A soldier salutes as the motorcade carrying the ashes of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro makes i's final journey towards the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago, Cuba Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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Fidel Castro's ashes were taken Sunday to a cemetery in the cradle of his revolution as Cuba opens a new era without the communist leader who ruled the island for decades.Castro, who died on November 25 at age 90, will be laid to rest during a "simple" ceremony near the mausoleum of 19th century independence icon Jose Marti and other national heroes, said his brother and successor, President Raul Castro.On Saturday night, Raul Castro led a massive, final rally in his brother's honor at Santiago's Revolution Plaza, leading the crowd in a pledge to uphold socialist ideals.While Castro was sidelined by emergency intestinal surgery a decade ago, he remained a towering figure in Cuba.After taking power, Fidel Castro became a Soviet ally and was a constant thorn in the side of successive US presidents until illness forced him to hand power to Raul in 2006 .Since succeeding his brother, Raul Castro has implemented modest economic reforms in recent years, restored diplomatic relations with the United States and vowed to step down in 2018 .While Castro has died, his legacy is not going to vanish overnight.
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