THE funeral of Cuban former president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has been set for December 4, media reported Saturday (today).
Fidel Castro died on Friday, at the age of 90 years old, as announced by his brother, incumbent Cuban President Raul Castro, on state television.
According to the Spanish Europa Press news agency, the ceremony would be held at the cemetery of Santa Ifigenia in the country’s second largest city of Santiago de Cuba.
Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that Castro’s remains would be cremated later in the day.
Meanwhile Reuters reports that South African President Jacob Zuma had similar warm words, thanking the Cuban leader for his help and support in the struggle to overthrow apartheid.
“President Castro identified with our struggle against apartheid. He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid,” Zuma said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande mourned the loss of a major figure on the world stage and welcomed the rapprochement between Havana and Washington, while noting concerns over human rights under the Castro regime.
“Fidel Castro was a towering figure of the 20th century. He incarnated the Cuban revolution, in both its hopes and subsequent disillusionments,” Hollande said in a statement.
“France, which condemned human rights abuses in Cuba, had equally challenged the U.S. embargo on Cuba, and France was glad to see the two countries re-establish dialogue and open ties between themselves,” added the Socialist party leader.
Hollande met Fidel Castro in May, 2015 during the first ever visit by a French head of state to Cuba since the Cuban revolution.
In contrast, the reaction from some Cubans living in the United States was scathing and celebratory.
U.S. Congress representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American Republican from Miami, said in a statement: “A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western Hemisphere.”
In Miami, in the area surrounding the Versailles Restaurant where many exiles who fled the Cuban revolution live, people took to the streets in their cars in the early hours of Saturday morning to celebrate Castro’s death.
Hundreds of people gathered waving flags, banging pots and pans and carrying umbrellas to shield them from steady rainfall.
“This is the happiest day of my life, Cubans are finally free,” said Orlidia Montells, an 84-year-old woma. – ANA, Reuters