Washington, Nov 28: President Barack Obama will not attend Fidel Castro’s funeral, the White House said today, demurring on the question of who would lead the US delegation.

“The president will not be traveling to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Obama has sought to thaw tensions with Cuba, but stopped short of meeting Castro during a landmark trip to Havana earlier this year.

Since his death on Friday night, state-run newspapers, television and radio have been running wall-to-wall tributes to Fidel, broadcasting non-stop footage of his speeches, interviews and foreign trips, interspersed with adulatory remembrances by prominent Cubans.

“There’s a genuine feeling of mourning, that’s not a formality, that’s not showy, that’s not outward-focused, but rather completely intimate,” former National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said on state television yesterday.
Ordinary people have largely been staying at home, off streets hushed by a prohibition on music and celebration during the nine days of official mourning for Castro. For some, particularly younger Cubans, Castro’s death barely registered.