Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, has express gratitude for Cuba’s invaluable contribution to the liberation of the Namibian people.
“We Namibians considered the people of the Republic of Cuba, as true heroes of the Namibia’s liberation struggle and our national independence,” said Katjavivi.
Katjavivi was speaking at the public solidarity meeting to celebrate the release of the Cuban five men from US custody at the UN Plaza in Katutura on Saturday. Former Robbin Island inmate, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo who is the patron of the Namibia Cuba Friendship Association was among the guests of honour.
Rene Gonzales, Ramon Labanino, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzales, better known as the Cuban Five, were imprisoned in American for espionage. The five Cubans are in the country to express support for Namibia’s role in raising international solidarity with their plight.
Katjavivi told the Cuban Five that Cuba represent true, tested solidarity in the struggle against international oppression of the people of the south.
“The blood of the Cuban internationalists alongside that of Namibians watered our freedom and hard-won independence,” said Katjavivi, adding that the relationship between Namibia and Cuba is cemented in blood.
He said during the liberation struggle the Republic of Cuba availed its revolutionary sons and daughters to fight alongside the combatants of the People Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA), which culminated in the epic battle of Cuito Cuannavale.
“We shall forever remember how you fought alongside with us in Angola and your immense contribution to our national independence,” Katjavivi said.
Katjavivi went on to say that Namibia today remains a democratic nations and credit should be given to Cuba’s contribution of selfless revolutionaries.
He said our hospitals are served by professionals trained over many decades by the Universities of Cuba, and today, our cooperation in the health sector is one of the strongest in terms of impacting on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Namibians.
On his part, Ya Toivo said when the heard of the Cuban Five arrest about seventeen years ago, ”We understood you arrest to be yet another US effort to undermine the government and the people of Cuba, who are the steadfast and inseparable friends of the people of Namibia and the freedom-loving people of the world.”
“We therefore committed ourselves, as the Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association, to join the millions of people world-wide to demand your unconditional freedom,” said Ya Toivo.