Namibia Hosts African Conference of Solidarity with Cuba

Windhoek, June 5 (RHC)-- Namibian President Hage Geingob inaugurated on Monday the 5th African Conference for Solidarity with Cuba, set to run for three days in the city of Windhoek with the participation of delegations from 25 regional countries.

Fernando González, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), attended Monday's opening session, during which participants debated the support of solidarity organizations for Cuba's cause against Washington's nearly six decades-old blockade policy and for the return of the portion of Cuban territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo.  

Other issues for discussion include the use of social and alternative media to spread the truth about Cuba, and promote the legacy of the Historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino



Commentaries

  • Alimamy Bakarr SANKO's gravatar
    Alimamy Bakarr SANKO
    06/06/2017 10:15 pm

    HUGO CHAVEZ INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR PEACE, FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY (HCIF-PFS) AND, AFRICAN-CUBAN SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN NETWORK (ACSCAN) Sierra Leone, West Africa. 6th June, 2017 SUBJECT: “MESSAGE TO THE 5TH CONTINENTAL AFRICAN CONFERENCE IN SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA-WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA. Brothers and Sisters, Our Organisations have mandated me to communicate with you through this message, as you gathered in the Namibian capital of Windhoek, to strengthen our unflinching solidarity and support for Cuba and the Cuban people. May I thank the organizers of this historic event of gathering of noble people around the world. On behalf of myself, and on behalf of members of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity, and the African-Cuban Solidarity Campaign Network, I convey warm greetings to all of you who have come from every corner of the world to attend the 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, called and currently holding in Namibia, to discuss issues that touch the life of every Cuban and in general all Africans on the continent and the diasporas. Inviting our charismatic Organisations to this historic event is no mistake. Once again, I say many thanks to the organizers of this conference and hope all discussions, views and ideas expressed during the event will yield the desired results. Permit me now to contribute to the success of the African-Cuban Solidarity Conference, for which you have invited us. You will agree with me that the situation in Venezuela robs this off the fanfares it deserves. The situation in our friendly country, Venezuela for the last two months is one of terrorism at the highest order planned, funded and supported by the enemies of the people of Venezuela. It is a counterrevolution by the most fascist terrorist forces that are bent on destabilizing Venezuela with the sole aim to topple the legitimate and democratically-elected Government of President Nicolás Maduro. The situation is just akin to what the US did with Pinochet in Chile in 1973, with the "contras" in Nicaragua in the 80's and more recently against Libya and now in Syria. It is a ‘regime change’ destabilization effort supervised by the imperial Organisation of the American States (OAS). While the terrorist have succeeded in destroying innocent lives, unfortunately, the corporate media has set up an international campaign of blatant lies malicious propaganda to present the terrorist actions of the right wing fascist rogues as repression from the democratic and freedom-loving Government in Caracas. The truth is that these terrorist acts are directed against public infrastructures, cherished institutions and agencies and against members, supporters and sympathizers of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The aim of these so-called protests is to import the Libyan situation to Venezuela in order to demand US military intervention and aggression. State agencies’ buildings have been destroyed, an entire float of public buses burned, a health facility for women and children attacked. Over sixty people have died and hundreds wounded during these fascist terrorist attacks backed by the OAS. These are not 'pro-democracy peaceful' protests as the media tries to mislead the public. Criminal groups and thugs are recruited and paid to commit terror acts against the Venezuelan people, while foreign students are mobilize to unleash mayhem on the population after promised of resettlement to the United States. The fascist, hateful and racist character of the attacks includes setting people on fire, stabbing and beating them while shouting racist insults. The OAS has been in the forefront of the heinous campaign, diabolic, racist-centered and terror attacks, preparing the ground for foreign military intervention and aggression against Venezuela. As a result, Venezuela has taken the noble path of leaving the OAS. The campaign for foreign military invasion and aggression against Venezuela has already begun with the visit of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to the White House to receive instructions on the pending foreign military intervention in the Latin American nation. Colombian undoubtedly has moved its army tanks and terror outfits to the border with Venezuela. I don’t need to labour here so much to explain; suffice it to say that blood soaked opposition figures – Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed right wing leader Leopoldo López, and National Assembly president Julio Borges have been meeting with politicians and military personnel in the US, to request foreign intervention with NATO in front. As you gathered in Namibia, we urge you to use the historic event to extend our unified solidarity and support for Venezuela. It is time to expose those foreign forces behind the current