CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 1999 |
Pope John Paul II has thanked Cuban leader Fidel Castro for allowing Christmas to be celebrated as an official holiday. "I want to express to you my deep appreciation for the decision to give back to Christmas its holiday character for all Cubans, conforming to tradition," the pope said in a telegram to Castro. He also wished Castro a happy holiday. The telegram was sent to Castro on Dec. 23 but only made public by the Vatican on Monday.
December 26, 1997 |
Cubans celebrated Christmas as a public holiday for the first time in nearly three decades Thursday, with some attending church services, some making a special family meal and others just enjoying the day off. Cuban President Fidel Castro, seeking to improve ties with the Roman Catholic Church ahead of a visit in January by Pope John Paul II, announced earlier this month that there would be a Dec. 25 holiday this year as a special gesture to honor the pontiff.
December 16, 1997 |
It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas in Communist Cuba, where President Fidel Castro has offered to make Dec. 25 an official holiday this year in honor of next month's visit by Pope John Paul II. The Roman Catholic committee overseeing preparations for the papal visit issued a statement Monday expressing "profound joy" at Castro's announcement. It also expressed hope that the holiday "will be made permanent in the near future."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1997
Many of the 35 people gathered at the Northridge craft store had never painted. Others were regulars at Kids N' Paint, where customers decorate ceramic gifts or have art-oriented parties for birthdays and other special occasions. But they all felt a connection to the menorahs they painted as gifts for 90 Jews in Santiago, Cuba--many of whom this year will celebrate Hanukkah for the first time. The observance begins at sundown Dec. 23.
July 20, 1993
Cubans on Monday plan a quiet 40th anniversary commemoration of the attack on the Moncada military barracks that signaled the start of the revolution that brought Communist rule to the island of 10 million people. The unsuccessful attack by a group of students led by Fidel Castro resulted in their arrest and imprisonment. But the revolution ultimately triumphed on New Year's Eve Day in 1959.
May 2, 1992 |
More than half a million Cubans joined a huge May Day march Friday to assert Cuba's identity as one of the last remaining orthodox Communist states in the world. Havana's colorful, carefully orchestrated rally, hailed by the authorities as a "plebiscite for socialism," was one of the biggest held by any nation on the celebrated workers' day. Smaller marches were held across the Caribbean island.