Cubans line streets as Fidel Castro’s ashes begin journey

FILE - In this April 19, 2016 file photo, Fidel Castro attends the last day of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba. Fidel Castro formally stepped down in 2008 after suffering gastrointestinal ailments and public appearances have been increasingly unusual in recent years. Cuban President Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro at age 90 on Cuban state media on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP, File)
FILE - In this April 19, 2016 file photo, Fidel Castro attends the last day of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba. Fidel Castro formally stepped down in 2008 after suffering gastrointestinal ailments and public appearances have been increasingly unusual in recent years. Cuban President Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro at age 90 on Cuban state media on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP, File)

HAVANA (AP) – Fidel Castro’s ashes have begun a four-day journey across Cuba from Havana to their final resting place in the eastern city of Santiago.

The remains of the 90-year-old leader were taken out of Cuba’s Defense Ministry and placed in a small coffin covered by a Cuban flag to begin a more than 500-mile (800 kilometer) procession.

His ashes will be interred Sunday, ending the nine-day mourning period for the man who ruled the country for nearly 50 years.

The route traces in reverse the victory tour Castro and his bearded rebels took after overthrowing the forces of strongman Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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