The Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association (NAMCUFA) has learned with great concern about the reported intention of the Government of the United States to include Cuba on a United States Department of State list that designates certain States as sponsors of terrorism. Cuba had listed by the United States in 1982 during the Cold War and was removed from the list after the 2015 normalization of relations between United States and Cuba during the administration of President Barack Obama.
The pretext for the US government’s intended action involves Cuba’s legitimate role as a mediator in efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Columbia. In 2016, the Columbia Peace Process Protocols were signed by the Government of Colombia, the Colombian National Liberation Army (known as ELN,) and six countries designated by the parties as guarantors of peace process, namely, Cuba, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and Norway. The protocols include a Protocol of Rupture, which provides for the safe return of the ELN delegation in the event that the peace dialogue breaks down.
The peace talks had begun in Quito, Ecuador in 2017, and. in 2018, after Ecuador withdrew from the process, the Government of Columbia and the ELN designated Cuba to serve as the host for the talks. ELN negotiators came to Cuba for the peace talks, and discussions took place during the rest of 2018.
The Colombian government withdrew from the talks in January 2019 after a bombing of a police headquarters in Bogota that resulted in 22 deaths. Some leaders of ELN inside Columbia claimed responsibility for the attack. The Government of Cuba condemned the attack and sent a letter of condolences to the Government of Columbia. The ELN negotiators denied prior knowledge of or involvement in the planning of the attack.
Columbia decided to ignore the Protocol in Case of Rupture, and demanded that the negotiating team be returned without a guarantee of their safety conduct. The Government of Cuba has asked the Government of Columbia to comply with the commitment it made in the signed protocols.
As a nation that has suffered from terrorism, Cuba strongly condemns all manifestations of that phenomenon. Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the Island has been a victim of state terrorism perpetrated by the United States and by organizations based and financed in the United States. These terrorist activities, which are documented, have resulted in the deaths of have killed 3478 Cubans and injured 2099 others.
On such case of terrorism emanating from the United States is the explosion of a “Cubana de Aviación” plane, killing 73 people on board. This attack was directed by the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles Posada, who enjoyed the protection and shelter of the United States government until his death.
A recent chapter in the long list of terrorist actions against Cuba emanating from the United States was the armed attack against the Cuban Embassy in Washington. President Donald Trump and his administration have remained silent.
It is apparent that the unjustified inclusion of Cuba in the list of the State Department would provide the United States with yet another false pretext to justify its hostile policy and the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the Cuban nation for nearly 60 years.
It is particularly shameful that United States is intensifying its hostile stance toward Cuba in an international situation, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which invites solidarity and cooperation between the different world actors. In this sense, as is the Cuban tradition, the Caribbean island has offered its solidarity to all the nations of the world. So far, 2,300 Cuban health professionals have assisted 24 nations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa against COVID-19.
Since the 1960’s, Cubans have provided assistance to different countries, in sectors such as health, education and defense. For Namibia, the cooperation of the Cuban internationalist troops in Angola with the MPLA and SWAPO fighters led to the definitive defeat of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa and the achievement of our independence. Since Independence, and continuing to the present, Cuba has selflessly provided medical personnel, development workers and other professionals to aid in the development of our country.
The Namibian people also suffered from terrorism at the hands of South Africa. Last month, we remembered with great pain the Cassinga Massacre and all the suffering inflicted on our country by the South African regime, with the support of the United States and other Western powers. Quite a contrast to the actions of Cuba, which, at the same time, put their children and their national security at risk for the freedom of Africans.
The Namibia-Cuba Friendship Association:
- Strongly condemns the intended inclusion of Cuba in the US list of States Sponsoring Terrorism , and all manifestations of terrorism;
- demands that the US government speak out on the terrorist attack perpetrated against the Cuban diplomatic headquarters in Washington;
- reiterates its support for the Cuban government and people; and
- condemns the escalation of the illegal US blockade against the Cuban nation and demands its unconditional lifting; and
- calls on the international community to condemn the United States’ anti-Cuban actions
Windhoek, June 26th, 2020