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Anniversary of Cuito Cuanavale battle commemorated in South Africa

Pretoria, March 23 (Prensa Latina) Representatives of South African parties and associations, Cubans present in the country and diplomatic personnel from several African nations, celebrated here today the 36th anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in Angola.

The commemoration on March 23 of that feat is recognized as Liberation Day by the nations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in memory of the victory of Cuban, Angolan and Namibian forces, mainly, over those of the Apartheid regime.

At the event for the date, held in the capital’s Freedom Park, Enrique Orta González, Cuban ambassador to South Africa, highlighted how the commemoration not only recognizes the historical importance of the event, but also serves to help the young generations understand that the sacrifices made for that freedom was finally achieved on the African continent.

He also recalled how that battle, the largest carried out in Africa since the Second World War, became a symbol of resistance and courage, which forced the apartheid regime to retreat and sit at the negotiating table to sign peace.

The decisive defeat of the racist forces was a victory for all Africa, which made it possible for Angola to enjoy peace and establish its own sovereignty, the independence of Namibia, as well as laying the foundations for the end of the Apartheid regime, Orta Gonzalez said.

One of the most important pages in the history of solidarity between peoples was written in Cuito Cuanavale, he highlighted.

That fact, he assured, is proof of how much can be achieved through international solidarity and how united the peoples of Africa and Cuba are.

Representatives of the African National Congress (ANC, governing party in South Africa), the South Africa Communist Party (SACP), Angola, Namibia, Tanzania, among others, were also present at the activity.

Speaking on the occasion, Andre Nzapayeke, dean of the diplomatic corps in South Africa and representative of the Central African Republic, highlighted how, based on shared history, the people of Africa will always be grateful to Cuba.

Cuba’s solidarity with the nations of the continent, he highlighted, did not end in Cuito Cuanavale, but continues today in other fields, with the presence of Cuban doctors, he exemplified.

On his side, Thulas Nxesi, for the SACP, expressed that the example of Cubans in Cuito Cuanavale should be taught in South African schools so that young people who did not live through that moment, know that part of history.

In his speech, he spoke out against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against Cuba by the United States, and demanded its immediate end, the return of the illegal US base in Guantánamo to the island, as well as advocated for further strengthening bilateral cooperation (with Cuba).

Public expressions of gratitude to Cuba for its participation in the libertarian struggles in African lands, exemplified in Cuito Cuanavale, were also made public on the occasion by representatives of Angola, Namibia, the association of war veterans of South Africa (in the words of the retired general Keith Mokoape).

During the celebration, the diplomats presented floral offerings before the Wall of Names, where the names of more than two thousand Cubans who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of African nations are engraved.

lam/mv

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