Last night, world leaders from all corners of the planet gathered at the Plaza de La Revolucion in La Habana, Cuba, to pay homage to the revolutionary Cuban leader, Fidel Castro Ruz. The entire Plaza and nearby streets were flooded with hundreds of thousands of Cubans and supporters who listened to the speeches from a dignitaries-filled list of leaders that included the Heads of state from Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico and South Africa, along with leaders from Central American nations.
Castro’s younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro, gave a speech to thank world leaders for their words of praise for his late brother, who passed away at the age of 90 on November 25.
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua were among the foreign dignitaries who paid their respects to Castro and who spoke vividly of their many conversations with Castro.
While the Government of Belize sent two representatives to the events in Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington, no one rose to give a speech on Tuesday night to thank the Cuban Government and Cuban people for their support to Belize, in particular for defending our struggle for Independence. This is indeed a missed opportunity to show much-needed gratitude.
Today at the Senate meeting held at the National Assembly in Belmopan we did hear from two local leaders.
Eamon Courtenay - Lead Senator, Opposition/PUP
“It is well known in the honors of history the President Castro, El Comandante, is in fact one of the leading visionaries in the world, he has during his time starting in the struggle for the liberation of his own country, led liberation struggle across the entire world and specifically in the case of Belize he cause Cuba to be among the first nations and in fact one of the leading nations when we as a country struggled for our just deserve as an independent nation. Cuba asked nothing of us, they continue to support us, to work with us on the basis of a principle foreign policy, a principle trade policy and a principle policy of cooperation, we on this side call for the immediate end of the blockade, the illegal blockade by the United States of America against the people of Cuba, we call for an end to it, we call for deepening of a relationship between Cuba and the United States of America, it is appropriate Mr. President, that we recognize the passing of El Commandante, a citizen of the world, a servant of the world and a man who lived for his people.”
Honorable Godwin Hulse, Lead Government Senator
“Cuba and Belize have had very long standing relation, very cordial relationship, they’ve done a tremendous amount for our country and have asked nothing in return only for the cooperation, so our condolences and sympathies from this side with the people of the Republic of Cuba and we also hope that the relations with the United States like what has happens in the rest of the world improves.”
We must note that on the topic of improved relations between Cuba and the United States, President-elect Donald Trump has already threatened to terminate the Cuban deal negotiated by President Barack Obama to remove aspects of their economic blockade on the people of Cuba.
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