Santiago de Cuba.– More than 300,000 Santiago residents paid tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel on behalf of all Cuba, demonstrating that a year after his death, his work and example live on stronger than ever.
As on the occasion of his funeral rites, the Heroic City awoke early December 4, as the population joined the march that departed from the Plaza de la Revolución Mayor General Antonio Maceo Grajales with the first rays of sunlight over the Gran Piedra mountain range.
Along the same 2.7 kilometer route that the cedar urn with the inscription “Fidel” traveled a year ago, workers and the population in general marched the length of Patria Avenue, led by leaders of the territory and students of different educational levels, carrying enormous July 26 Movement and Cuban flags.
“I live nearby and although I have come to honor him some 70 times already, today I could not miss it, because Fidel is an example and guide for all of us, and we will fulfill with dignity the mission that Cuba gave us to guard his ashes,” stated Blas Salvador Naranjo Frómeta, a professor at the University of Oriente, after laying flowers before the monolith that holds the ashes of the historic leader of the Revolution.
From the same educational institution, María Magdalena Zamora Cabrera went to dedicate the crochet work she had lovingly made to the Comandante, as “It couldn’t be otherwise as I don’t know how to draw, and here are Martí and Fidel, a dove, the flag, the rank of Comandante and stars that symbolize his light.”
Hundreds of portraits, his name on banners and even on skin, flags and a variety of shows of affection and respect were brought by the people to Santa Ifigenia cemetery.
Dr. Martha Vinet Serrano explained why she was participating in the tribute: “I’m here because I came from a very poor background and I owe everything I am to him. I became a doctor, I have completed four internationalist missions in Angola, Haiti and Venezuela, and whenever I can, I will come here to seek new energies, to continue, at the age of 76, serving the Revolution.”
From the start and throughout the march, many grateful international students or visitors joined the tribute, such as Analía and Soledad, from Argentina, who expressed their admiration for the legacy of the founder of the Cuban Revolution.
“We’re here on vacation,” they noted, “and coinciding with the anniversary of Fidel’s death we traveled to Santiago de Cuba, to experience this significant moment alongside Cubans, for a man who represented all of Cuba, but also belonged to the entire world.”
Meanwhile, Christophe Servais from Belgium traveled to the island for the twenty-seventh time, with his camera at the ready to capture the tribute to Fidel as, “He is a historic man for the whole world.”
The record number of visitors to the cemetery this December 4, together with the 547,959 people (including 127,321 international visitors), who up until November 30 had come to pay tribute to the historic leader of the Revolution, confirm that Fidel lives on among us and in all the just causes of the world.