In an address to an estimated 300-thousand thousands Cubans and world leaders in the city of Santiago on Saturday, the president, who led final tributes to his brother also said Cuba would ban naming any monuments or roads after the late leader – and this was at his request.
“The leader of the revolution strongly opposed any manifestation of cult of personality…. no statues or busts of Fidel will be erected in Cuba.”
According to the president, a law banning such homages will be presented to the National Assembly when it meets later this month.
The remains Fidel Castro, who died 10 years after he stepped down and handed power to his younger brother, was entombed on Sunday morning close to the remains of Cuba’s independence hero Jose Marti, concluding nine days of national mourning.
His funeral took place at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, the island’s second largest city and site of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution in 1953.
Fidel Castro was president of Cuba for almost half a century and defied the power of the United States which instituted a crippling embargo against the Castro led government which is still in place for over half a century. Fidel handed over the reigns of government to his brother Raul at the onset of illness a few years ago.
Several leaders from across the region travelled to the Spanish speaking Caribbean island for the funeral.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has had a long-standing relationship with Castro and according to CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, the region “will celebrate the life of Fidel Castro” and “ the Caribbean will continue to show and express great solidarity with the Cuban people.”
On Saturday night, hundreds of thousands of Cubans chanting “Yo soy Fidel” (I am Fidel) filled the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba in an overnight vigil to memorialize Fidel, who died at the age of 90. Foreign dignitaries and leftist leaders also joined Raul Castro and the Cuban political leadership on stage to pay their final respects and immortalize the man who led the island nation and championed socialism and anti-imperialism, particularly in Latin America, for more than 50 years.
Fidel made it "possible to firmly maintain the inalienable principles of our sovereignty without fear to the nuclear blackmail of the United States during those days of the missile crisis in October 1962," Raul Castro said during the gathering.
Fidel’s influence extended far beyond Cuba’s borders, seen in many of the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-colonial struggles around the world. From military and moral support of independence movements to the nation’s contributions in medicine, literacy, women’s rights and more, many who spoke on Saturday night as well as on Tuesday during the mass gathering in Havana described Fidel’s spirit as being palpable in this legacy.
- Countries: Cuba