Raul Castro vows to defend Fidel's revolution

The guest list includes African leaders, leftist Latin American allies such as Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, and Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who called Castro his "second father".

A massive ceremony will be held in the city's Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, where Fidel's younger brother and Cuban President Raul Castro will address a crowd of mourners and dignitaries.

Thousands of people lined the streets of this eastern city as the funeral cortege made its way to the cemetery, shouting "Yo soy Fidel!"

The press was not allowed to attend the burial but a mix of world leaders, royalty, Marxist guerrillas and Hollywood actors were invited.

On Saturday, Raul announced that in keeping with his late brother's wishes about avoiding the development of a cult personality, Cuba will prohibit the erecting of statues and naming of streets after the former leader.

Cuban officials said they wanted to protect the privacy of Castro's family.

He died at the age of 90 on November 25, though the cause of his death was not released.

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"The leader of the revolution rejected any manifestation of a cult of personality", Raul Castro said during a large, final rally in Santiago on Saturday.

Soon to take power in Washington, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said he might roll back President Barack Obama's historic opening to the economically strapped country.

Castro's death has fueled speculation over the direction the country may take without the man who ruled for nearly half a century and left behind a divisive legacy.

Fidel's supporters are certain that Raul to continue his brother's legacy.

"In the unipolar world, the one of transnationals that arose after the fall of the socialist bloc, the permanent lesson of Fidel is that, yes, it can be done, man is capable of overcoming the most hard conditions", Raul Castro said. But with only a year left in Raul Castro's presidency, what happens next for the island only 90 miles fro.

Nearby stands the memorial to rebels killed in or executed by Batista's forces after the 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks, Castro's initial, failed attempt to foment revolution. She said she would have liked to watch the interment on television, but "we understand how they as a family also need a bit of privacy".

  • Ronnie Bowen