criminal war against the Government and people of Venezuela; it is time to unveil the truth behind the so-called opposition protests in Venezuela and condemn the role of the OAS in the terror campaign against Venezuelans. And now to solidarity with Cuba, which purpose the gathering in Namibia is convened. Permit me first to quote the words of former South African President Nelson Mandela: “We come here with a sense of the great debt that is owed the people of Cuba. What other country can point to a record of greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?” One cannot comment on Cuba without first mentioning the illegal and obnoxious US embargo, which has caused considerable damages to the economy, health, education, technology, agriculture and trade sectors inside Cuba. This situation has its own ugly impact on Africa and other parts of the world that bear witness to Cuba’s role in shaping the global village. You will all agree with me that Cuba means different things to different people of different backgrounds. To the tourist it is a place of sandy beaches and unmatched hospitality. To the individual of privileged elite with capitalistic tendencies it is a nation which has not pawn it freedom and integrity to the whims and caprices of imperialism. But, to us in African however, Cuba is a great nation which every black man on earth sees as a dignified home. You will agree with me also that Cuba’s solidarity and support for Africa are too enormous to mention here. Cuba’s role in the independence and freedom of Africa cannot be measured in terms of money; but simply in terms of morality, sharing, fraternity and unflinching solidarity bridge ideas, cultural practices, and the recognition that we are of the same human family and can dwell together, no matter the distance that one has to travel to visit the other. No matter what our colonizers or their allies would say about Cuba, it is in the minds of Africans everywhere that Cuba loves Africa. Make no mistake; Africans played prominent role in the formation of the sovereignty of Cuba. Contrary to historical error, the great grandfathers of the Cuban Revolutions were none other than a Dominican of African extraction by the name of Maximo Gomez and a Venezuelan of mixed African- Spaniard heritage named Antonio Maceo. The woman who led two rebellions against colonial injustice in the Cuban sugar mill of the Mantanzas was a former slave stolen from Africa. These, we must not feel shy to say that Africans owe a great deal to Cuba. Evidence abounds to argue that, no stage in its history of Cuba one cannot find an African struggling alongside its Cuban counterpart. You will agree that, there was a special relationship that existed between the Cuban revolution and Africa from almost the beginning. The Cubans were very supportive of the Algerian struggle against the French, which succeeded in 1962. They went on to support the various anti-colonial movements in Africa, including in particularly the anti-Portuguese movements in Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique. And they were unquestioning in their support for the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Despite that, the Angolan struggle receives more attention. The problem is that when Cuban troops went to Angola, they did not go at the behest of the Soviet Union. In fact, the Soviet Union was not in favor of Cuban troops going there. The Cubans went there out of a sense of solidarity. I mean, they actually believed in solidarity. And they went there to stop the invasion that was in the process of taking place between—by the South African apartheid troops and their allies in the FNLA and UNITA. And so, this relationship has been very, very strong. In 1975, as Angola moved towards independence from Portugal, the CIA, along with the apartheid government of South Africa, tried to bring down the new Angolan government. At the request of the Angolan president, Cuba sent 36,000 troops to keep the South African forces from attacking Rwanda, the capital. For many Cubans, whose ancestors were African slaves, the fight in Angola was a way to repair a debt to history. In 14 years of war, over 300,000 Cubans—doctors, teachers and engineers, as well as soldiers—played an important role in Angola. More than 2,000 lost their lives. In 1988, Cuba sent in more Cuban troops for the decisive battle at Cuito Cuanavale and directed operations from Cuba. The defeat of the South African army drove a large nail into the coffin of apartheid and helped advance the struggle of the South African people. In After 1983 under the charismatic leadership of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso benefited greatly from the Cuban aid it received for promoting the country’s ambitious agricultural projects. The West African nation is on record to have achieved food self-sufficiency. Thanks to Cuba’s solidarity. In the medical field Cuban solidarity with Africa is high above others. The role of Cuba in developing the health sector of Africa has led to the drastic plunge in the infant mortality rate across the continent. Only recently that we, in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia were saved from the dreadful Ebola pandemic, which left over 20, 000 Africans death and more left either orphanage or widow. Without Cuba’s timely intervention, the whole of West African region would have been totally devastated by the Ebola pandemic. To say that Cuba's assistance helped reprogram Africans is the obvious. Africans have long ago come to grasp with the reality that the legacy of colonialism on the continent is one of usurpation, exploitation, racism and White Supremacy. It comes to say also that with the continuation of the more than fifty year old embargo, the US owes a great debt to Cuba for waging a psychological, heinous, diabolic, spurious and genocidal war through embargo and economic blockade. As a result millions of struggling