Fidel Castro’s ashes were on Wednesday reunited with that of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Santa Clara, reported AFP. Castro’s ashes arrived in a flag-covered urn in Santa Clara’s museum dedicated to Guevara on Thursday after midnight.
Thousands of Cubans gathered on the streets of Santa Clara to bid farewell to the late president. A large billboard bearing Castro’s image stood at the base of Guevara’s 23 feet-tall statue with words “Until Victory, Always”, a phrase Guevara wrote in a farewell to Castro, Reuters reported. Mourners also gave a memorial performance.
The casket containing Castro’s ashes will be kept in Santa Clara overnight at the monument that contains Guevara’s bones. It will continue on Thursday towards Santiago de Cuba, the city where Castro launched his rebellion in 1953 against then President of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista. Castro’s ashes will be buried during a ceremony on Sunday next to 19th century national hero Jose Marti.
Casro died on Friday at the age of 90, and the country is observing nine-day mourning period. Castro ruled from 1959 until 2006, when an illness forced him to hand over power to his brother Raul.
Castro met Guevara in Mexico in 1955 while in exile. After Guevara won a battle in 1958, he was given crucial positions in the government. However, he left in 1966 to lead a guerrilla expedition in Bolivia, where he was captured and executed a year later. In 1997, his remains were exhumed and brought to Santa Clara, now home to a museum dedicated to him. Castro called Guevara a ‘prophet’ at his burial and said that Cuba was still flying the flags of socialism.