By Abdallah el-Kurebe
#TrackNigeria The Nigerian Movement has rose in solidarity with Cuba and declared that the people of the country have the fundamental right to decide their political system without interference.
The position is contained in a communique issued at the end of a symposium on “The Challenge of Afro-Cuba Relations in Building A New Humanity.”
Held at the Post Graduate Hall of the Nasarawa State University, the symposium was organised to mark the 45th Anniversary of Nigeria- Cuba relations.
“The Cuban people have the fundamental right to decide its political system without interference.
“The 56 year economic embargo which stops Cuba from freely accessing the international market and trading with other countries, is counterproductive, unhelpful and should be lifted without further delay.
“It is in Africa’s interest to follow the development path of Cuba which guarantees free and qualitative health and education for all its citizens, gender equality as well as its ability to locally produce medicine and vaccines for its people,” the movement stressed.
According to the communique, “If Nigeria appoints competent persons into positions of authority like Cuba does, rather than base appointments on ethno-religious and regional considerations, the country will be on the path of development.
“The future of Africa lies in the Cuban model of a people united under a patriotic and clear leadership which puts its people first in all matters.”
The participants noted that while the relations between Nigeria and Cuban is nominally 45 years, “it actually extends from the first decades of the 19th Century when about one million Africans including Nigerians were taken to Cuba as slaves.
“The African people in Cuba, constituted the bulk of freedom fighters who fought Spanish colonialism and brought freedom not only to Cuba, but to some other countries in Latin America.
“Cuba by sending thousands of construction workers, teachers and doctors to African countries including Nigeria, has demonstrated unmatchable solidarity with the African people.
“In sending thousands of soldiers to fight for Africa in Angola and Namibia which led to the military defeat of apartheid and the liberation of Namibia and South Africa, Cuba displayed the greatest solidarity with the African people,” they stated.
The movement further stated that Cuba sent hundreds of doctors to help fight and eliminate the Ebola plague in West Africa, adding that “Cuba is the only multiracial country in the world where racism is non-existent.”
Participants at the symposium pledged total solidarity with the Cuban, Venezuelan, Saharawi and Palestinian peoples in their struggles for sovereignty, a right to their homelands and a right to decide their own future.