Dec 05, 2016

Cuba bids adieu to Fidel Castro

Cuba bid a final goodbye to Fidel Castro on Sunday, bringing nine days of official mourning to a close.

Castro's remains were interred in a private ceremony at Santiago De Cuba's Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

In the last minute, Cuban officials cancelled plans to broadcast the event live on national and international television and barred foreign media from the service.

The ashes left the Plaza Of The Revolution in the eastern city of Santiago at 6:39 am, more than 20 minutes ahead of their scheduled departure. Thousands of people lined the two-mile route to Santa Ifigenia cemetery, waving Cuban flags and shouting 'Long live Fidel!'

The Cuban military fired a 21-gun salute and crowds at the entrance to the ceremony sang the national anthem, then filled the road to the cemetery where the ashes were being interred inside, out of the public eye.

Cubans were later allowed briefly inside the cemetery where Castro was interred to see his tomb. It is a simple round stone about 15 feet high with an emerald-colored plaque bearing his name.

President Raul Castro, announced that Cuba will prohibit the naming of streets and monuments after the former leader in accordance with his wishes.

'The leader of the revolution rejected any manifestation of a cult of personality and was consistent in that through the last hours of his life, insisting that, once dead, his name and likeness would never be used on institutions, streets, parks or other public sites, and that busts, statues or other forms of tribute would never be erected,' Raul told a massive crowd gathered in Santiago.

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