- Title: Funeral cortege transporting Castro's ashes leaves Santa Clara
- Date: 1st December 2016
- Summary: POSTER WITH IMAGE OF FIDEL CASTRO ON IT
- Embargoed: 16th December 2016 14:01
- Keywords: Fidel Castro Raul Castro funeral cortege
- Location: SANTA CLARA, CUBA
- City: SANTA CLARA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Reuters ID: LVA0025B1Z8SN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The funeral cortege transporting the ashes of Fidel Castro left Santa Clara early on Thursday (December 1) en route to Santiago de Cuba, where the ashes will be laid to rest.
Crowds lined the streets to give Castro a final farewell as the convoy drove through the city.
"Fidel will never die because the ideas of Fidel, his thoughts, will continue living for all the Cuban people. Fidel, who has gone onto fulfill another duty, has continued to liberate other peoples. Fidel has not left the Cubans. Fidel will always be in this town of Santa Clara when he came to meet with Commander Guevara so that the two together could continue liberating other peoples," said Santa Clara resident, Julio Cesar Lemus.
One of history's best known double acts was temporarily reunited on Wednesday, when Castro's ashes arrived at a mausoleum housing the bones of his fellow revolutionary, Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
Castro was cremated after he died on Friday aged 90. His ashes are being driven in a military caravan that reverses the route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana taken by his band of guerrillas in a fight to topple a U.S.-backed president in 1959.
A few thousand mourners gathered to greet the caravan at the mausoleum outside Santa Clara on Wednesday, the central town where Argentine doctor-turned-revolutionary Guevara derailed an armored train in a battle against the army of President Fulgencio Batista that helped tip the war to the rebels.
A large billboard bearing Fidel's image stood at the base of a nearly 7 meter (23 feet) tall statue of Guevara, beret on his head and marching into battle. Words on the billboard said "Until Victory, Always," a phrase Guevara wrote in a farewell to Fidel.
His remains were slowly driven in a trailer behind a military jeep that set off from Havana and wound its way through several towns on Wednesday.
Castro died a decade after stepping down due to poor health and ceding power to his brother, current President Raul Castro, 85.
Guevara and Fidel Castro met in Mexico, where they trained and bought guns in preparation for the Cuban revolution before setting sail for the island on Nov. 25, 1956, 60 years to the day before Castro's death.
Guevara rose to become one of the most important men in the rebel force and later in the revolutionary government, heading the central bank and industry ministry, meeting world leaders and finally taking up arms again to try to spark revolution.
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