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Labour, Falana seek end to economic blockage of Cuba

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and human right lawyer, Femi Falana have urged the United States of America to lift the economic sanction imposed on Cuba.

Speaking in Abuja during the opening session of the 6th Cuba-Africa regional meeting and conference, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba said the meetings were necessitated by the need to affirm international support and solidarity for Cuba and demand respect for Cuba’s right to self-determination and sovereignty, as l as the right to pursue a political system of its choice.

He insisted that for the working-class people of Africa, friendship and solidarity with Cuba was special, saying the role Cuba played under Fidel Castro’s revolutionary leadership in the emancipation of many African countries from imperialism remains evergreen.

“The flourishing of trade unionism in Africa took a quantum leap upon the liberation of the continent from colonial powers.

“Cuba was vocal and involved in ridding our continent of foreign economic adventurists and opportunists. Cuba sent its soldiers at its own expense to Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Cuba’s support for the African National Congress remains a watershed in the revolutionary strides against the forces of occupation and injustice on the mother continent.

“While the rest of the world saw in Africa a beautiful bride to be besotted after, exploited and deserted thereafter, Cuba saw in Africa the brotherhood of shared humanity.

“It is on record that while the different army of occupation that ran riot all over Africa despoiling us of our people, our riches and our history, Cuba provided a helping hand without helping herself with the resources of Africa,” Wabba said.

He maintained that instead of plundering Africa when Cuba had the opportunity, it sought to build the continent, adding: “Cuba ensured that the frailties that afflicted many African countries especially in terms of shortages of skilled manpower were bridged by sending her skilled professionals – doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, and non-human resources to help African countries build their capacities post-independence.”

For the umpteenth time, labour movement and its civil society allies urged the United States and its western allies to lift the economic blockade against the people of Cuba.

Wabba said: “The people of Cuba have indeed turned the joke on the imperialists. The thought that Cuba would collapse after a few years has now been debunked by the resilience of the Cuban people these past sixty years and counting.”

On his part, human right activist, Femi Falana urged African countries to seek help from Cuba in the elimination of malaria, which he said had been a huge burden on the African continent.

Falana argued that Cuba, which eliminated malaria from its territories since 1967 could help eliminate malaria that kills millions of people in the continent.

He said: “The greatest killer of the African people apart from poverty is malaria. While the Western countries insist that we must buy mosquito nets, today Africa must decide that we are going to ask Cuba to come to Africa to eliminate malaria.”

“Since 1967 when Cuba abolished malaria, nobody has died of malaria in that tropical country like other countries on the continent. In fact, if anyone travels to Cuba and he or she is found to have malaria, such person is quarantined.”

Falana submitted that while many Africans go to some Western countries to die because health facilities have virtually collapsed in the continent, Cuba is ahead of the West in many areas of medicine.

“In spite of the blockage, the United States of America (USA) is already collaborating with Cuba to put an end to the danger that cancer has constituted to the entire humankind,” he stated.

Falana further argued that when Africa was confronted with the Ebola crisis, western countries humiliated and subjected the continent to terrible affronts, while Cuba sent an aircraft with 400 medical doctors and other medical personnel to fight Ebola and defeated the scourge.

He noted that no matter the global views about Cuba, the country represents the best expression of international solidarity.

“Indeed, South Africa must learn humanism from Cuba. The African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party must not leave the Catholic Bishops, the Malemas to speak against xenophobia and Anglophobia, they must condemn xenophobia and Anglophobia because that is the only way we can show that we are learning humanism from Cuba.

“Today, we must resolve, beyond messages of solidarity to end the forces of blockage of Cuba, to defeat the forces that are trying to destroy other countries like Venezuela. The last colonial country in Africa – Western Sahara – must be freed by all of us,” he stated.


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