Cuba Passes Law Banning Naming Sites After Fidel Castro

A photograph of Cuba's late president, Fidel Castro, stands in tribute to him inside the Jose Marti Memorial in Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, November 28. President-elect Donald Trump is calling for a better "deal" between Cuba and the U.S. Enrique De La Osa/Reuters

Cuba's National Assembly approved a law on Tuesday that bans erecting commemorative statues of Fidel Castro or naming public places after him, in accordance with the wishes of the revolutionary leader who died last month.

Castro always said he did not want a cult of personality although critics point out that the cult was everywhere. His words are posted on billboards nationwide and his name is invoked at every public event.

Every since his death, a large photo of a young Castro dressed in military fatigues, with a rifle and pack slung over his back, has hung from a buildings on Havana's Revolution Square.

"Our main homage will not be to name everything we build after him but rather to keep his work alive and continue our socialist society," lawmaker Jennifer Bello Martinez, president of the University Students' Federation, was quoted as saying by official media outlet Juventud Rebelde.

President Raul Castro had already announced that his older brother did not want to be immortalized with statues or public places named in his name.

The law does not ban artists from using Fidel Castro's figure in music, literature, dance, cinema or other visual arts, official media specified. Photos of him hanging up in offices, places of study or public institutions also may be kept.

Castro, a leading Cold War figure who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and defied U.S. attempts to topple him, died on Nov. 25, aged 90, eight years after handing the presidency over to Raul.

Cuba commemorated his death with nine official days of mourning and two mass memorial services.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans also turned out to greet a funeral cortege carrying Castro's ashes 600 miles (1,000 km) east to Santiago, retracing the route that his rebels took upon overthrowing the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista in 1959.