Remarks by Obi Egbuna Jr External Relations Officer to the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association/Organizer of the Get Out Of Cuba Way Movement/Campaign delivered at the Black Lives Matter Educational Webinar Monday July 26th 2021.
On behalf of the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association and the Get Out Of Cuba Way Movement, we are thrilled and humbled to be with you this evening. We were equally humbled to listen to and absorb the heartfelt remarks from our comrades in Cuba, who are without question authentic representations of Homeland Security.
Our presence on this platform tonight, represents the importance and significance of full spectrum engagement, which at this historical moment should never be diminished. A few months ago, When we began a conversation with Brother Jorden Giger about Black Lives Matter coming out against the monstrous US blockade on Cuba, a courageous and timely statement followed up immediately by a teach in is exactly what we were hoping for. We also would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to Karlene Griffiths Sekou, Sandy and the others who are part of Black Lives Matter’s international affairs branch for their contributions and labor towards this program and also BLM’s statement against the blockade. These types of collaborative efforts will serve as lessons to organizers up and coming organizers, the strategic value of engaging frontline servants beyond your immediate circle, especially those who you are not ideologically compatible with.
While we understand the benefit of normalized relations between Cuba and the United States, it is abundantly clear how challenging it is for US Imperialism to act humane, based on their genocidal and terrorist foreign policy, this would truly be an out of body experience. It makes all the sense in the world, if when engaging US Imperialism diplomatically, that the Cubans are as comfortable as a child in a room full of pedophiles.
The recent pro-regime change disturbances in Cuba are the latest illustration of a political culture of hatred and antagonism towards the Cuban revolution and people. The question is how far back do we want to go? The terrorist activities of Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch missed their marks. The 635 assassination attempts on the life of Commandante Fidel Castro missed their marks. The false and unjust imprisonment of 5 Cuban patriots missed its mark. The kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez missed its mark. The Bay of Pigs missed its mark. The formation of the Cuban American National Foundation and its terrorist cells Brother to the Rescue and Alpha 66 missed its mark. The only thing left on the menu are regime change activities in Cuba and false claims by US Imperialism that Cuba is involved in human trafficking.
Shooting at the Cuban embassy in Washington followed by the painting of the slogan Cuba Libre by regime change agents missed its mark.
The historical backdrop that contextualizes US Imperialism’s hatred for Cuba, is the first seven US Presidents attempted but failed to annex Cuba. The resilience and fighting spirit of our ancestors, prevented Cuba from ending up like California, Texas, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and other precious pieces of land that were annexed by US Imperialism.
In the spirit of African and Cuban peoples never ending camaraderie and solidarity, let us celebrate the appointing of three Cuban born Africans Comrades and Excellencies Salvador Valdes’ Mena, Ines Maria Chapman and Beatriz Johnson Urrutia to the ranks of Vice Presidents. Under no circumstances should these three patriots be mistaken for glorified runner ups like someone else we know. The individual we know who occupies the same capacity represents Black Excellence whereas the Cuban Born Africans appointments represent African resistance. Daughters and Sons of Africa are fighting to transform the island of Black Excellence to a training ground for African resistance. Let us praise Cuba for appointing Ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta a Cuban born African to be their Permanent Representative at the United Nations. It is not a coincidence that those who attack Cuba for downplaying racism, conveniently forget these genuine examples of African political empowerment courtesy of the Cuban revolution.
These appointments challenge all of us to discuss Cuban born Africans without lumping them in together politically. Their ideological distinctions must be acknowledged, accepted and understood.
The outlook of revolutionary patriots such as Antonio Maceo, the founders of Partido Independiente De Color, Juan Almeida, Nicholas Guillen, Harry Villegas and Victor Dreke are clearly distinct from the perspectives of Ford Foundation pets like Carlos Moore, Hollywood mouthpieces like Lars Alonzo or athletes like Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, El Duche Hernandez and all those who have attempted to reverse the fortunes of the Underground Railroad from freedom back to captivity.
