The ashes of Fidel Castro is on a four-day journey across Cuba to his final resting place, retracing the late communist leader’s revolution victory tour of 1959.
The journey tagged “caravan of freedom”, will leave from Havana, while making symbolic stops along the 950-kilometer (590-mile) trek that will end in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba by the weekend.
The trip follows two days of tributes in Havana where hundreds of thousands were encouraged by the government to view a picture memorial to Castro at the Revolution Square.
The commemorations in the capital ended with a massive rally Tuesday night at the square attended by Latin American, African and Caribbean leaders, along with the Greek prime minister — the only European leader at the event.
Raul Castro, 85, thanked the “countless gestures of solidarity and affection from around the world” and ending with the revolutionary battle cry, “Until victory, always!”
Castro’s ashes were placed in a rectangular, dark wood urn that was kept at the armed forces ministry and only shown once on state television.
The urn will be laid to rest on Sunday at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, next to the mausoleum of 19th century independence hero Jose Marti.
Before that, Castro’s ashes will travel across the country, taking the reverse route that his band of guerrilla fighters took after defeating dictator Fulgencio Batista.
From January 2 to January 8, 1959, the bearded rebels traveled from Santiago to Havana, stopping in Castro’s home region, Holguin, as well as the cities of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Sancti Spiritus, Santa Clara and Matanzas.
One of the most symbol-filled stops of this last trip will be in Santa Clara, where the ashes of his Argentine comrade-in-arms, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, rest