NRM B12 Hails Castro Selflessness
By Alex Masereka
Members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s B12 study have hailed former Cuban leader, commandante Fidel Castro Ruz’s selflessness in a glowing tribute.
This happened last Friday during their visit to the Cuban Embassy in Uganda in Kololo, an upscale Kampala suburb. The group led by among others, NRM’s Deputy Treasurer, Kenneth Omona and David Mafabi, Museveni’s private secretary for political affairs visited the embassy draped in black T-shirts and caps with portraits of Fidel Castro to show solidarity with Cubans.
“The story of the tryst between Fidel, the Cuban people and history, is well known. What perhaps, is most important now, as we celebrate the life and work of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, is to reflect on the lessons which emerge from that great experience,” Mafabi said while eulogizing the fallen commandante.
He also hailed Fidel for constructing a system that allowed Cubans free health care and a commendable literacy rate saying;
“Cuba has not been a rich country or super power. But it is a world leader in welfare sectors. Fidel and his Comrades never lost sight of the importance of the need to maintain the highest qualities of life for the people. To mention but a few statistics: Cuba provides free health care for all its people. Life expectancy for Cubans (79.13 years) is higher than for Americans (78.64 years); Cuba has the highest doctor-to-resident ratio in the world (1:155); Education is free for the whole population and at all levels including university. The Cuban literacy rate is 99.8%; Class sizes in primary schools are kept below 25. Secondary schools have around 15 per class,” he added.
Omona challenged Uganda’s young leaders to emulate Fidel’s ideals of nationalism, equality and social justice.
B12 is a study group of the NRM with the main objectives of deepening the ideological understanding of members as well as analysing issues of national, regional and international importance. The study group meets once a week to study and discuss in line with a syllabus and other topical issues respectively.
Among its activities have been an outreach program particularly in institutions of higher learning and engagement of various entities/ activities countrywide and regionally that are key to the NRM revolution, to mention but a few. Its membership is drawn from the political class, civil service, intelligentsia, corporate world, entrepreneurial class, student bodies.
Its members include; Sarah Kagingo, Executive Director Softpower Communications, Patricia Mwijustya, Kwame Rugunda, Toy Othieno, Awel Uwihanganye, Hilda Akabway, Maria Kawuma, Dan Kidega, Paul Nantulya and Deo Kateizi.
On his part, the Cuban ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency, Antonio Luis Pubillones, thanked the members for their solidarity and continued to call for the complete removal of the US blockade against Cuba.
“We have the blockade which is in full force. It is damaging the Cuban people so much, causing pain and many more problems in all sectors of our economy,” he said.
The envoy added, “We have you, we have many others like you and that’s why we are fighting for the lifting of the blockade and I know we will overcome.”
Meanwhile, Cuban President Raul Castro vowed to honour the socialist principles and goals of the revolution led by Fidel, who died on 25 November aged 90.
He also announced that Cuba would ban naming any monuments or roads after Fidel Castro, at the request of the late leader.
“The leader of the revolution strongly opposed any manifestation of cult of personality,” said Raul Castro.
No statues or busts of Fidel will be erected in Cuba, he said.
A funeral service for the late Cuban leader was held yesterday in the city of Santiago.
His ashes were interred on Sunday in a cemetery next to those of the 19th Century Cuban independence hero, Jose Marti.