Revolutionary Icon Fidel Castro Laid To Rest In Private Ceremony

By Shubham Ghosh - 05 Dec '16 22:25PM

The ashes of Cuba's iconic revolutionary leader Fidel Castro were laid to rest on Sunday (December 4) morning during a private ceremony held at Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, the country's state media said.

The little-seen family of Castro and a few Latin American and African leaders were present on the occasion which was a brief one, it was added. With the placing of Castro's ashes in a granite mausoleum, the nine-day public mourning for the leader came to an end.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona was also present at the funeral. Maradona, who landed at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport on Friday (Dec 2), told the local media that "the greatest of them has gone," reported Xinhua.

Castro, who had toppled the dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba in 1959 and served as its prime minister and president till 2008 when he transferred the power to his brother Raul because of poor health, died on November 25 aged 90.  

President Raul Castro, 85, slid the box of his late elder brother's ashes in one of the opening of the mausoleum which was made from a boulder excavated from Las Guásimas, a town east of Santiago, the CNN reported. It also added that the mausoleum was sealed with a plaque that said "Fidel". Cuban government's website Cubadebate said the urn was first carried by Dalia Soto del Ville, who it identified as the iconic leader's wife.

Castro's ashes arrived at Santiago following a four-day tour across the tiny island nation which had defied its mighty neighbor, the United States, till the leader was active. The tour began in Havana, the capital of Cuba, and went reverse on the route that Castro had taken after seizing power in the late 1950s, said another CNN report.

However, the reaction to Castro's death has not been universal. While thousands of Cubans crowded the streets as Castro's ashes went past them, the Cuban-Americans in Miami, Florida, celebrated with champagne bottles they had preserved for this particular moment long ago, reported USA Today.

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