Fidel Castro’s ashes interred in eastern Cuba

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SANTIAGO, Cuba — Fidel Castro’s ashes have been interred in a private ceremony in the Santa Ifigenia ceremony in the eastern city of Santiago.

The Russian jeep that carried his ashes across Cuba could be seen leaving the cemetery around 8:50 a.m., and military officers outside the cemetery said the ceremony had ended.

President Raul Castro presided over the interment of his brother’s ashes. Fidel’s wife and sons and presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua were also present.

Cubans were earlier being allowed briefly inside the cemetery where Castro has been interred to see his tomb.

It is a simple round stone about 15 feet high with an emerald-colored plaque bearing his name.

The tomb stands to the side of a memorial to the rebel soldiers killed in an attack that Castro led on Santiago’s Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953, and in front of the mausoleum of Cuban national hero Jose Marti.

A dozen uniformed soldiers stood guard in front of Castro’s tomb.

Crowds lined the roads leading to the cemetery, singing Cuba’s national anthem and shouting, “Viva Fidel!”

The ceremony was not broadcast live on television as announced.