Fidel Castro’s funeral to be held in Santiago de Cuba

The funeral of Cuba's leader Fidel Castro will be held in the city of Santiago de Cuba on Sunday. The ceremony will begin at 7 a.m. local time on the last day of the nine-day national mourning declared by the country's leadership after Castro's death.

The funeral ceremony will be attended by representatives of Cuba's current leadership led by Chairman of the State Council and the Council of Ministers, Raul Castro. Bolivian leader Evo Morales and two former Brazilian Presidents, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, are expected to come to pay last respects to the legendary Cuban revolutionary leader.

According to media reports, Lula da Silva who is one of the leaders of the Brazilian Workers' Party, has been invited to the ceremony as "a representative of the left-wing political movements in Latin America."

Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona, whom Fidel Castro helped get rid of severe drug dependence has arrived in Cuba as well. The former football player met with the legendary comandante on numerous occasions and treated him very warmly. "I've come to be beside my second father, the legend that is leaving us, but leaves behind a very bright legacy that we cannot betray. Those who think that Cuba will grow weaker because of the death of the greatest of its citizens are mistaken, because Cuba must become stronger," Maradona told Cuban television.

Final journey

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro's funeral procession has reached its final destination travelling more than one thousand kilometers from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, with Cubans lining the streets to see Castro's ashes make their final journey.

In the early dawn, the Cuban leader's ashes will be transported to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery where they will be laid to rest. A source close to Cuba's leadership has told TASS that Fidel Casto's funeral will be attended by a limited number of people, because the ancient necropolis has no room for everyone willing to pay their last respects to the legendary Cuban leader. "That was why the majority of foreign guests took part in a massive memorial event held in Havana on November 29," he explained.

Fidel Castro passed away on November 25 aged 90. The Cuban government declared a nine-day national mourning following his death.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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