Geingob reflects on Castro's contribution to Namibian liberation

26 Nov 2016 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 26 NOV (NAMPA) – The unwavering commitment of Fidel Castro to Namibia’s freedom led to the destruction of apartheid in the country, President Hage Geingob has said.
Castro, former Cuban President and commander of the Cuban Revolution, died on Friday at the age of 90.
In a media statement issued on Saturday, Geingob said the late Castro had no interest in the natural resources of a free Namibia as his view was that Cubans did not come to collect gold and diamonds.
Castro sent thousands of Cuban troops to fight in Africa, helping Namibia in its struggle for independence.
“After Namibian independence, Comandante-en-Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz ordered that Namibia continue to benefit from Cuban doctors and other professionals for which he declined any monetary compensation,” Geingob said.
Reflecting on Castro’s contribution to Namibia’s liberation struggle, Geingob noted that his decision to intervene in the battle against South African forces in 1975 rekindled the flame of the revolution in southern Africa. He said a balance of forces was established, planting the seed for the intensification of the armed liberation struggle by Swapo’s military wing.
“Our own victories and losses in the struggle for our independence against apartheid South Africa are linked to the international solidarity of the Cuban people through diplomatic, military, and people-to-people interface,” he stated.
The late Castro also offered an education to more than 3 000 Namibian children who survived the Cassinga attack; many of whom today occupy influential positions in all sectors of the economy.
Geingob furthermore added that the 1989 Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola was the last straw to break the back of South Africa military aggression. Cuban, Angolan and Namibian forces stood united and defeated the South African forces.
“This battle was as much about ideology as it was about the survival of all the parties involved as South Africa represented retrogressive ideology,” he said.
Geingob added that the battle of Cuito Cuanavale was a watershed moment in southern African liberation struggle and for the Namibian fight for independence, as it led to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 435 which subsequently culminated in Namibia’s independence.
“May the Cuban people feel consoled by the knowledge that Comandante-en-Jefe Castro Ruz lived his life in service of the oppressed and for the self-determination of the Americas and Africa. May his revolutionary spirit continue to underwrite and inspire the progressive forces to continue demanding economic justice and shared prosperity in an equitable world order,” Geingob said.