Gala commemorates Cuito Cuanavale
Campaign News | Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday presided over a gala to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the victory in Cuito Cuanavale of Cuban, Angolan and Namibian troops against the forces of
the Apartheid regime of South Africa.
During the gala, held at the Universal Hall of the Armed Forces Ministry
in Havana, Division General Samuel Rodiles Planas, Hero of the Republic
of Cuba and last Chief of the Cuban Military Mission in Angola, recalled
that on March 23rd, 1988, the powerful forces of the Apartheid and the
enemies of the Angolan and Namibian independence were forced to sit at
the negotiation table in New York and to sign peace accords.
After paying homage to those who died fighting and praising the courage and tenacity of the more than 55,000 Cuban internationalists who fought there, Rodiles Planas reaffirmed the decision of the Cuban people to defend the values and principles of the Cuban Revolution.
The ceremony was attended by the ambassadors of Namibia, Jose Condesse;
Angola, Claudia Grace; and South Africa, Thenjiwe Mtintsoe, in Havana,
who agreed on the importance of the victory of Cuito Cuanavale, which
became a turning point in the course of events.
They said that this victory facilitated the independence of Namibia, accelerated the disappearance of the Apartheid regime, contributed to the independence of Zimbabwe and to the security and integrity of Angola
and the countries of southern Africa.
The diplomats thanked the Cuban people, the Cuban Armed Forces and Cuban leader Fidel Castro in particular, for their decisive contribution to the independence of the region.
They reiterated their support of the Cuban people and again condemned
the US financial, trade and economic blockade against the island. They
also demanded the immediate release of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who remain held in US prisons since 1998 for infiltrating anti-Cuba groups in South Florida that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the island.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic
corps in Havana, high-ranking officials of the Cuban Armed Forces and by internationalists and war correspondents as well as relatives of fallen internationalist fighters.