Cuba hails 59th anniversary of revolution, quality of life gains
HAVANA, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cuba marked the start of the New Year with a 21-gun salute in honor of the 59th anniversary of the 1959 Revolution and the quality of life accomplishments made since.
The revolutionary movement led by Fidel Castro succeeded in toppling the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959.
Capital residents and tourists alike turned out to observe the ceremony, which took place starting past midnight Sunday, at the colonial-era San Carlos de La Cabana fort on the eastern side of Havana Bay.
The weekly Trabajadores, the only national publication to come out on New Year's Day, said "2018 should be a year to reflect on history."
In the past six decades, Cuba has made tremendous strides in education, healthcare, life expectancy and scientific research, and continues to make progress in these areas.
Life expectancy has improved to 80.45 years for women and 76.50 years for men.
"Behind each ... statistic are lives saved (and) the quality of life, happiness and satisfaction of our people," Minister of Public Health Roberto Morales Ojeda said at an earlier ceremony held last week.