Cuba Bids Farewell to Fidel in Massive Tribute: Live Updates

"The Caravan of Liberty" takes Fidel
“The Caravan of Liberty” takes Fidel’s ashes across Cuba on it´s journey to Santiago de Cuba. | Photo: Cancillería de Cuba

Fidel will be remembered as a champion of the world’s poor, a figure of Latin American integration, and a fierce anti-imperialist.

A massive public gathering and ceremony in Havana’s at the Plaza de la Revolucion saw hundreds of thousands say goodbye to Cuba´s revolutionary hero Fidel Castro on Tuesday night. Today, “The Caravan of Liberty” will start transporting Fidel’s ashes across Cuba before arriving in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

The caravan will travel in the reverse order of the leader’s historic journey from Santiago de Cuba to Havana in 1959 to mark the triumph of the Cuban revolution which ousted the U.S.-backed military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

The four-day procession will conclude with a mass event and a state funeral in Santiago de Cuba, where Fidel’s ashes will be put to rest at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, which houses the remains of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti and other national heroes.

Throughout Tuesday thousands of Cubans in Havana joined long lines to pay tribute at the Jose Marti Memorial, where a display showing a young Fidel in military uniform was perched among flowers. The Plaza de la Revolucion is the same place where Fidel once delivered rousing, marathon speeches over half a century. Many leaders of Latin America’s left, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Bolivian President Evo Morales paid their tributes and spoke of Fidel’s influence.

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