Castro’s speeches, like demonstrations are monumental events in Havana. Everyone is expected to attend unless there are extenuating circumstances and busses bring people in from every suburb starting in the middle of the night before the event. Many Cubans relish the increasingly rare opportunities to see Fidel in person and fight through a sea of thousands of people dressed in red to get up as close as possible. On the way each person picks up a flag from people designated to hand them out. Instead of applause, the sound of hundreds of thousands of paper flags waving can be heard.