By Obioma C. Appolos
In collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria, coalition of civil society bodies and women organisations, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) under the aegis of Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, says it has concluded plans to host the Sixth African Conference of Solidarity with Cuba.
According to a press statement by Comarde Abiodun Aremu, the Secretary of the Movement in Abuja, the Conference is slated to commence on the 23rd of September 23 and come to a close on 25, 2019 at Yar ‘Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja.
To be graced by prominent personalities, top government officials, diplomats, leaders of industry, professionals, workers, informal economy leaders and civil society organisations, the conference promised to be a unique one, as its interactive session will have Africans, Latin American including Cuba and the United States.
In part, the statement said, “African countries hold annual Afro-Cuban solidarity conferences partly because: The historic bonds between the African Continent and Cuba extends from the first decades of the 19th Century when about one million Africans including Nigerians were taken to Cuba as slaves.
“The African people in Cuba like General Antonio Maceo, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Cuban Army of Independence, constituted the bulk of freedom fighters who fought Spanish colonialism and brought freedom not only to Cuba, but to some other countries in Latin America.
“Cuba by sending thousands of construction workers, teachers and doctors to African countries including Nigeria, has demonstrated unmatchable solidarity with the African people. In sending about 350,000 thousands soldiers to fight for Africa in Angola and Namibia which led to the military defeat of Apartheid and the liberation of Namibia and South Africa, Cuba displayed the greatest solidarity with the African people.
“There can never be a credible history of the African liberation struggle without the solidarity of Cuba. Cuba sent hundreds of doctors to help fight and eliminate the Ebola plague in West Africa. Cuba is a country where what matters is the human being, not his race, religion or beliefs.
“The Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba also believes that: The Cuban people have the fundamental right to decide their political system without interference. The 56-year American economic embargo which stops Cuba from freely accessing the international market and trading with other countries, is counterproductive, unhelpful and should be lifted without further delay.
“It is in Africa’s interest to follow the development path of Cuba which guarantees free and qualitative health and education for all its citizens, gender equality as well as its ability to locally produce medicine and vaccines for its people.
“If Nigeria appoints competent persons into positions of authority like Cuba does, rather than base appointments on ethno-religious and regional considerations, the country will be on the path of development.The future of Africa lies in the Cuban model of a people united under a patriotic and clear leadership which puts its people first in all matters.’