Cuban revolutionary hero buried in Cuba
Cuban revolutionary and Vice President Juan Almeida Bosque dies of a heart attack at the age of 82.
Juan Almeida Bosque, born in 1927, was a Cuban politician and one of the original commanders of the 1950s Cuban Revolution.
After the Revolution, he was a prominent figure in the Communist Party of Cuba; at the time of his death in 2009, he was a Vice-President of the Cuban Council of State and was its third ranking member.
He was one of only a few individuals who have received the honorary title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba.
A memorial ceremony was held on September 13 in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, with several other memorials occurring across Cuba. A national day of mourning was also declared, with flags flown at half mast.
The memorial service was attended by tens of thousands of his countrymen who queued across the Plaza to view a large photograph of Almeida. The service was initiated by President Raul Castro who placed a pink rose in front of the photograph, but did not make a statement.
Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public since he resigned as president in 2006, did not attend the ceremony but did release a statement praising Almeida’s “exemplary conduct during more than half a century of heroic and victorious resistance”.
Fidel Castro also sent a wreath to the memorial which was placed alongside his brother, Raul’s. Other senior government and Communist Party members also attended the ceremony. Almeida did not wish for his body to lie in state and the Cuban government has stated that it will honour his wish.
In accordance with his wishes his body will be given a military funeral at a mausoleum in mountains near to Santiago de Cuba, an area which he fought in during the revolution.