State Memorial Service for late Castro observed

06 Dec 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 06 DEC (NAMPA) – A State Memorial Service for the late Cuban Revolutionary Leader, Fidel Castro was held at Parliament Gardens in Windhoek on Tuesday.
Castro died on 25 November 2016 at the age of 90. His remains were cremated the following day and interred on 04 December 2016.
First to arrive at the State Memorial on Tuesday afternoon were Cassinga survivors, members of the brass band and the Cuban community residing in Namibia.
Clad in white t-shirts bearing the face of the deceased, members of the Cuban community’s outfits also conveyed the famous Castro quote of “ Condenadme, no importa, la historian me absolvera,” which means “Condemn me, it does not matter, history will absolve me.”
President Hage Geingob arrived around 15:56, together with an escort of Namibia Defense Force (NDF) soldiers in uniform carrying a portrait of the late Castro.
Commencing the service, a moment of silence was observed, followed by the laying of a wreath by Geingob and Cuban Ambassador to Namibia, Geraldo Mazolla while the brass band performed the Cuban National Anthem.
The memorial service was held in honour of Castro and the Cuban government’s contribution to Namibia’s liberation struggle.
On the 4 May 1978, the South African army launched an air attack on the Cassinga army base and camp of the South West Africa People’s Orgiansation (SWAPO) in Angola.
Survivors of the attack were sent to exile in countries including Cuba, where they were raised and educated to lead an independent nation.
A photo of the late Castro was placed next to the podium over a drape of Cuban National colours (blue, red and white).
Namibia declared three days of national mourning last Friday.
Castro has been described as a symbol of the struggle for freedom, solidarity, justice, equality and human dignity, and who leaves Namibia with a legacy and great vision to strive for self-reliance and well-being.
The memorial service was attended by Members of Parliament (MPs), the Cuban Community including Namibian students who studied in Cuba, Cassinga survivors, diplomats and some members of the public seated under a white tent.