One does not visit enemies, one visits friends': Geingob

20 May 2014 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 MAY (NAMPA) – The Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob says the people of Namibia will never forget the support, solidarity and bravery the people of Cuba displayed during the country's struggle for independence.
Geingob told the visiting Vice-President of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, Salvador Valdes Mesa during official talks held in Windhoek on Tuesday the histories of the people of Namibia and Cuba are intertwined and their bonds were forged in the trenches of the struggle against colonial oppression.
“As I have said on numerous occasions, one does not visit enemies, but one visits friends,” said the Premier.
Mesa and his entourage arrived in Namibia on Tuesday for a four-day official visit.
Geingob said the visit is a testament to the eternal bonds of friendship that exist between the people of Cuba and Namibia.
He said Namibia is currently engaged in the second phase of the struggle, which is the struggle for economic emancipation.
“It is only fitting that our brothers and sisters who helped us attain political independence should also join hands with us as we strive to uplift the living standards of our people,” he told the visiting Cuban leader.
He indicated that it is important for both countries' strong political ties be translated into strong economic ties as well.
“This is the wish of both countries as highlighted in the 19 July 2009 Aide Memoire signed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba and President Raul Castro Ruz,” said Geingob.
He said Namibia is keenly following the developments in Cuba, particularly the implementation of the guidelines for the economic and social policy of the Communist Party and the revolution, approved by the sixth congress of the party.
“We want to assure the Cuban people that Namibia supports your efforts to fully implement the New Economic and Social Policy in this global uncertainty,” Geingob stated.
On his part, Mesa said Namibia and Cuba are bonded together through the bloodshed experienced during the liberation struggle of Namibia.
He said the Swapo-Party and the government of Cuba travelled a long journey together during the dark days towards Namibian independence.
“We will not forget the sad moment of the Cassinga massacre where Namibians were killed in cold blood in 1978 by the then South Africa forces,” he said.
He also noted that the two governments will never forget the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola in 1988.
The battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the Cuban intervention in Angola is one of the turning points in Southern African History.
It led to the movement of powerful Cuban armed force, into the west, towards the Namibian border.
The fighting in the south western part of Angola led to the withdrawal of the South African forces in Namibia and Cuban presence in Angola, and to the Independence of Namibia.
Mesa leaves for Cuba on Friday morning.