Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.- Thousands of people marched to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba Monday morning to pay tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, on the occasion of the first anniversary of his burial.
People carrying Cuban flags and of the July 26th movement covered the 3-kilometer stretch between the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square to the graveyard.
The solemn tribute was led by President Raul Castro and the island’s top officials. The first act of the homage was the laying of a floral wreath on behalf of the Cuban people in front of the monolith that keeps Fidel Castro´s ashes.
Immediately after Raul Castro lead a procession that took flowers to the grave.
The Cuban president and his entourage also paid tribute to National Hero Jose Marti, and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales, Father and Mother of the Homeland respectively, whose tombs are located a few meters away from Fidel Castro´s.
On Sunday evening, the Heredia Theater was the venue for a gala as part of the commemorations. Some 300 artists evoked the legacy of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution through music, poetry, and dances.
The Moncada Barracks, whose attack on July 26, 1953 sparked the struggle that lead to the January 1 1959 victory is located in Santiago de Cuba. The city became an important source of support for the Rebel Army in the Sierra Maestra mountains and played an outstanding role in the underground struggles that helped topple the Batista dictatorship.
Fidel declared Santiago a Hero City on January 1, 1994.