Sunday, June 11, 2017

Africa and Cuba: Bound by a Single Sentiment
Hundreds of delegates from countries such as Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria approved the Final Declaration of Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference

Linet Perera Negrin |
June 7, 2017 12:06:32

Fernando González ICAP President (left), with former President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma (center) and Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, a founder of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), during the closing ceremony of Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Namibia.

Windhoek.— Cuba and Africa share strong bonds and a common history. All countries of the continent have shown Cuba great respect and appreciation, while for Cubans, who also hold the same values, Africa represents our roots and a second home. These are two peoples bound by a single sentiment.

It was this union that saw hundreds of delegates from countries such as Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria approve the Final Declaration of Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference.

In the Namibian capital of Windhoek, participants discussed ways to strengthen the Cuba solidarity movement, the role of alternative media in disseminating the island’s reality, and the importance of promoting the legacy of Fidel and Che.

Meanwhile, the second panel discussed different solidarity actions demanding an end to the economic commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government on Cuba, and the return of the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base in Guantánamo.

Under the maxim, "Intensifying solidarity with Cuba and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che," and following the presentation of reports by two work commissions, participants drew up a document aimed at strengthening bilateral solidarity and disseminating information about Cuba’s reality not only on the continent, but also worldwide.

In this sense, the Final Declaration of the event reaffirms participants’ “commitment to continue developing and strengthening the Cuba solidarity movement in each one of our countries, struggling for unity and truth (…) We demand that Cuba’s right to self-determination and sovereignty, as well as its right to decide the political system of its choice, be respected.”

The text also recognizes the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara, as two great examples of altruism.

It also calls to continue supporting “the causes of all sister countries struggling for a better world. In particular, we pledge our support to Puerto Rico in its struggle for self-determination, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the people of Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, and all peoples of the continent defending their sovereignty.”

In speeches delegates also demanded respect for Western Sahara and Palestine’s “right to free self-determination, independence and statehood,” a position that was also included in the Final Declaration.

Meanwhile, the need to develop communication strategies and intensify work with electronic and print media in order to disseminate information about Cuba’s reality, were also highlighted.
The closing ceremony of the continental meeting, which brought together hundreds of delegates from different countries, was presided by Namibian independence leader and former President, Sam Nujoma, among other government figures. Also in attendance was Fernado González, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and Cuban Ambassador in Namibia, Giraldo Mazola.

Although the conference working sessions ended on June 6, activities linked to the event are still ongoing; including visits by delegates to two sites of great historic importance, the Heroes Acre and the Museum of Independence, this June 7.

Finally, it was announced that Nigeria will host the next edition of the conference, which despite featuring new challenges and ideas, will maintain its principal objective: to work in solidarity with the island. 

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