Cuba to ob­serve nine days of mourn­ing for Fidel Castro

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Cuba will ob­serve nine days of mourn­ing for Fidel Castro, in­clud­ing a three­day jour­ney in which his ashes will travel along the route taken by the rebel army he led on a vic­to­ri­ous march across the is­land in 1959.

The plans were an­nounced yes­ter­day by the Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Cuban Com­mu­nist Party, State and Gov­ern­ment, which is one of the most pow­er­ful or­gans of the sin­gle-party state put in place by Castro.

It said Cubans can show their re­spect for Castro to­mor­row at the Ha­vana memo­rial to na­tional hero Jose Marti, a poet and leader of Cuba’s 19th cen­tury fight for in­de­pen­dence from Spain. Mourn­ers will be able to pay their re­spects from 9am un­til 10pm. Peo­ple can also pay their last re­spects at the memo­rial in the Plaza of the Rev­o­lu­tion as well as spe­cially des­ig­nated sites across the coun­try to­mor­row and Tues­day.

Cubans will be able to “pay homage and sign the solemn oath of ful­fill­ing the con­cept of rev­o­lu­tion ... as an ex­pres­sion of the will to con­tinue Castro’s ideas and our so­cial­ism“, the com­mit­tee said.

Of­fi­cials said Castro will be cre­mated, but of­fered no de­tails about where or when.

The com­mit­tee said Cubans will be called to a demon­stra­tion at 7pm on Tues­day in the Plaza of the Rev­o­lu­tion, which was the site of a series of huge ral­lies led by Castro as he con­sol­i­dated power in the years af­ter the rev­o­lu­tion.

On Wed­nes­day, Castro’s ashes will be­gin trav­el­ling east­ward across Cuba fol­low­ing in re­verse the route taken by his rebels from the Sierra Maes­tra moun­tains to the cap­i­tal, Ha­vana. The cortege will take three days.

On 3 De­cem­ber at 7pm, a mass com­mem­o­ra­tion will be held at the An­to­nio Maceo Plaza in cen­tral San­ti­ago de Cuba, the largest city in the east.

Castro’s ashes are to be in­terred at 7am the fol­low­ing day at the Santa Ifi­ge­nia ceme­tery, where Marti is also buried.

Castro, who led a rebel army to im­prob­a­ble vic­tory, em­braced Soviet-style com­mu­nism and de­fied the power of 10 US pres­i­dents dur­ing his half cen­tury rule of Cuba, died at age 90 late on Fri­day.

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