Today is the 56th anniversary of the start of the Cuban revolution. Raul Castro is scheduled to speak at 7 a.m. in Holguin, the same town where Fidel Castro made his last public appearance three years ago.
Journalists covering Raul Castro's speech are staying at the recently renovated Hotel Pernik. I arrived Friday night after a 10-hour journey from Havana.
Frank, a Cuban friend I've known for years, drove the rental car. We got a late start from Tarara, east of Havana, because the rental car company employees didn't show up on time for work. One worker dripping with sweat finally came walking to the rental car agency and opened the place for business.
Not long after we reached Holguin, Frank discovered a spot selling big bottles of beer for a little over a dollar. That made his day.
On Saturday, the Cuban government organized a trip to Biran, the birthplace of the Castro brothers. The brothers' father, Angel, was a landowner. We toured the company town he built.
A guide showed us a little bar that he said Raul Castro used to run. Raul - not Fidel - was in charge of the bar, the guide said, because he was the better barman.
Next to Raul's bar was a room where the Castro boys played billiards. I asked who was the better player.
Raul was better at that, too, the guide said. Fidel Castro evidently had other things on his mind.
I'll post pictures later on. Right now I've got to take my photo and other gear to a security inspection that starts at 5 a.m.