workers around the world have been deprived of the ability to learn from Cuba. The US blockade has caused immeasurable suffering for the Cuban people and wasted precious resources better spent on the many needs of the poor and oppressed humankind. Cuba lost out on at least US$117 billion between 1960 and 2014 due to the U.S. economic blockade on the country, according to the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. What is striking about the Cuban Revolution is how deeply it is embedded in the fabric of society. It is easy to wander upon the many monuments celebrating internationalist solidarity in Cuba. Monuments to Bobby Sands, Malcolm X, Salvador Allende, and Ho Chi Minh were a sight to see, indeed. It is a fact well established that over 60,000 Cubans are currently stationed throughout the African continent for medical and technical assistance. Such assistance is in keeping with the decades of solidarity Cuba has provided to African liberation movements fighting the scourges of colonialism and apartheid in Angola, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique. Solidarity, you all know is a menace to the thirst of the ruling elite, say for instance in the US. The tenets of private property and profit accumulation ensure that endless war is a requirement for the empire. While tens of thousands of Cubans give their lives to assist in the liberation of Africa, the US spends billions on maintaining instability on the continent via AFRICOM. In contrast, African revolutionaries such as Kwame Nkrumah and Amilcar Cabral are honoured in Havana Museums, Cuba. There is no question that Cuba takes great pride in its solidarity with Africa. The Cuban revolution has developed a socialist, humanistic people so desperately needed in the homeland of war and empire. The people of the Africa have much to learn from Cuba's commitment to international solidarity. It is increasingly clear that even hostile countries also have much to learn from the Cuban revolution in the field of domestic achievement. A visit to the Cuban capital city of Havana, one can fine nothing but an environment whereby no single person sleeps on the street or lacks a roof over his or her head. The United States for instance is home to millions of homeless children and families. It is also the home of a crumbling, private healthcare system that privileges the profits of corporations over the health of the people. This is why the US healthcare system is without advancements like Cuba's Heberprot-B diabetic ulcer treatment or the lung cancer vaccine, medications that would benefit large numbers of people struggling to afford care for these ailments. Housing and healthcare are well-known achievements of the Cuban revolution. What is even less known however is the vast amount of progress the Cuban revolution has made on the questions of sexuality and gender balanced. The US blockade was not designed to advance the revolution, but rather to destabilize Cuba and assassinate the revolution slowly. The hundreds of billions of dollars of potential wealth that has left the island since 1960 have made certain raw materials and supplies difficult for the island to obtain. By October of 2016, the former Obama Administration in Washington is on record to have had fined forty-five companies for a total of 14 billion dollars in damages for attempting to do business in Cuba. The US government has not stopped its ceaseless attack on the Cuban Revolution and probably never will. This makes African solidarity with Cuba all the more important in these changing times. The single most important task for us in Africa is to accelerate the naturally acclaimed demand for an immediate and unconditional end to the criminal blockade against Cuba. We must first understand why the blockade on Cuba is criminal. We must understand how the blockade impedes the interests of not only the Cuban people, but the interests of Africa and Africans everywhere. By this message, we, at the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCIF-PFS) and the African-Cuban Solidarity Campaign Network (ACSCAN) wish to call upon all participants at the fifth African Solidarity Conference with Cuba to call on President Donald John Trump to take concrete actions to finish the job of restoring normal diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US from where the former Obama Administration left. We demand also the following: 1. An end to the 56 year old embargo/blockade of Cuba, 2. An immediate return of the US occupied territory of Guantanamo to Cuba. 3. An end to the policy of financial persecution against Cuba. 4. Permit Cuba to import from third countries products with more than 10 percent U.S. components. 5. Allow Cuban entities to open correspondent accounts in U.S. banks. 6. Not impede the granting of credits or other financial facilities to Cuba. 7. Allow imports of Cuba’s exportable products or services. 8. Authorize Cuban planes and boats to carry passengers, cargo and mail between the two countries. 9. Authorize direct exports of U.S. products to Cuba. 10. Authorize companies to invest in Cuba (international firms have submitted more than 400 proposals for investment in the Mariel Economic Zone). 11. Remove the limit on Cuban products that can be imported by U.S. visitors to Cuba. 12. Authorize U.S. citizens to receive medical treatment in Cuba. 13. Allow the distribution of credits, loans and financing for the acquisition of products in the U.S. market. Brothers and sisters, once again, we wish you all a successful deliberations and unified decisions and pray that this message forms part of your resolutions in the conference. Thank you and may God Almighty Bless you all. Sender: Alimamy Bakarr SANKOH International Executive Director Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity, and President The African-Cuban Solidarity Campaign Network


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