28 November 2007
New Era, Windhoek
The outgoing Swapo Party President Sam Nujoma yesterday called for the immediate and unconditional release of the five Cuban prisoners languishing in the United States of America (USA) prisons.
Nujoma further condemned the continued economic blockage and "sabotage" against Cuba by that country. He was speaking at the official opening of the Swapo Party Congress where he expressed Swapo Party's gratitude to its sister parties.
"Your presence in our midst is clear testimony that we are united in our efforts to consolidate our bonds of solidarity and comradeship as we tackle numerous challenges that confront humankind such as poverty, diseases and under-development."
The Communist Party of Cuba, Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Communist Party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Social Democratic Party of Sweden, and the People's Party for Reconstruction and Development of the Democratic Republic of Congo are amongst the sister parties attending the congress.
The country's attainment of its "genuine" freedom and independence, said Nujoma, was made partly through international solidarity by various countries such as Cuba, anti-apartheid movements and solidarity organizations around the world.
"The Namibian people will remain forever indebted to the selfless support and solidarity from the United Nations, Frontline States and Nigeria, Organisation of African Unity as the forerunner of the African Union and progressive countries such as the People's Republic of China."
The Founding Father said the congress was taking place against the backdrop of major international events that have impacted negatively on millions of people and that Swapo Party supports efforts being made by the AU to fight such calamities.
"Swapo Party supports efforts to restore peace and stability in Sudan and Somalia, while it appreciates the international concrete measures that are aimed at ensuring the return of permanent peace to Afghanistan and Iraq."
Expressing BDP's camaraderie, Kentse Rammidi, Deputy Secretary General, said BDP and Swapo shared a lot of similarities in that they have been and still are torchbearers of stability, democracy, progress and the future in the spectrum of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
"Recently my country acquired a piece of land in Namibia so as to have direct access to the sea at Walvis Bay. Had it not been for our collaboration and friendship this could not have happened."
Said ANC's Joel Sibusiso Ndebele. Premier of Kwazulu Natal: "21 March 1990 was a freedom day for Namibia. This day was also the beginning of our freedom in South Africa."
According to him, it was because of the steady and revolutionary march of "evolutionary twins" Nujoma and Oliver Tambo that both countries became free.
"And in the dungeons of Robben Island, we had Toivo ya Toivo and Nelson Mandela encouraging us that all suffering would be over soon."