The 7th African Continental Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba began today (January 15) in South Africa. Delegations from more than 20 countries are participating in the meeting in the city of Nelsprui.
A joint statement by the South African organizations hosting the meeting was released:
The African National Congress (ANC) and its allies, the South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO), as well as the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples and the Friends of Cuba Society, are hosting the 7th African Continental Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba in Mpumalanga Province, at Ingonyama Sports Resorts in White River, from 15 to 17 January 2024.
South Africa hosted the first African Continental Solidarity Meeting with Cuba in 1995 and the other five meetings took place in Ghana in 1997, Angola in 2010, Ethiopia in 2012, Namibia in 2017 and Nigeria in 2019.
The ANC-led Alliance partners and Cuban solidarity civil society organisations stand united against the unjust United States economic, trade, investment and financial blockade of Cuba by the United States.
This imperialist blockade is inclusive of unilateral sanctions outside of and undermining the United Nations’ legal and multilateral frameworks. It is, altogether with the sanctions, illegal.
Through the economic warfare, and in addition political and propaganda attacks on Cuba’s sovereignty and government, the United States seeks to usurp Cuba’s fundamental right to national self-determination, drive regime change and impose its development path on Cuba.
The US-blockade on Cuba has far-reaching extra-territorial impact, blocking other countries and their companies from building or enhancing trade and investment relations and engaging in financial transactions with Cuba.
For example, the imperialist blockade deprives Cuba of acquiring technologies, equipment, components, containing over 10% of US value addition.
Our solidarity with the Cuban government and people is anchored in our support for their right to choose their own path of transformation and development, free from external interference or domination.
Cuba and Africa share a common history that connects its peoples and cultures for several centuries – a shared history rooted in the transatlantic slave trade, which started in the early 16th century.
We stand united in our support for the Cuban government and people’s just demand for the United States to end, unconditionally, its occupation of Guantanamo Bay, an inseparable part of Cuba’s territory.
The African Continental Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba aims to explore and strengthen avenues for deepening international solidarity with Cuba.
The theme of the Meeting is “Africa’s global commitment to the Cuban Revolution” and will be attended by delegations from over 20 countries in Africa and other global regions, including Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
The conference is a Pan-African platform for nations, organisations, and individuals to come together and strengthen global solidarity with Cuba and will focus on honouring the country for its contribution to the struggle for human dignity, recognising its social and political achievements, exploring deeper and meaningful economic co-operation, and struggling against the inhumane blockade.
A 2021 estimate by the Cuban government found that since the blockade began in 1962, it has cost the country close to $144 billion, a figure that has been acknowledged by the United Nations.
Together as allies, we urge our entire continent to take a principled stance and mobilise all its people and additional resources in solidarity with Cuba.
The African Continental Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba will consider various measures to intensify African solidarity actions against the inhumane and illegal blockade of Cuba and occupation of Guantanamo Bay by the United States.
By bringing several role-players together, including delegates representing governments, organisations and individuals, the meeting aims to identify international solidarity tasks and promote long-lasting internationalism with Cuba.
Plenary sessions will focus on topics such as economic and social justice, human rights, diaspora engagements on cultural exchange, education and healthcare collaboration, trade, investment and financial relations, amongst others.
Through dialogue, co-operation initiatives, and campaigns, participants will contribute to the international struggle for equality and human dignity, as well as highlight, through internationalism, that humanity can accomplish its historic cause and build a society free of oppression and exploitation.
More information will be communicated during the course of the Meeting.
Issued by the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO.