Raul Castro: Outside Forces Can't Harm Us

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 9:09 PM CST
Cuban army officers chant revolutionary slogans during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Cuban Revolution at the main plaza in Santiago, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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(Newser) – Raul Castro marked the 50th anniversary of his brother's rise to power by declaring that the revolution is "stronger than ever" but warning Cubans that more hardships lie ahead, the Miami Herald reports. Though he didn't mention the US by name, Castro said that outside forces could not harm the nation. He warned, however, that it could "self-destruct from within."

Cuba is struggling economically, and Castro acknowledged that "our people know every imperfection of our struggle." He told the nation's citizens to expect stringent times to continue. 'I'm not saying that to scare anyone, but because it is simply the reality.'' Fidel did not make any public appearances to mark the anniversary, and his health remains a state secret.