HAVANA, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The ashes of Fidel Castro on Wednesday began a journey that will memorialize his victory after toppling Cuba's former military leader, Fulgencio Batista, nearly six decades ago.
Castro's ashes will travel in reverse of the route he and his fellow Cuban revolutionaries took on Jan. 2, 1959, from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba to Havana. Early on Wednesday, the streets of Havana were filled with thousands of people who were there to pay their respect to the late leader, whose ashes are being transported in a vehicle funeral procession.
By about 8:30 a.m., Castro's ashes passed by San Francisco de Paula, a town on the outskirts of Havana where Ernest Hemingway lived for more than 20 years and where he wrote large parts of his classics novels For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.
Granma, the Cuban government's official media agency, said Castro's ashes will be housed in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba after the conclusion of the journey.
Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday gave a speech in which he said his brother dedicated his life to the poor.
"Fidel devoted his whole life to solidarity and led a socialist revolution 'by the humble, for the humble and to the humble,' which became a symbol of the anti-colonial, anti-apartheid and anti-imperialist struggle for the emancipation and dignity of the people," he said.