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Castro’s leftist allies join Cuban farewell

Published : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016 at 12:00 AM  Count : 189

HAVANA, Nov 29 : Fidel Castro's leftist admirers in Latin America were to join grieving Cubans on Tuesday at a massive ceremony in honour of the late communist firebrand while Western leaders shun the commemoration.
For a second straight day, Cubans will file past a memorial installed inside the central monument at Havana's Revolution Square to pay tribute to the man who ruled the island for nearly half a century.
At hundreds of schools, hospitals and other public buildings across the island, Cubans were invited to sign an oath to "keep fighting" for the revolution.
Cuban state television showed Castro's brother, Raul, signing the same pledge along with top officials at a private ceremony in the armed forces ministry, where a rectangular, dark wood urn containing his ashes was shown.
The urn will be taken on a four-day, cross-country tour starting Wednesday, culminating with a ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, where his ashes will be laid to rest.
Some 25 leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa are flying into Cuba for funeral rites and a large gathering at the Revolution Square late Tuesday.
One of Cuba's closest allies is Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose late mentor Hugo Chavez had a special bond with Fidel Castro and helped the island's economy by providing it with cheap oil.
He will be accompanied by Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, all spiritual sons of the Cuban revolution.
Several African leaders are also making the trip, including Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe, Equatorial Guinea's longtime ruler Teodoro Obiang Nguema and South African President Jacob Zuma.
There will be at least one European leader at the ceremony, as Cuban officials said leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was on the list.    AFP

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