March 29, 2017 / 1:13 AM / 5 months ago

Cuba's Raul Castro attends interment of younger sister

FILE PHOTO - Cuba's President Raul Castro attends an ALBA alliance summit to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, March 5, 2017.Carlos Garcia Rawlins

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro participated in an "intimate and simple family ceremony" on Tuesday interring the ashes of his sister Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz, according to state television.

Agustina was the youngest of the seven Castro siblings, including Raul and Fidel, who together have run the island nation for nearly 60 years.

Agustina, who kept a low public profile, died on Sunday in Havana at the age of 78, according to Cuba's state television. Her death came four months after that of Fidel, who led Cuba's 1959 revolution and built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States.

Her cremated remains were interred at the cemetery of the family home in Biran in eastern Cuba, the broadcaster said.

Raul Castro, 85, has vowed to step down as president in 2018 at the end of his second five-year term. However he will remain first secretary of the Communist Party for three years after he steps down as president, retaining significant power.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Bill Trott

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