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Cuban president pays tribute to Fidel Castro one year after burial

2017-12-05 03:33:24 (Beijing Time)         news.xinhuanet.com

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People hold pictures of late Cuban President Fidel Castro during a pilgrimage to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, east Cuba, Dec. 4, 2017. Cuban President Raul Castro paid tribute to his brother Fidel Castro on Monday, one year after his ashes were placed at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. (Xinhua/Str)

HAVANA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday paid tribute to former president and his brother, Fidel Castro, exactly one year after his ashes were placed at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

During the solemn tribute, which began at 7: 00 a.m. local time, Raul Castro placed a white rose at the gray rock that keeps Fidel's ashes in the cemetery, located about 900 kilometers southeast of Havana.

Also at Castro's resting place a wreath was placed on behalf of the people of Cuba.

The Cuban president also paid tribute to the national hero Jose Marti, whose tomb lies next to Castro's.

He also paid respects to Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales, independence leaders, whose remains are also placed in the central heritage area of the cemetery.

After the ceremony, thousands of people started a pilgrimage from the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in Santiago's city center to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, to honor the revolutionary leader who died on Nov. 25, 2016 in Havana.

On Sunday night, thousands gathered at Santiago's Heredia theater for a political-cultural gala remembrance of Fidel, as Cubans warmly called him.

For several days, Cubans have evoked the life and work of Fidel Castro and the ceremonies carried out a year ago during the procession funeral that moved his ashes from Havana to Santiago de Cuba.