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Cuba marks 58th anniversary of revolution, with parade in honor of Fidel Castro

2 January 2017 22:02

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Millions of people in Cuba have flocked to the streets of the country’s capital, Havana, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

On Monday, Cubans paid tribute to their late legendary leader, Fidel Castro, and the uprising that brought him to power with celebrations and a military parade around Havana’s iconic Revolution Square.

The event began with the firing of a 21-gun salute and the national anthem of Cuba.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, militia members, students and workers attended the march and pledged allegiance to Fidel Castro’s legacy, with some carrying giant banners that read, “We are Fidel.”

Cuban soldiers and people wait for the beginning of the military parade in honor of recently deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro at  Havana’s Revolution Square on January 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Raul Castro, who took over the country’s leadership from his brother in 2006 and later became president, watched the march in the center of the square.

This year’s rallies were particularly significant because they were the first such celebration since the passing of Castro in late November.

“This is an important message of unity and strength,” said a participant in the Monday march. “This is going to be a difficult year but we will keep working hard to bring our people forwards.”

Cuban President Raul Castro (C) participates in a military parade in honor of recently deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro at Havana’s Revolution Square, on January 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The parade normally takes place every five years on December 2, but it was postponed for a month due to Castro’s death in November 2016.

For many in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fidel Castro was a symbol of resistance against imperialism for ousting a US-backed dictator in 1959. Castro died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90, a decade after ceding power to Raul.

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