Cuba & AfricaSolidarity

Namibia: Diaz-Canel – Heroes’ Day Emotional for Cubans

Namibia has become a beacon of peace and harmony that has illuminated the region and the world since gaining independence in 1990, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has said.

He paid tribute to the courageous heroes of Namibia’s liberation struggle as the guest of honour during the commemoration of the 33rd Heroes’ Day at Independence Stadium on Saturday.

Heroes’ Day aims at honouring and celebrating the heroes and heroines who played pivotal roles in Namibia’s liberation struggle.

The Cuban leader said it is an emotional and well-deserved day as Namibians have sacrificed their lives, and paved the way for the definitive independence of their homeland.

Diaz-Canel’s words were reverencing Namibia’s struggle for liberation from the then-apartheid South African occupiers.

He extended a special tribute to Namibia’s founding father, Sam Nujoma, saying “You fought against injustice on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, and Cuba is honoured to have supported you”.

Drawing from the historical timeline, Diaz-Canel marked 21 March 1990 as the transformative day when Namibia emerged as a potent symbol of resistance in former South West Africa.

“This victory definitively shattered the chains of the oppressive apartheid regime,” he said.

The Cuban leader then moved the audience with a poignant account of young survivors from the Cassinga massacre.

“The haunting echoes of incidents like the Cassinga massacre were brought to the forefront of the collective memory,” he noted.

He recounted how these survivors found refuge and healing in the arms of Cuban internationalist fighters, describing their journey from trauma to finding a new sense of home and purpose in Cuba.

“To the memory of their fallen relatives and to the dignified resistance that allowed them to survive the horror, we pay a heartfelt tribute,” Diaz-Canel emphasised, his voice carrying the weight of respect and honour.


Ike Nahem

Ike Nahem is a longtime socialist, anti-imperialist, and Cuba solidarity activist. Ike is a retired Amtrak Locomotive Engineer, and proud member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a Division of the Teamsters Union, and Railroad Workers United. He is a founder and leader of the New York-New Jersey Cuba Si Coalition, and the International US-Cuba Normalization Conference Coalition. Ike is the author of numerous widely circulated essays including To the Memory of Malcolm X; Fifty Years After His Assassination; The Life of Fidel Castro: A Marxist Appreciation; and Political Legacies of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ike can be reached at