Cuito Cuanavale, Angola, March 24 (Prensa Latina) Cuban division general Eranio Hernandez said Sunday it was worth his participation in the Cuito Cuanavale battle, victoriously settled on March 23, 1988.
‘I feel a great emotion to return to this land, to see that Angola consolidated its independence and lives in peace’, Hernandez said in statements to Prensa Latina after participating in the ceremony that marked the first anniversary of the date becoming the Day of Liberation.
‘I was here on the 20th anniversary, nothing of this monument (of 3.5 hectares opened in 2017) existed, it was only a project, recalled the retired military man who this Saturday the host president, Joao Lourenzo, decorated with the medal of military merit of first class.
This tribute to the fallen and the survivors is full of great satisfaction, especially at seeing the the country begins to move forward,’ he added.
In this regard, he defended that current and future generations know the significance of this battle (which began in November 1987) for the Angolan future, the countries of Africa and the world.
‘After Cuito Cuanavale the peoples of Africa were a little more free’, he said in paraphrasing the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, when said that Latin America was freer after the triumph of the revolutionaries in the battle of Playa Giron (in the south western Cuban coast), in 1961.
At the ceremony, a thousand kilometers south of Luanda, attended by five African Heads of State and two other representatives of dignitaries of the continent, Russia and the first Cuban Vice President, Salvador Valdes Mesa, who said that his country never aspired to any recognition when Cuba helped Angola for its liberation.
‘I receive this decoration on behalf of Army General Raul Castro (first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba), President Miguel Diaz-Canel and the Cuban people, said Valdes Mesa to Lourenzo, in handing over the order to first degree military merit for the Cuban participation in the victory at the Cuito Cuanavale battle.
The order highlights the significance of the battle for the preservation of the Angolan sovereignty and the definitive liberation of southern Africa.
‘For the acts of bravery, stoicism and determination in the struggle for the defense of the country, its institutions and the strategic interests of Angola during the battle of Cuito Cuanavale the President of Angola delivers to Cuba the order of first degree military merit’, he added.
In the ceremony, in which more than 10,00 people attended, the President of Namibia and current President of the Southern African Development Community, Hage Geingob, praised Cuba’s support for the independence of their country and the destruction of the myth of the invincibility of the racist army of South African apartheid.