Why Cuba matters to us

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WINDHOEK, 02 February 2016 - Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

This week we concluded the 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, held in Windhoek, under the theme: ‘Intensifying Solidarity and Continuing the Legacy of Fidel and Ché’.

This has been a productive gathering, which brought together national and international experts to further strengthen the friendship and solidarity among our respective nations in the present international environment. The conference reaffirmed our strong and excellent solidarity relations that unite Cuba and Africa.

Valuable contributions were made to the analysis and ratification of the importance of the solidarity and friendship actions in terms of the most relevant and current issues of common interest. I have no doubt that these contributions have added value to the enhancement of the Cuban-Africa positions in the international community.

The two working commissions have also generated useful proposals on how we can strengthen the work of our solidarity organisations and their work and how we can best promote the legacy of Comrade Fidel Castro-Ruz, whose life was dedicated to the wellbeing not only of his native Cuba, but of all oppressed people around the world.

As countries of the South, sustained economic growth and sustainable development remain a priority. Needless to say, therefore, is that poverty alleviation can only be successful in a stable and peaceful environment. Our socio-economic development will be achieved only if we maintain peace, justice and political stability on the African continent and the world at large.

Our international relations and cooperation must, therefore, embrace the spirit of Africa-Asia-Latino solidarity, through regional and continental integration, as well as mutual respect and peaceful coexistence among all nations of the world. In this connection, I wish to urge friendship associations with Cuba to continue promoting projects that accelerate the realisation of Africa-Cuba cooperation.

United by our common values, we should work in unison at international platforms to promote fairer international trade, better international relations and cooperation, including a more representative UN Security Council, and a more inclusive international financial and economic systems, that is supportive of a more equitable sharing of benefits from increased international trade and economic growth amongst all nations of the world, so as to end the continued economic marginalisation of Africa.

We should further continue to champion the cause of justice for all across the world, including the lifting of the unjust and debilitating economic and trade sanctions against Cuba, as well as the end of occupation of Guantanamo Bay.

The plight of the Cuban people shall forever remain a matter of interest to us. Since our attainment of national independence, our government has consistently called for the lifting of the US economic embargoes against Cuba. At the African Union, Namibia has continued to sponsor resolutions to this effect.

Namibia is indeed honoured to have hosted this conference, and on behalf of the government of the Republic of Namibia, I wish to extend our profound gratitude and appreciation to the African Friendship Associations with Cuba for granting us this honour and to all delegates for taking out time out of their busy schedules to travel to Namibia to participate in this conference.

Let me conclude by stating that the 5th Continental African Conference in Solidarity with Cuba should not be an end in itself, but should form part of our effort towards strengthening the bonds of friendship between the people of Cuba and progressive peoples of the world; to recognise the important work done in support of Cuba based on its solidarity actions; to deliberate on priorities in the actions of solidarity and to fortify the bonds between partner organisations of the continent.

* This statement was made by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in Windhoek at the 5th Continental African Conference in solidarity with Cuba.

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