Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the route of a procession carrying Fidel Castro's ashes from Havana to a final resting place in Santiago de Cuba, where the first shots in the Cuban Revolution led by Castro were fired. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: A procession carrying Fidel Castro's ashes set out from Havana on Wednesday on a long trek to a final resting place in Santiago de Cuba, where the first shots in the Cuban Revolution were fired and where Castro claimed victory in 1959. Castro, who ruled Cuba for half a century until 2008 and built a Communist state on the doorstep of the United States, died on Friday aged 90, plunging the Caribbean nation into nine days of mourning. He was cremated on Saturday and the interment will take place on Sunday morning. It will take the cortege carrying his ashes three days to make the 550-mile (900-km) journey eastward across the eyebrow-shaped island to Santiago de Cuba, going back along the route taken by his bearded revolutionaries in their victory march to Havana in 1959. Tens of thousands of Cubans are expected to line the route. Castro was admired by many around the world, especially in Latin America and Africa, for standing up to the United States, instituting free education and health care, and sending doctors around the world on missions of mercy. But others vilified him as a dictator who ruined the economy with his brand of socialism and denied Cubans basic human rights such as freedom of speech. Some two million Cuban-Americans live in the United States, the result of a steady stream of people quitting the country for political and economic reasons.