Cassinga survivors join Cubans in peaceful demonstration

11 November 2019 | International

The secretary-general of the Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association, Cecilia Muzile, joined over 100 demonstrators in Windhoek at a peaceful march against the United States of America's economic embargo against the socialist country on Saturday.

Muzile, along with fellow Cassinga survivors Hileni Amakali-Mudhika, Elise Hishongwa, Lavinia Nghandi and Lidwina Shipiki said they joined the demonstration to show their solidarity and support for the island nation in their time of need.

She told Nampa that during Namibia's liberation struggle, it was Cuba that stood side by side with Swapo in the battle of Quito Canavale in southern Angola.

Nicole Escobar, a Namibian married to a Cuban national, told Nampa at the gathering she hopes Namibians in general understand that it is important to raise their voices and not forget how the world and how Cuba in particular spoke up for Namibians during the country's liberation struggle.

Civil engineering lecturer at the University of Namibia, Mercedes Rosell said she has been living in Namibia for nine years as a result of the sanctions that have made life in Cuba somewhat unbearable.

She said the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote last week for the lifting of sanctions is a demonstration that the world is in solidarity with Cuba and thanked Namibians in particular for making Cubans living in Namibia feel welcome.

“For many Cubans living here, Namibia is our second home,” she said.

“Namibia and Cuba are sister nations. As sister countries, we have shared values and common goals. These goals include the fight for the lifting of sanctions against Cuba as President Hage Geingob expressed in his speech recently at the United Nations,” Rosell added.

The march along Independence Avenue was organised by the Cuban Embassy and the Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association.

It coincided with events in New York at the UNGA where 187 member states of the UN voted in favour of the lifting of US sanctions against Cuba. The US, Israel and Brazil voted against while Ukraine and Moldova abstained.

Meanwhile, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Namibia to the UN, Neville Gertze delivered a statement at the UNGA on behalf of Namibia before casting Namibia's vote in favour of the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the US on Cuba on 16 October 1960.

Gertze said he along with members of his delegation, which included Julia Imene, Namibia's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, are voting in favour of Cuba in defence of international law and UN resolutions which call for all countries to recognise each other's sovereignty and refrain from using threats in their international relations.