Laid to rest

The re­mains of Fidel Cas­tro are en­tombed in Cuba

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

The re­mains of the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader and for­mer pres­i­dent Fidel Cas­tro were buried on Sun­day morn­ing at the Santa Ifi­ge­nia ceme­tery in Santiago de Cuba. At 9:45 am, the public was al­lowed to briefly visit his tomb, guarded by a dozen sol­diers.

His fi­nal rest­ing place is very close to other na­tional he­roes, such as Jose Marti, Car­los Manuel de Ce­s­pedes, and Fidel’s com­rades from the rev­o­lu­tion­ary strug­gle.

Thou­sands of peo­ple wav­ing Cuban flags bid farewell to Cas­tro while cry­ing out “I am Fidel”, dur­ing the pas­sage of the car bear­ing his ashes along the lo­cal Av­enue Pa­tria to the ceme­tery.

Af­ter a 21-gun salute, sol­diers dressed in white gala uni­forms and bear­ing black arm­bands car­ried the cedar­wood urn, cov­ered by the Cuban flag, for the fi­nal stretch.

Fidel’s brother and cur­rent Pres­i­dent, Raul, placed the ashes in­side the tomb.

The solemn pri­vate cer­e­mony was only at­tended by fam­ily mem­bers, friends and spe­cial guests, in­clud­ing Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro, Nicaraguan Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega, and for­mer Brazil­ian pres­i­dents, Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rouss­eff.

Fidel Cas­tro died on Nov 25 at the age of 90. The gov­ern­ment de­creed nine days of na­tional mourn­ing.

The fu­neral hon­ors began with a pop­u­lar trib­ute and a mas­sive rally at the Rev­o­lu­tion Plaza in Ha­vana, at­tended by thou­sands of Cuban and heads of state from around the world.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the car­a­van car­ry­ing the ashes of the leader left for a jour­ney across the coun­try, and reached Santiago de Cuba on Satur­day, a city con­sid­ered to be the cra­dle of the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion.

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple lined the route across Cuba, of­ten wait­ing for hours in heavy rain or beat­ing sun, many bear­ing flow­ers, flags, and pho­tos of Cas­tro, or hav­ing his name writ­ten on their faces.

Dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Satur­day night in Santiago de Cuba, Raul Cas­tro dis­closed that Fidel had in­sisted that no public in­sti­tu­tions or places be named af­ter him and that no mon­u­ments or stat­ues of him be erected.

“The leader of the Rev­o­lu­tion re­jected any form of a cult of per­son­al­ity and was con­sis­tent with that at­ti­tude un­til the last hours of his life,” said Raul.

He added that at the next ses­sion of the Na­tional Par­lia­ment in De­cem­ber, the gov­ern­ment will present the leg­isla­tive pro­pos­als re­quired to com­ply with Fidel’s wishes.

DAVID DE LA PAZ / XIN­HUA

A woman holds a poster of Fidel Cas­tro dur­ing the pas­sage of his fu­neral cortege to Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on Sun­day.

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