Daughters and Sons of Africa know this process all too well, in Kenya some fought with the Mau Mau while other Kenyans chose to fight with the King’s African Rifles. During the 2nd Chimurenga in Zimbabwe, most of us fought with either ZANU or ZAPU, while others fought with the British and Rhodesian Selous Scouts. Our Cuban Comrades remember firsthand that most Angolans representing MPLA fought side by side with them for 14 years, while other Angolans who fought with the CIA trained mercenary unit UNITA. The majority of Mozambiquans fought with FRELIMO, while others fought with the CIA trained mercenaries RENAMO. Our Congolese Sisters and Brothers will forever distinguish the great Patrice Emory Lumumba, from the neo colonialist robot Mobutu Sese Seko, who assassinated him in cold blood on the orders of the CIA. For this reason the majority of Daughters and Sons of Africa worldwide, will never glorify Cuban born African regime change agents who have pledged loyalty to the United States Agency for International Development, National Endowment for Democracy, National Democratic Institute or the International Republican Institute. The African decolonization process is part of the Cuban revolution and it will prevail, we have no doubts about that. We will never glorify Cuban born Africans who chose the path of regime change agents under any circumstances.
The camaraderie and solidarity we have with the Cuban people, force us to expose regime change agents, in all their forms and manifestations. Their cultural makeup, religious/spiritual beliefs or sexual preferences are immaterial. When the Civil/Human rights icon Bayard Rustin turned his back on the struggle of US born Africans, and decided to support UNITA in Angola because he claimed to be concerned about the rise of Cuba’s influence in Southern Africa, his being a homosexual was not our focus but the fact he betrayed the Civil/Human Rights movement and became a mouthpiece of US Imperialism.
Based on the disparity in voting on the illegal racist and immoral US blockade on Cuba for the last 29 years, we say to US Imperialism that their condescending lectures on democracy now more than ever fall on deaf ears. The only thing more ridiculous are geography lessons by Christopher Columbus.
The Zionist state of Israel is progressing to unseat Adolph Hitler as the symbol of global terrorism and white supremacy, we are well aware of their slaughtering of Palestinians, bombing Egyptians/Kemetians and Syrians, ignoring the sovereignty of Algeria and Tunisia, militarizing Apartheid regimes throughout Southern Africa represent their horrific legacy, we urge that no one present ever forgets their role in inflicting diplomatic terrorism on Cuba. We must demand that the African Union strips Zionist Israel of its observer status.
The Cuban Revolution is part and parcel of the collective and extended African experience, which we include when celebrating the anti-colonial movement in Mother Africa, when we saw 37 nations between 1957 and 1960 gain their initial independence.
We want to quickly make mention of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah being the first head of state acknowledging the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser echoing those exact sentiments on his heels, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria ignoring JFK’s request to cancel his trip to Cuba and the fact that the only other man besides Jose Marti that Commandante Fidel Castro referred to as a revolutionary apostle was Ahmed Seku Ture of Guinee. When Samora Machel’s plane came crashing to the ground, two Cuban doctors lost their lives as well. When we discuss Cuban African relations, these examples seem too often are excluded from the account and narrative.
This is why the attempts by US Imperialism to bend the arm of current Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo to terminate the agreement to send Ghanaians to study at Cuba’s Latin American School of Medical Sciences, because of the recent death of a Ghanaian student who passed on in Cuba while training to become a Doctor will not be successful.
On behalf of ZICUFA and the Get Out of Cuba Way Movement we must create in the African diaspora a resource pool for Cuba’s medical efforts on the African continent, giving us an alternative to US imperialist vehicles like USAID, the Bush, Clinton, and Obama foundations, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. We will continue the fight to grant Cuba’s Henry Reeve Medical Brigade access to US shores, which represents the collective will of North America to eradicate the Corona pandemic.
We will not be discouraged by the Democratic Senator Bob Menendez to relaunch the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program which intercepted 7,117 doctors from Cuba, who submitted to the enemies of the revolution that empowered them with the very skills and talents they possess. This was done to discourage students born in North America to go to the Latin American School of Medical Sciences to be trained and return to the slums of the USA and treat the sick with honor and dignity, devoid of the quest for an opulent and luxurious lifestyle, which unfortunately is the motivation for many young people to become Doctors in North America.
We ask Black Lives Matter and others in attendance to join us in a demand for the restitution, repair and redemption of the Cuban people in defense of their homeland and sovereignty. Both Commandates Fidel and Raul Castro demanded reparations from US Imperialism for the damages of the blockade. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the US Conference on racism, xenophobia and other related intolerances, where Commadante Fidel Castro brilliantly explained Cuba’s take on reparations, we seek and expect support on this effort on all those who stand with the Cuban people and revolution. We thank you for the invite and hope our remarks met your expectations.