Castro wanted a better life for Namibians: Sheehama

09 Dec 2016 12:00pm
OPUWO, 09 DEC (NAMPA) – Former Cuban president Fidel Castro wanted Namibians to have better lives and the Namibian Government should see to it that these hopes are realised.
These were the remarks of Rex Sheehama, a former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) combatant during a memorial service for Castro held in Opuwo on Tuesday.
Sheehama, who is also a former mayor of Opuwo, the material and emotional support of Cuba for Namibia during the liberation struggle is incomparable.
Referring to the Cassinga massacre Sheehama said that it was Cuban troops that assisted PLAN, including taking care of the victims.
“Members of Swapo were taken to Cuba for studies and Fidel Castro went in person to meet these student and encourage them. What a people’s person he was,” Sheehama said.
Castro’s rescue operation during the attack on the Namibian refugee camp in Cassinga, Angola by South African troops in 1978, and the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale are some of his memorable contributions to Namibia’s liberation struggle.
After the Cassinga attacks in 1978 the group of survivors went to Cuba in 1979.
Another speaker at the event was Tuarungua Kavari, also a former freedom fighter and former mayor of Opuwo, who said most of the battles fought by PLAN were assisted by Cuban soldiers, leading to victory which ultimately led to Namibia’s independence.
The memorial service was attended by Namibians who were in Cuba during the liberation struggle and by Cubans living in Opuwo.
Osvaldo Manuel Laseria Castillo, a Cuban architect working in Opuwo said they are here to assist Namibia in fighting the challenges of economic emancipation.
In his closing remarks, Deputy Commissioner Natangwe Iita of the Namibian police in Opuwo said Namibia will not be able to pay Cuba back because what the country did under the leadership of Castro cannot be measured.
“There are Cuban soldiers who lost their lives for Namibia’s independence manifesting what we mean when we say this independence did not come on a silver plate,” Iita said.