Cubans mark death anniversary of Che

Cubans mark death anniversary of Che

Cubans mark death anniversary of Che

Tens of thousands of Cubans turned out on Oct. 8 to pay tribute to Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

An estimated 70,000 people thronged the streets outside a mausoleum in this town 300 kilometers east of the capital Havana which houses the remains of Guevara and of some of his former comrades.

President Raul Castro, dressed in his general's uniform, was among those attending the ceremony in Santa Clara, which was the site of a December 1958 battle that finally sent Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista into exile.

Raul Castro fought alongside Guevara during the Cuban revolution led by his brother Fidel Castro.

The 39-year-old Guevara was captured and executed by a CIA-trained unit of the Bolivian army on Oct. 9, 1967.

The 86-year-old Raul Castro took a back seat at the ceremony to Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is expected to replace him as president next year.

Diaz-Canel, 57, denounced American "imperialism" in a speech and referred to increased tension in Cuba-U.S. relations since Donald Trump became president.

Cuba will "never negotiate away its principles or give in to blackmail," he said.

Che's remains were transferred from Bolivia to Cuba in 1997 and interred in a mausoleum here which features a large bronze statue of the guerrilla leader.