MAY 25 is the Day for Africans all over the world. Several Pan-Africanist organisations such as the All-Africa People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP)  celebrated the Day in their chapters in Africa (Ghana, Guinea Bissau, etc) and North America. Other Pan-Africanist groups across the world also did, begining from May 23! The movement one belongs to – ACIS-M – sent messages of solidarity and urged all to condemn and demand that the US imperialist should ‘Unblock’ Cuba and Venezuela from the inhuman Economic Blockade imposed on both sovereign nations!

The month of May, for ordinary Cubans and the Cuban government, is the Day to remember their African root and ancestory. One received several messages, including few ones I share here:

“Congratulations to Africans, in this your Day, you should show the world what solidarity means! Heroes like Mandela, Sekou Toure, Nkrumah and many others who lost their lives to defeat injustice, should be remembered! This time is ours, let’s work together”.

Another wrote:

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“Dear brother: I sincerely wish to wish all my African brothers and sisters all the best in this very important day, not only for the African continent, but for the whole world. I am sure that the Nigerian people will overcome all the challenges in front of you, including the current Covid-19 pandemic. I will never forget that all along my veins run African blood and particularly, the beautiful and exciting days I lived amongst you. I learnt a lot with you and I keep those learnings as a personal treasure. Long live Africa! Big, big hug!

And from the current Cuban Ambassador in Nigeria came this:

In Cuba, we always celebrate the African Day. Every year, we organize several activities. Rather unfortunately this year, because of coronavirus, it will be different. But we are intensifying how to show our solidarity, respect and love for Africa. Of course in practical terms, that is conducted mainly by Cuban medical brigades who work now in 32 African countries. But also, me and several colleagues working in African countries and other Cubans, we are conducting a campaign through social network underlining the values of African culture, history, traditions, our relations and love for Africa.

Kwame Nkrumah set the pace for African Unity on April 15, 1958, when he brought together the then eight independent African nation-states in Accra and stated clearly: “we are here to know ourselves and exchange views on matters of common interest; to explore ways and means of consolidating and safeguarding our hard-won independence; to strengthen economic and cultural ties between our countries; to find workable arrangements for helping our brothers still languishing under colonial rule; to examine the central problem which dominate the world today, namely the problem of how to secure peace ..”

Africa was fortunate in the decolonisation process to have been endowed with several Pan-Africanist icons and revolutionaries from 1945 to the ’70s who defined for their various nation-states agenda of human development, self-reliant economies and human dignity. Unfortunately, most of the brightest stars were assassinated by the forces of imperialism in the US, Britain, France Belgium and Portugal. Some other promising African nation-states had their independence undermined and their countries turned into theatres of ethnic and social crises.

Cameroun wouldn’t have turned out the way it is now with State repression and violence on the ascendancy but for the assassination by France imperialism of the truly focused  leader in October 1960 – Felix Mummie – who was to lead Cameroun to independence. This was the first assassination by imperialism of an African nation-state leader.

But the one that caught world attention was the broad daylight assassination of Patrice Emery Lumumba in January 1961.  Increasingly, the list began to grow not only in the continent but across the Pan-African world – Frantz Fanon, Malcom X, Eduardo Mondlane, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, Walter Rodney, Samora Machel, Bob Marley, Augustinho Neto, Thomas Sankara, etc!

Africa has a clear agenda of what Humanity should be! 1945 was the turning point when at the Second Pan-African Congress, two major resolutions emerged:  (1.) Decolonisation and Independence, and (2) Socialism as the basis for political and socio-economic arrangement, once independence is obtained.

Kwame Nkrumah was one of the key leaders in the 1945 Conference and with Ghana’s independence in 1956, he set the tone for African Liberation and Unity!

But three outstanding revolutionary leaders and philosophers of African pride and global acknowledgement – Nkrumah, Cabral and Fidel – defined the reality of Africa in concrete terms!

Kwame Nkrumah set the pace for African Unity on April 15, 1958, when he brought together the then eight independent African nation-states in Accra and stated clearly: “we are here to know ourselves and exchange views on matters of common interest; to explore ways and means of consolidating and safeguarding our hard-won independence; to strengthen economic and cultural ties between our countries; to find workable arrangements for helping our brothers still languishing under colonial rule; to examine the central problem which dominate the world today, namely the problem of how to secure peace ..”

