Human Rights in Cuba

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Geingob calls for removal of U.S. trade on Cuba
June 6, 2017
Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob says there is much ground to cover to
ensure the complete lifting of the United States of America’s long
running economic and trade blockade against Cuba.

Geingob made the remarks yesterday during the commencement of the 5th
Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, where about 174
delegates, including several Cuban nationals, were gathered.

He said Africa would continue to support the people of Cuba until the
world sees the total elimination of existing economic and commercial
barriers, noting that some progress had been made, particularly
following the release of the Cuban Five (who were held in the U.S. on
dubious espionage charges), but said it was necessary that the U.S. lift
its economic and trade embargo of Cuba.

“We applaud the positive developments in this respect and commend the
governments of Cuba and the U.S. for their efforts… We salute the people
of Cuba for the fortitude that they have maintained throughout the
years, never compromising on their principles while facing economic
injustice,” he stated.

The conference aims to strengthen bonds of friendship between the people
of Cuba and progressive peoples of the world by recognising the
important work done by them in solidarity and support of Cuba.

The three-day conference further aims to galvanise international
solidarity organisations to demand the lifting of the economic,
financial and trade blockade against Cuba, and the restoration of the
territory illegally occupied by the U.S. as a naval base at Guantanamo
Bay where the infamous Guantanamo is based, as two of the main
obstacles to the island’s development.

Andima Toivo Ya Toivo, patron of the Namibia-Cuba Friendship
Association, said he looked forward to discussions on how the two
countries can jointly help bring an end to the economic blockade and the
return of Guantanamo Bay to the people of Cuba.

The conference also aims to strategise collectively and to strengthen
solidarity movements with Cuba, as well as Cuban solidarity with Africa,
in light of the importance of utilising social and alternative media to
spread news of the reality of Cuban social, political and economic life.

It also aims to highlight and promote the legacy of late Commandant
, who from Havana spearheaded the Cuban forces in the famous
and decisive Battle of Cuito Cuanevale in Angola in the late 1980s – the
largest battle on African soil since the Seoncd World War – which led to
the military defeat of the South African regime, opening up the
prospects for Namibian independence and the end of rule in
South Africa.

Geingob said the continent of Africa and Cuba continue to enjoy
fraternal relations. This, he added, needs to translate into strong
meaningful commercial and trade relations.

Further, he said Africans still face major challenges related to
economic development, external , the global economic downturn,
rampant poverty, as well as the / pandemic.

“We all agree that our aim should be to achieve sufficient levels of
sustainable economic development in order to eradicate poverty in our
societies. We must take bold and concrete actions aimed at promoting
South-South cooperation at all levels in areas, such as ,
trade, technology exchange for agricultural production and
manufacturing, as well as human resources development,” he argued.

In this way, he said, Africans would improve their productive capacities
for economic growth and competiveness in the global market.

Fernando Gonzalez, the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship
with the Peoples (ICAP) and one of the Cuban Five, highlighted the
friendship between the two countries that dates back to the days when
Cuba assisted Namibia during its liberation struggle.

Gonzalez condemned acts of terror being committed against African and
Middle East nations and thanked Namibian leaders, particularly President
Geingob and the two former presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye
Pohamba, for their sympathy and support following Castro’s death on
November 29, 2016.

A moment of silence was observed by the conference attendants in honour
of the late Cuban leader.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
said Africa is not foreign to Cubans, noting that many Cubans are today
providing essential services in various countries in Africa, including
Namibia.

Source: Geingob calls for removal of U.S. trade embargo on Cuba | New
Era Newspaper Namibia –
www.newera.com.na/2017/06/06/geingob-calls-for-removal-of-u-s-trade-embargo-on-cuba/

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