Cubans to pay tribute to Fidel Castro from Monday

Havana, Nov 28 (IANS) Cubans will pay tribute to the ashes of their late iconic leader, Fidel Castro, for two days, starting Monday morning, at the Jose Marti Memorial, located in the Plaza de la Revolucion.

This would mark the beginning of the funeral ceremonies which would last until Sunday, December 4, Efe news agency reported.

From Monday 9.00 a.m. local time through Tuesday at noon, people would be able to visit the memorial to pay tribute and bid their last “goodbye” to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, who died on November 25.

In the same square where Castro used to deliver countless speeches as the President of Cuba, a massive farewell ceremony would also be held on Tuesday.

World leaders and dignitaries would be part of the ceremony.

Among the few names confirmed so far is the King Emeritus of Spain, Juan Carlos I.

The presidents of Cuba’s allied countries are expected to attend the ceremony as well — Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa.

Former presidents, who had maintained a close relation with the late leader were also expected to be present at the funeral — the Brazilian Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, the Argentine Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the Uruguayan Pepe Mujica.

On Wednesday, the ashes of Castro would make a trip around the island so that all Cubans could bid him their last “goodbyes”.

The trip would take the reverse route of the “Caravan of Freedom”, in which the rebels of the Sierra Maestra crossed the country from Santiago de Cuba when the Cuban Revolution triumphed in 1959.

The remains of the former Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces would arrive in Santiago, the cradle of the Revolution, on Saturday, when another massive tribute ceremony would take place in Antonio Maceo Square.

The burial ceremony of his ashes, which was expected to be attended by his family, would take place in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery of Havana.

–IANS

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