President Rupiah Banda has investitured former President of Cuba Fidel Castro with an award of the order of the Eagle of Zambia first division for his meritorious political, social, and economical services rendered to the people of Cuba and other countries in the world.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony through his chief of staff at state house Austin Sichinga at the revolutionary palace in Havana last evening, President Banda said Castro’s selflessly dedicated his life to fight for liberation of oppressed people of his country and beyond.
He said Mr Castro who studied law in the 1940’s and admitted to the bar in 1950’s abandoned his profession and instead choose to save humanity by fighting injustice.
He said the former President of Cuban who is still the commander in chief initiated and endured an armed struggle for the emancipation of Cuba.
President Banda said Mr Castro was an inspiration to many people in political and economic management steer around the world by his boldness amidst many challenges.
Mr Banda noted that in spite of the economic blockade from the United States Mr. Castro remained undaunted but instead focused his energies to provide for his country with locally generated law material and resources.
He said they have been many attempts to crush Cuba and Mr. Castro in person but the latter did not bow to such pressures and he instead continued to help African countries materially and technologically.
President Banda said he is grateful for Mr. Castro’s services and struggle for freedom of his country and others in Africa like Algeria and Angola.
He then presented a colorful award to Raul Castro Ruiz who received the medal on behalf of Mr. Castro and in his reciprocal speech, President Raul Castro said through his representative that Cuba was profoundly humbled by President Banda’s recognition to Mr. Castro’s services.
He said President Banda’s gesture was an expression of the relationship that exists between Zambia and Cuba.
He further said that his country greatly appreciates Zambia’s resolve to pay homage to freedom fighters in Africa and Cuba.
Meanwhile, President Banda and President Raul Castro held talks at the revolutionary palace.
Earlier, President Banda toured a monument of Cuban internationally hero, Jose Marti who fought against injustices of the people of Cuba many years ago.
The President laid a wreath at the monument of the late Mr. Marti.
Other activities on Mr. Banda agenda in Cuba includes meeting with African diplomats accredited to Cuba and laying of wreaths at the Cuban international heroes.
The President who arrived in Cuba on Monday is accompanied by first lady Thandiwe Banda, foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande and senior government officials.
He is expected to leave Cuba on Thursday.