Fidel Castro’s remains enroute to Santiago

Hundreds of thousands of people had the opportunity to pay their respects to the late Castro on Havana’s central Revolution Square.

Havana

The ashes of the late Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, will be transported from the capital Havana to Santiago de Cuba.

Castro’s ashes will be buried in a funeral Sunday in Santiago before an international cast of dignitaries including presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador, all leftist allies of Cuba, as well as other Latin American leaders and Spain’s former king Juan Carlos.

The United States said it would not send an official delegation but that its acting ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis and national security advisor Ben Rhodes would attend.

Santiago in eastern Cuba is known as the cradle of Cuban Communism and the 1959 revolution that brought Castro to power.

Hundreds of thousands of people had the opportunity to pay their respects to the late Castro on Havana’s central Revolution Square. Cuba’s historic leader died on Friday in Havana, aged 90, and was cremated in accordance with his own wishes. His ashes are to pass through several towns en route to Santiago.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 47 years, until he stepped down for health reasons in 2006 and handed over power to his brother Raul. He remained away from the public eye but was believed to be skeptical about the improvement in ties between Cuba and its arch-enemy, the United States, that was launched in late 2014.

It’s uncertain whether improved relations would continue after Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president in January. The improvement has led among others to the restoration of direct postal, air and ship traffic among both nations.

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