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May 17, 2018

Belizeans Show Solidarity with Cuba

The average Belizean doesn’t know that much about the island nation of Cuba – perhaps that it is a socialist state in a mostly capitalist region of the world, or that a classmate or two went there to study medicine.  But there is much more, including that Cuba was one of the first nation-states to support Belize’s fight for independence.  It is part of the reason some prominent Belizeans gathered on Wednesday at the Image Factory to ‘show love’ for a state still largely isolated by the U.S. embargo and kept at arms’ length internationally.  Aaron Humes has more on plans to bring the countries closer.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The participants in the National Solidarity Encounter, most of whom have benefited from Belize’s long friendship with the island nation, are calling on the Belizean people to assist where possible with the following resolutions, read out by Joshua Magana.

 

Joshua Magana

Joshua Magana, Teacher

“We invite all organizations [and] individuals of goodwill in Belize to join us and express our decision to, and these will be our declarations: one, express our congratulations to Comrade Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez for his recent election as president of the Council of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba; two, ratify our support to the Cuban people and government in its battle for the total and definitive elimination of the blockade that the U.S. [has] maintained for almost sixty years, with terrible effects on its spheres of life; and demand the return of the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. naval base in the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay; three, stand [up for] the efforts of the Republic of Cuba to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among the nations of the continent, and to defend the condition of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, agreed at the second summit of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean countries held in Havana in 2014; four, encourage the creation of spaces/workshops for discussion and education in educational and cultural institutions throughout the territory of Belize, in order to know and disseminate the Cuban reality and provide opportunities for reflection and debate; five, accompany Cuba in the different cultural events, and that on the occasion of historical debates celebrated in Belizean territory as an expression of solidarity; six, promote the participation of young Belizeans in the international solidarity brigades that every year travel to Cuba through the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People to hold meetings with the Cuban youth and participate in their activities and exchange experiences; and seven, convene the national meeting of solidarity with Cuba in Belize in 2019, at a time and place to be defined.”

 

The walls of the Image Factory were adorned by Cuban art and exhibits, including Yasser Musa’s own e-book, “61 Hours in Havana” recalling his experiences as a guest on the occasion of the annual May first parade. Special guest from Cuba’s Institute of Friendship with Peoples, Yaya Varela, details her country’s special relationship with ours and how it will help Cuba to survive in a post-Castro era.

 

 

Yaya Varela

Yaya Varela, Cuban Institute for Friendship With The People

“Belize is a new nation to which bounds of friendship and solidarity have united us before gaining independence. The sympathy and mutual support has always marked the relationship between the two countries, from the difficult days of the arduous negotiation in the international arena for the right of the Belizean people to be free and independent; where Cuba ratified its unconditional support to that noble and just demand, going through collaborative projects in health, education and sport that since the end of the last century were established, benefiting thousands of Belize. Cuba has also counted with Belize’s support in the heroic battle against the genocidal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against our people and [inaudible] against the media war, transnational, of misinformation. Our struggle now, to perfect our socialist sovereignty and independence; defend our gains and achieve higher levels of development, is no less difficult than in past years. But we are better prepared; we have more experience; we have strength and value the unity of the people, and with a culture of resistance sustained in the decision not to surrender, and resist the price that is necessary.”

 

And Cuba’s representative in Belize, Ambassador Lissette Perez Perez, says her country will continue to follow the example of the late Fidel Castro Ruz in shaping their future.

 

Lissette Perez Perez

Lissette Perez Perez, Cuban Ambassador to Belize

“We continue to believe that if people are well educated, with health, jobs, and spiritual options as culture and sports, are a people very resilient, to continue going on despite any kind of adversity and that is what the Cuban people [are]. And you can realize that when you hear the message that you receive from the students, the graduates. The Cuban Revolution has been a short piece of time in the middle of worldwide history – fifty-nine years, but in the middle of worldwide history. But the particularity of Cuba is that we had a leader, the Commander-in-Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, to whom we pay tribute today – he is here with us today. We know very well the history – he decided to not wait to solve the problems of his people. he sacrificed his life for us and decided, with brave energy, to transform the reality of Cuba. Cubans, guided by Fidel, did a real revolution. We didn’t ask for our rights, we fought for our rights.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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