

    In this photo provided by the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), Bolivia's President Evo Morales, right, greets Cuba's Fidel Castro inside a van parked outside Morales' hotel in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Morales is in Cuba for Castro's 89th birthday. (Ivan Maldonado/ABI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A black and white image of Fidel Castro is propped up against a wall in an apartment building undergoing renovations in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Castro marked his 89th birthday Thursday, with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba ìnumerous millions of dollarsî for damages caused by a decades-long embargo. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    A black and white image of Fidel Castro is propped up against a wall in an apartment building undergoing renovations in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Castro marked his 89th birthday Thursday, with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba ìnumerous millions of dollarsî for damages caused by a decades-long embargo. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

Fidel Castro is celebrating his 89th birthday with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba "numerous millions of dollars" for damages caused by a decades-long embargo.

The essay comes a day before an historic moment in U.S.-Cuba relations: Secretary of State John Kerry is to raise the Stars and Stripes over a restored American Embassy in Havana, though the economic embargo legally remains in effect.

The rapprochement after 54 years of formal diplomatic estrangement was engineered by Fidel's brother Raul, who took over Cuba's presidency after the elder Castro suffered a health crisis in 2006.

Thursday's says Cuba "will never stop fighting for peace and the well-being of all human beings."