NLC, TUC, Cuban Ambassador call for immediate lifting of 56-year America economic embargo on Cuba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Sosa, and other civil society and women groups on Monday demanded the immediate lifting of the 56-year old American economic embargo, placed on the Republic of Cuba.

Under the Nigerian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, the groups stated that the 56-year American economic embargo which stops Cuba from freely accessing the international market and trading with other countries should be lifted without further delay.

The movement made the demand as it has concluded plans to host the six the Afro-Cuban Conference and Festival in Abuja from Monday to Wednesday next week.

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Addressing a press conference on the Afro-Cuban Conference and Festival at the Labour House, Abuja on Monday, the co-ordinator of the movement, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, said: “The Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba also believes that the Cuban people have the fundamental right to decide their political system without interference.”

He added: “The 56-year American economic embargo which stops Cuba from freely accessing the international market and trading with other countries, is counterproductive, unhelpful and should be lifted without further delay.
It is in Africa’s interest to follow the development path of Cuba which guarantees free and qualitative health and education for all its citizens, gender equality as well as its ability to locally produce medicine and vaccines for its people.

“If Nigeria appoints competent persons into positions of authority like Cuba does, rather than base appointments on ethnoreligious and regional considerations, the country will be on the path of development.

“The future of Africa lies in the Cuban model of a people united under a patriotic and clear leadership which puts its people first in all matters.”

He stated that the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba which comprises labour centres like the NLC and the TUC, as well as the coalition of other popular groups and women organisations, will be holding the Sixth African Conference of Solidarity with Cuba.

He pointed out that the three-day conference which holds from September 23 -25, 2019 at the Yar ‘Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja, will be attended by prominent personalities, top government officials, diplomats, leaders of industry, professionals, workers, informal economy leaders and civil society organisations.

He said: “It will be a unique experience for Nigerians as they interact with fellow Africans across our continent, our brothers and sisters from Latin America including Cuba, and from the diaspora including the United States.”

Comrade Aremu stated that African countries hold the annual Afro-Cuban solidarity conferences partly because: “The historic bonds between the African Continent and Cuba extends from the first decades of the 19th Century when about one million Africans including Nigerians were taken to Cuba as slaves.”

The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Sosa, also stated that the blockade of economic interaction does not only affect Cuba, adding that “we must all fight to end the blockade.”

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