Fidel Castro Funeral Update: 'El Commandante' To Be Laid To Rest Next To Cuban Independence Hero José Martí
Cuba’s late President Fidel Castro will be laid to rest next to Cuban independence hero José Martí’s tomb. The 90-year-old revolutionary’s invitation-only funeral is scheduled for 7 a.m. EST Sunday with the nine days of national mourning ending at noon.
After toppling the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista government in 1959, Castro and his band of revolutionaries took over Martí’s legacy. They later integrated Marti’s ideals to their Soviet communism, annoying nationalists, anti-communists and those exiled from Cuba who claimed the revolutionary philosopher’s ideals as their own.
A poet and writer best known for writing the lyrics to “Guantanamera,” Martí strived towards protecting Cuba’s sovereignty and identity from foreign powers like the U.S. He was killed in 1985 during the battle for Cuban independence from Spain.
Castro, who died last month, survived several U.S. attempts to kill or overthrow him. In 2008, at the age of 81, he ceded power to his brother Raul Castro. Castro had ruled Cuba for nearly half a century before stepping down.
Photo: REUTERS/ENRIQUE DE LA OSA
During the 90-year-old leader’s memorial Saturday, Raul Castro told the tens of thousands of people gathered at Santiago’s central plaza that in keeping with the wishes of “El Comandante” – the commander – his image will not be immortalized with statues nor will public places be named after him.
“This is the unconquered Fidel who calls us with his example,” the 85-year-old president reportedly said as the crowd chanted “I am Fidel.”
“Yes, we will overcome any obstacle, turmoil or threat in the building of socialism in Cuba,” Castro added. “In the unipolar world, the one of transnationals that arose after the fall of the socialist bloc, the permanent lesson of Fidel is that, yes, it can done, man is capable of overcoming the most difficult conditions.”
The late leader’s remains will be entombed next to Martí’s massive mausoleum in Santiago's Santa Ifigenia cemetery.
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Source : ibtimes
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