The Nkrumah’s faithfulness to the resolution of the 2nd PAC set into motion what transformed into the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on MAY 25, 1963, whose Charter was signed by 32 nation-states! And on the eve of the OAU inauguration – May 24 – Nkrumah addressed all the heads of the independent nation-states to reaffirm his vision of the OAU: “Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist control and interference”.

Building on Nkrumah’s OAU foundation statement, Cabral reaffirmed his clarity of the African historical reality of fighting against racism, colonialism and imperialism, when he stated that: “There are only two possible parts for an independent nation: to return to imperialist domination (neo-colonialism, capitalism, state capitalism) or to take the way of Socialism”.

Cuba stands with Africa at all times. We cannot forget that less than two years of the Cuban revolution, even when the Island faced counter-revolution challenge and sabotage sponsored by the US imperialists, Cuba was there for Algeria as from 1961 to join forces against colonial domination. Cuba was in Congo, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Southern African countries, Western Sahara; etc. Fighting Ebola in West Africa, Cuba was there.

Commandante Fidel Castro defined the Cuban connection to Africa: “We are united by blood ties. And I mean this in two ways: by blood of our ancestors and the blood we have shed together on the battlefield”. Commandante Fidel’s reference to battlefield was the sacrifices of more than 300,000 Cubans who volunteered and fought for the liberation of the Southern Africa countries of Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

On another occasion, Commandante Fidel declared the historical necessity of Cuba in Africa and why the Cuban reality is inseparable from the African reality: “Those who once enslaved man and sent him to the Americas perhaps never imagined that one of those peoples who received the slaves would one day send their fighters to struggle for freedom in Africa”.

For the current rulership (not leaders) in the African Union and for the African working class and poor masses in the Pan-African world, celebrating the African Liberation Day (ALD), moreso with the hopeless state of all the nation-states should be a moment to rethink, re-strategise and re-affirm our commitment to the visions, philosophical directions and practical examples articulated and demonstrated by Nkrumah, Cabral and Commandante Fidel.

Combating imperialism in Africa is a necessity made glaring by the reality of US and European domination in every facet of our existence – US-Africa Command, French military agreements in former colonies, Moroccan and European occupation and plunder of Western Sahara, dependence on IMF/WTO and World Bank for economic slavery existence, etc.

African Unity, more than at any other time in world history, needs Cuba now! But, we not only need Cuba to combat Coronavirus in Africa, we must pay our debt to Cuba, not only in monetary terms, but in standing firm in our solidarity with Cuba, in opening up trade relations and economic partnership with Cuba, in unwavering defence of the Cuban revolution against all US insidious campaigns and above all playing the leadership role to end the six decades of economic blockade of Cuba that was criminally imposed by the US.

Cuba stands with Africa at all times. We cannot forget that less than two years of the Cuban revolution, even when the Island faced counter-revolution challenge and sabotage sponsored by the US imperialists, Cuba was there for Algeria as from 1961 to join forces against colonial domination. Cuba was in Congo, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Southern African countries, Western Sahara; etc. Fighting Ebola in West Africa, Cuba was there.

 Whenever countries in Africa are in difficulties, our only friend has been Cuba.

4,286 Cuban medical brigades in 32 African countries have been made available to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. Cubans are already saving lives in Togo, SADR, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principle, Gabon, Congo, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Algeria, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Gambia, Eretria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Esuatini, Lesotho and South Africa.

Sad enough, Cuba isn’t invited to Nigeria to assist freely as being done elsewhere, because with the Cuban presence here, the ruling government cannot afford to claim that billions have been spent – in effect, no public fund to loot by pronouncement as is currently the practice on palliatives!

Most importantly, rulers here are afraid of openly associating with Cuba to avoid incurring the wrath of their US-puppeteer, yet Cuba has freely trained several doctors for Nigeria in Cuba and Cuban experts are assisting some states in Nigeria on technical cooperation in few areas!

Comrade Aremu is Co-Coordinator, Amilcar Cabral Ideological School (ACIS-M) Movement

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