Castro's younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro, who has presided over the country for the last 10 years, saluted.
Zimbabwe leader, President Robert Mugabe, has expressed his personal sense of loss when he touched down in Cuba.
Hundreds of thousands of people had the opportunity to pay their respects to the late Castro on Havana's central Revolution Square.
"Goodbye commander. Your ideas remain here with us", said a 64-year-old attendee.
Cuba used to be the colony of the Spanish Empire for centuries, until 1898, when as a result of the Spanish-American War, it came under the United States control.
A funeral ceremony for Cuba's late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has brought together leaders from regional nations as well as representatives from across the world in the capital, Havana. Earnest argues this isn't an "official" presidential delegation.
The Tuesday memorial was attended by thousands of ordinary Cubans.
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Instead of an official delegation, the White House will send one of the president's top foreign policy advisers and its top diplomat on the island to the ceremony.
Revolution Square is where Cubans once gathered to listen to Fidel Castro's fiery speeches.
"We and our self-sacrificing, combative and heroic people say to you: Ever onward to victory", Castro said in a tribute to his brother. "Fidel!" as Castro's leftist Latin American allies and other leaders from the region and Africa joined the commemoration.
In his speech, South African President Jacob Zuma praised Cuba's record on health care and education and its support for African countries.
Newly-appointed Cuban Ambassador to China, Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos, expressed honest thanks for President Xi's condolences on behalf of the Cuban party, government and Raul Castro, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.
But leaders of the United States and Russian Federation, the two countries that most defined Cuba's global relations, will be conspicuously absent during the memorials.
A caravan carrying Castro's ashes will depart Havana on Wednesday en route to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, his final resting place, in a reversal of the journey he took with the rebel army that overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959.