Feature: One year later, Cuba remembers Fidel Castro with gala, vigil

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-04 15:33:53|Editor: Mengjie
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SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- A large crowd of Cubans gathered here on Sunday in commemoration of their revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, with a massive gala and vigil, as part of a series of weeklong political and cultural events held across the Caribbean island country.

"I am Fidel," a slogan that came up naturally among Cubans after the death of the late Commander in Chief one year ago, was frequently repeated in chorus by the attendees during a gala at the Jose Maria Heredia Theater.

A video was displayed on the screen at the theater, showing incumbent President Raul Castro's speech on Dec 3, 2016, a day before the ashes of his brother and predecessor were interred in a private ceremony at Santiago De Cuba's Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, 1,000 km east of Havana.

Government and political leaders attended the event on Sunday, including the Second Secretary General of Cuban Communist Party Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, and First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Broadcasted by the national television, artists and speakers recalled with songs and poems the revolutionary life of Fidel Castro, while a big screen at the back of the stage showed continuously the crucial moments of his life through images and videos.

On the same day, a massive vigil was held at the Antonio Maceo Revolution Square in the city to remember the leader who had led the country for 48 years.

The next morning, there will be a pilgrimage from that place to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery to pay tribute to Castro.

Over the past week, tributes have taken place throughout the country with book presentations, exhibitions, workshops, concerts and vigils, among other activities, held in different cities.

Castro died on Nov. 25 last year at the age of 90. After his death, the State Council decreed nine days of national mourning, and this year although normality reigns, many agree that Fidel's legacy and ideas should be remembered.

Cubans feel as if he were physically present and time hasn't erased an event that shocked this Caribbean nation and the world.