During the celebration in the Embassy of Cuba, the day of the National Culture and the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the wars of independence, Renwick Rose, President of the Friendship Association Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-Cuba, read a Declaration, issued by that organization, a few days before, on the occasion of the anniversary and pondered the historical coincidence that, at this time, the Vincentian people are preparing to celebrate a new anniversary of its existence as an independent State. The Declaration of the Friendship Association also recalls other important Cuban commemorations of the month of October, while reiterating the call to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba.
“LEST WE FORGET”
The St Vincent and the Grenadines/Cuba Friendship Society warmly congratulates the Government and People of Cuba on the historic occasion of the start of the Cuban War of Independence on October 10, 1868.
The war of liberation launched on that date not only led to Cuba’s formal independence from Spanish rule but later served as an inspiration to the Cuban people in the 20th century to once more rise up against foreign domination and unjust rule culminating in the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
For us in the Caribbean with a majority population of descendants of Africa, it is important to note that among the aims of the Cuban 10th of October Manifesto put forward by its leader Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, there was one particular to us, descendants of slaves. The third aim of the manifesto stated clearly:
“Our aim is to abolish slavery and to compensate those deserving compensation”.
This squares clearly with the just demand of Caribbean people for reparations for genocide and slavery, and makes yet another connection between the struggles of our two peoples.
As we salute the Cuban people on this date, we also remember the martyrs of the Cuban Revolution. We continue to abhor the cold-blooded murder of Commander Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in Bolivia on October 9, 1967 as well as the heinous terrorist bombing of Cubana flight # 455 off Barbados in 1976, killing all 73 persons aboard. We note the hand of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in both tragedies and once more reiterate our call for justice in this criminal act of terrorism in Caribbean waters.
Finally, in relation to the Resolution before the General Assembly of the United Nations on ending the US embargo against Cuba, we again lend our voices to the international clamour for an end to this illegal embargo which hurts not just Cuba, but the entire Caribbean.
We remain unshaken in our solidarity with the Cuban people.