Top government officials, including Vice President Carlos Lage and others, sat in front of Raul Castro during his 50th anniversary speech in Santiago de Cuba. But there were also plenty of military uniforms in the front rows to the left of Raul Castro as he spoke. That's no surprise. Raul was chief of the Cuban armed forces for nearly five decades. He evidently looks out for his troops.Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro is the new armed forces chief. The 31-member Council of State named him in February 2008 when Raul became president.
I didn't get any great images from my vantage point. But these pictures give you an idea of the scene.
Several Cubans told me they thought the spectators were unenthusiastic. Here are a few of them, so you can decide for yourself.