Cuba announces 9 days of mourning for Castro

HAVANA, Cuba — The Cuban government has declared nine days of national mourning for the death of Fidel Castro, ending when his remains are interred on Dec. 4.

Public activities and events will be canceled, and the Cuban flag will fly at half-mast. The Council of State says state radio and television “will maintain informative, patriotic and historic programming.”

Castro’s remains will be interred in a cemetery in the eastern city of Santiago that was key to his early life and his revolution. Castro grew up near Santiago and attended school there as a youth.

State media say Cubans throughout the country will be invited to pay homage to Castro on Monday and Tuesday by signing a “solemn oath of complying with the concept of the revolution.”

There will then be a mass gathering in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution, where Castro often addressed huge crowds.

His ashes will make a cross-country tour starting Wednesday from Havana to Santiago, retracing in reverse the route Castro took when the revolution triumphed in 1959.