Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
SANTIAGO DE CUBA (CBSMiami/AP) – A journey that has lasted more than a week has finally come to an end.
Fidel Castro’s ashes have arrived at a Santiago, Cuba cemetery to mark the start of funeral ceremonies for Fidel Castro.
The salute sounded in the capital, Havana, as Fidel Castro’s ashes before they were taken to the cemetery in eastern Cuba where they will be interred at the end of a nine-day waiting period.
In the eastern city of Santiago, thousands of people lined the short route from the Plaza of the Revolution to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery waving Cuban flags and shouting “I am Fidel!”
The caravan carrying the ashes arrived at the cemetery around 7:15 a.m. as a 21-salute was also fired in Santiago.
The crowds lining the road into the cemetery for Fidel Castro’s funeral are singing Cuba’s National Anthem and shouting “Viva Fidel!”
The caravan entered the cemetery, but the road has been crowded and access for the press has been blocked.
The ceremony is not being broadcast live on television, as expected.
Martial music could be heard from outside the cemetery, where mourners gathered.
Ines de la Rosa said Sunday she would have liked to watch the ceremony on television, but “we understand how they as a family also need a bit of privacy.”
Fellow mourner Elena Vinales says she wasn’t surprised that the images of the ceremony were not broadcast. She says, “It seems to be a family moment.”
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.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)