Cuba's former President Raul Castro salutes next to Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel (L) and Lazaro Exposito, first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party of Santiago de Cuba, during an event in celebration of the 65th anniversary of the start of the Cuban revolution. Picture: Ernesto Matrascusa/Pool via Reuters

Havana - The United States is increasingly "besieging" Latin American countries critical of its policies, such as Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, Cuba's former president, Raul Castro, said during National Rebellion Day celebrations on Thursday.

The annual celebrations mark the 65th anniversary of the late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro's attempt to take the Moncada army garrison in Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city.

Even if the attempt failed, it is seen as the beginning of an insurgency that overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1959 revolution and allowed Castro to install a leftist regime.

After Fidel's health deteriorated in 2006, his brother Raul took over and ruled the island until being succeeded by a new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, in April.

Cuba's relations with the US thawed under former president Barack Obama but have cooled again under President Donald Trump, whose administration Castro accused of speaking about his country "disrespectfully, aggressively, with interventionism and a clumsy manipulation of the historic truth."

"There is again an unfavourable scenario, and euphoria is resurging among our enemies," Castro told thousands of people in Santiago de Cuba in a speech broadcast live by national television.

Dressed in a military uniform, the 87-year-old called on Cubans to "respond to every challenge with unity, firmness, optimism and an unshakeable faith in victory."

The celebrations, which Diaz-Canel also attended, took place as the island is preparing to adopt a new constitution. It is expected to omit the mention of a communist state, to recognize the right to private property and to open the way to the legalization of same-sex marriage.