Namibia, March 23rd, 2022- Sidenio Acosta, Ambassador of Cuba to Namibia, gave a conference on the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale and its impact on the recent history of the southern African cone.
Invited by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Independence Memorial Museum, the Cuban diplomat explained to the attendees, Namibian students of various educational backgrounds, the events that led to this military clash between the Angolan, Namibian and Cuban forces and the army of the South African apartheid regime, supported by UNITA.
The event, held at the headquarters of this Namibian museum, is part of the celebrations for the Liberation Day of Southern Africa, chosen as such by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), from of the victory in Cuito Cuanavale on March 23, 1989.
Ambassador Acosta explained that the victory in that battle led to the maintenance of the sovereignty of Angola, the independence of Namibia and, a few years later, the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Similarly, Ambassador Acosta recalled the Cuban presence in Africa and the support provided by his country to the African continent since the 1960s. In particular, he referred to the Cuban military assistance to Angola, initiated in 1975, at the request of the then leader of the MPLA and future first Angolan president Agostinho Neto.
The highest Cuban representative in Namibia described the vicissitudes of this people to achieve its independence. In particular, he denounced the attack on the Cassinga refugee camp by the South African apartheid army. Ambassador Acosta recorded the aid provided by Cuban combatants to Namibian civilians and the subsequent transfer of most of the survivors to Cuba to study.
Ambassador Jerobeam Shaanika, Director General of Multilaterals and Cooperation of the Namibian Foreign Ministry, also addressed some of the events that occurred before and after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. Shaanika highlighted the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 435, which paved the way for Namibia’s independence.
For their part, the attendees asked questions about the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and Cuban aid to the African continent in general. Similarly, he highlighted the importance of explaining to new generations the sacrifice of Angolans, Namibians and Cubans to achieve independence.