2 U.S. officials to attend Fidel Castro funeral

Santiago de Cuba prepares for historic funeral of revolution leader

By Glenna Milberg , Calvin Hughes , Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

As Cubans prepare for a final ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, Fidel Castro's funeral cortege continued on the island.

The preparations at the cemetery have been kept secret, and so has the cause of death. Cuban officials had time to prepare. Castro's health issues prompted him to step down in 2006 and he died at 90. 

After Raul Castro announced his death, the government declared nine official days of mourning, which have been enforced with severity, according to Cuban relatives in the U.S., who have reported violent arrests of dissidents. 

The procession started in Havana, where tens of thousands lined up to pay their respects. The cortege made a stop at the Ernesto "Che" Guevara memorial in Santa Clara Wednesday night.

They were on their way from Camaguey to Las Tunas Friday. 

Two U.S. officials planned to attend the Sunday funeral.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis will attend despite "some significant concerns about the way the Cuban government operates," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier this week.

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