SANTIAGO DE CUBA – The name and figure of Fidel Castro will not be used for public places, streets or plazas, nor will monuments, busts or statues be made in his memory as per the wishes of the deceased leader of the Cuban revolution, his brother and current Cuban president, Raul Castro, said on Saturday.
“The leader of the revolution rejected any type of cult manifestation of the public figure and was consistent with that attitude until the last few hours of his life,” Raul Castro said in a speech during the final act of tribute to Fidel, held in the eastern city of Santiago of Cuba.
According to the Cuban president, his brother’s wish was that, after his death, his name and figure never be used for institutions, plazas, parks, streets, avenues or public places.
Thousands of people gathered on Saturday night at the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba to attend the final farewell ceremony for Fidel Castro, whose ashes will be buried Sunday at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery of this city, considered the cradle of the Cuban revolution.
The funeral cortege transporting his ashes left Havana on Wednesday, embarking on a trip which was the same, but in the opposite direction, to the one taken by the so-called “Freedom Caravan” from Jan. 2-8, 1959 by Fidel Castro and 1,000 “barbudos” (bearded ones), as the rebels were known who ousted the dictator Fulgencio Batista to take power.
The farewell ceremony in Santiago ended with Raul Castro paying his final respects to his brother, who passed away on Nov. 25 at the age of 90, thereby ending the nine-day mourning period declared after his death.
Also present at the ceremony were representatives of pro-government socialist organizations including the Cuban Workers Federation, the Federation of Cuban Women, the Federation of University Students and the Union of Young Communists.
Among those invited to the event in Santiago were friends of the deceased leader including the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia, former Brazilian presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and former Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona.