Leader of the Clement Payne Movement, David Comissiong, says it's time the injustices against the Cuban people were stopped. Comissiong's remarks came Sunday during the 37th commemoration for the victims of the October 6, 1976 terrorist Cubana Airlines plane attack that killed 73 people off Paradise Beach in St James.
"We want to appeal to the people of the United States of America, and to say to them: what your government have been doing to the people of Cuba for over 50 years is wrong. Even with the imprisonment of those five Cubans who went to Miami to speak out against terrorism.
"We are appealing to the American people to see the fundamental injustices of this, and just as they were capable of stopping the war march of their president and Congress a few weeks ago, to also take the initiative to undo these injustices against the nation and people of Cuba," Comissiong said.
The Clement Payne Movement leader said that would be the ultimate justice and tribute to the innocent 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five Koreans who lost their lives in the jet bombing.
Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Barbados Lissette Perez said the act of terrorism was one of the many ways in which Cubans had perished.
"I ask all persons with dignity on the planet to raise their voices for the Cuban people in all languages to help break the mantle of silence on these injustices," Perez said.
She added that the United States government, being consistent with its stated commitment to fight terrorism, should act without double standards against those who from America had carried out terrorist acts against Cuba, and should release the five Cubans who were unjustly imprisoned for protecting Cuba from terrorism.
Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development Esther Byer-Suckoo stated the Government of Barbados stood in solidarity against acts of terrorism and injustices.
She told the group gathered at the Paynes Bay, St James monument to those who perished in the 1976 Cubana Airlines jet crash, that the obelisk remained a telling symbol that we who are touched by the tragedy will never forget those whom were being mourned.
President of the Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association, David Denny, said the pain was felt all across the Caribbean by what had transpired 37 years ago. Jamaica and Puerto Rico, he said, were among the countries that had written calling on the United States government to stop its double standards and ensure justice was served. (ML)
More can be done
There is a call for the Government of Barbados to join with the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) movement to organize a solidarity meeting, aimed at paying full respect to those Cubans, Guyanese and North Koreans who died tragically in the Cubana Airlines Flight off the West Coast of Barbados.
This comes from David Denny, President of the Cuban- Barbadian Friendship Association, during his remarks on Sunday on the occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the terrorist attack which claimed the lives of the 73 innocent persons on board.
"I was pleased when the Government of Barbados set up the monument at Paynes Bay, St. James in memory of the victims, but I feel we have to go a step further," he stressed.
"October 6, 1976 was a very painful day for the families of those victims. What is also very significant is the pain that was felt all through the Caribbean. In Barbados especially, the fishermen, Port Authority staff and staff of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were involved in that process looking after the removal of the bodies from the ocean," he recalled.
Denny also made a call for the Government of the United States of America to free the Cuban Five. Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Barbados, Her Excellency Mrs Lisette Perez Perez also joined him in this call.
She said that the people of Cuba condemn the injustice against Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez; who were cruelly sentenced in 2001 for bringing awareness to the activities planned against their country and others by violent groups based in Florida.
"We ask all persons with dignity on the planet to add their voices to the Cuban people in all languages to help break the mantle of silence under which this injustice continues," said Ambassador Perez.
"The US Government, being consistent with its stated commitment to fight terrorism, should act without double standards against those who, from the US soil, have carried out terrorist acts against Cuba and should release the Cuban Five Heroes unjustly imprisoned in that country for protecting Cuba from terrorism, and defending the integrity of citizens from the United States and other countries," she expressed. (TL)
Take Cuba off 'terrorism' list, says activist
Head of the Clement Payne Movement, David Comissiong, wants to see an end to the acts of terrorism and injustice which Cuba has endured for five decades.
"From the very beginning of the Cuban Revolution, from the very beginning of the New Republic of Cuba in 1959, they have been subjected to the arming of terrorist gangs on the soil of Cuba. They have been subjected to the terrorism of economic blockade; they have been subjected to the terrorism of biological and chemical warfare.
"They have been subjected to the terrorism of assassination; there have been so many plots and attempts against the lives of Fidel Castro and Raul Castro, that we can't count them... They have been subjected to the type of terrorist incident that brought down the Cubana Airline off Barbados," he indicated in his remarks on the occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the crash of Cubana Flight CU 455 off the West Coast of Barbados.
"[The year] 1976 really represented a descent into the evil of terrorism, which went on its evil journey into what took place in Afghanistan in the 1980's - that is seen today in countries around the world."
Comissiong went on to query why the United States Government State Department continues to place Cuba on its list of countries sponsoring terrorism. He described Cuba's presence on this list as "supreme irony".
Comissiong made an appeal to US citizens to understand that the people of Cuba have been the victims of some of the "most horrendous forms of terrorism" over the last 50 years.
"I am appealing, not to the United States of America Government, but to the ordinary American people, the people who just a few weeks ago were able to stop their President from bombing the people and nation of Syria. I want them to understand that what their government has been doing to the people of Cuba for 50 years is wrong, and I want for them to tell their government it is wrong," he stressed.
Just last week Monday, at the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations, Barbados' Foreign Affairs Minister, Maxine McClean reaffirmed Barbados' support for the ending of the economic embargo on Cuba.
She said, "My delegation concerned about the economic embargo which continues to be imposed on Cuba, as well as the extra-territorial impact that that embargo continues to have on countries in and outside our region. "We call for the ending of this embargo and trust that it will soon be ushered into the pages of history.'' (TL)