…As NLC activists Demand end to US hostility
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Comrade Issa Aremu has called for an award of Nobel Prize for Cuba’s medical brigades in Africa as part of the global recognition of Cuba’s long tradition of solidarity of saving lives and defending freedom in Africa.
The Director General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Comrade Aremu made the call at the weekend in Abuja at the 5th Anniversary activities marking the death of Fidel Castro, Cuban founding revolutionary leader organized jointly by Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) and Embassy of Cuba in Nigeria. The Cuban leader died some three months, after his 90th birthday in 2016.
This was contained in a statement Aremu issued to journalists on Sunday.
In his fraternal address to the Anniversary activities attended by labour activists and members of diplomatic corps, Comrade Aremu noted that the positive footprints of Cuba, the island of ten million people in Africa cover medical to military, agricultural to educational and cultural spheres. He said it was time for global appreciation of the significant role of Cuban doctors in saving lives in Africa during epidemics such as HIV/Aids, Ebola and Covid: 19 pandemic.
According to him since the outbreak of Covid: 19 pandemic last year, “not less than 42 Cuban medical brigades made of hundreds of doctors and medical personnel have been sent to many African countries” adding that as many as 300,000 patients have been attended to by Cuban medical professionals.
Aremu said what made “Cuba’s medical internationalism” remarkable was that the small country offered support to Africa in a condition of economic blockade imposed on the island, by United States.
While hailing the bond of friendship and bilateral relations between Nigeria under President Buhari and Republic of Cuba, the Director General called for continued support and solidarity of Nigerian government with Cuba in removing what he called “unjust and unfair economic blockade” since the country’s revolution in 1959.
“It’s was time Africa knows its true friends. Europe once underdeveloped Africa through centuries of systemic slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism. But Cubans under the legendary iconic revolutionary leader Fidel Castro laid their lives to liberate Algeria in 1963, Angola, Mozambique in the 80s, Namibia in 1990 from colonialism and Nelson Mandela and South Africa from apartheid colonial regime in in 1994” he said
Comrade Aremu said from “viewpoint of history and achievements”, “the first genuine African- American President might not be Barack Obama who he said “also presided over systematic racism in America like other American Presidents “but Fidel Castro laid the foundation for a non-racial inclusive Cuba and once proclaimed that “We are a Latin-African nation…African blood flows through our veins”
In his remark, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC ) Ayuba Wabba said Cuba as a developing nation deserves the right to its chosen path of development without foreign pressures and intervention. Speakers at the occasion observed that Cuba which had upscaled in Human Development Index, issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) showed that a developing country could achieve long life expectancy high literacy rate and a decent standard of living.
The host Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Polido Escandell commended Nigerian government for the warm relationship between the two countries adding that Cuban would offer its knowledge in ensuring that Africa builds capacity to develop vaccines against infectious diseases including covid:19