Cubana Air Disaster victims remembered

January 17, 2020

first_imgA special commemoration was held at the University of Guyana to mark the 40th anniversary of the Cubana Air Disaster which claimed the lives of 73 people, including 11 Guyanese.At Thursday’s remembrance ceremony, Cuban Ambassador Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante said that his country shared the pain of the Disaster with its fellow Caribbean nations. Marchante also noted that the Region will achieve victory in the fight against terrorism.“The pain is shared; the pain is multiplied. We in Cuba mourn our beloved ones…this legacy is a beacon and guidance because we are certain that in this fight against terrorism, we will win,” the Ambassador noted.Several Government Ministers and a delegation from Barbados were also present at the observance.Cuban Ambassador Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante addressing the gathering on ThursdaySome of the Guyanese who perished in the October 1976 bombingGuyanese President David Granger reminded that the attack was against the freedom of the Caribbean people.“The Cubana terrorist attack ensnared the Caribbean Community in a Cold War conflict, which was not of the Region’s making. The terrorist attack constituted an assault on the freedom-loving peoples of the Caribbean [and] their national interests,” he noted.While recalling the events of that fateful day, the Head of State also expressed that the remaining suspect must be charged for the deadly attack.“The Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and Cuba, at the Second Caricom-Cuba Summit in Barbados in December 2005, urged the Government of the United States of America to consider favourably, the request for the extradition of the suspect to Venezuela in order to ensure that he is brought to justice on charges of terrorism, in accordance with States’ obligations under international law and their own national legislation,” Granger explained.On October 6, 1976, Cubana de Aviación flight CU 455 exploded just 11 minutes after take-off from the Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.Those who perished were 57 Cubans, five North Koreans, and Guyanese Ann Nelson, Jacqueline Williams, Sabrina Harripaul, Rita Thomas, Margaret Bradshaw, Violet Thomas, Rawle Thomas, Raymond Persaud, Harold Norton, Gordon Sobha and Seshnarine Kumar.Four men were subsequently arrested for the bombing. Two were later sentenced to 20 years in prison in a trial held in neighbouring Venezuela, while two others were acquitted for the reported two explosions on the plane.last_img

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