Cassinga Genocide: the silence of those who have no right to life? (+ Photos)

By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.
May 2020.- One of the most horrendous crimes of the 20th century was committed by South African racists against nearly 3,000 Namibian women, elderly and children refugees in Cassinga, in the People’s Republic of Angola, who saw an avalanche of fragmentation bombs fall , fire and shrapnel.
But the genocide continued when more than 500 paratroopers ruthlessly lashed out at the terrified crowd that was not killed by shrapnel. The Isle of Youth, in Cuba, welcomed the around a thousand children who survived that genocide.

On May 29, 1985, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, accompanied by the then UN Secretary General, Javier Pérez de Cuellas, visited the “Hendrich Wilbooi” school, where many of those who were able to save their lives studied.
The Commander-in-Chief, in a public act, expressed with sorrow: “Neither you forget it, nor we forget it, nor humanity will forget it.” I remember doing the coverage as a journalist of Fidel’s tour, whose eyes sparkled with emotion when he saw those teenagers in their student uniforms.
Fidel wore, as always, the impeccable olive green suit. Digging through my papers, I find the script I wrote of the Cuban leader’s visit to the school to commemorate that dawn on May 4, 1978, which remains indelible in the memory of the survivors of the Namibian refugee camp.
Defenseless were attacked by surprise with airborne forces, preceded by a brutal bombardment against a defenseless camp. “We are very pleased, said Fidel, that you have had the opportunity to stage here that monstrous crime, which is not born from imagination or fiction, but from reality.”
As irrefutable proof of internationalism, a unit of Cuban fighters came to the aid of the refugees. Fidel said: «But I want to tell you that some Cubans also died that day from a unit that heroically advanced under enemy aviation fire to support you, forcing the South Africans to accelerate their withdrawal from Cassinga, and preventing them from murdering a number of Namibian children and women… »
In addition to Cuban journalists, a group of reporters from television and the US press, who accompanied the UN Secretary-General on his tour of Cuba, participated in the coverage.
It was not a lengthy speech, albeit interrupted by exclamations from Namibian students, not only from the Hendrich Wilbooi school, but also from Hose A, Kutako. They all arrived on the island the same year as the Cassinga massacre, of which about 300 witnessed the crime.
Fidel recalled: «I remember now that more than 900 people were murdered. So many people in a few hours. As people are gathered here today, in that treacherous and bloody dawn; but we will not forget it. We will never forget it !, and humanity will not forget it either.
The people of Namíbia will not forget it, nor the peoples of Africa, nor the peoples of the Third World, nobody in humanity with a little conscience will forget that crime. For what? To maintain colonialism, to keep the people oppressed.
But not only to the people of Namibia, but to the people of South Africa itself, to maintain apartheid, to maintain racism, to maintain fascism, to maintain the exploitation of the natural resources of those peoples, to exploit the sweat and blood of those towns … »
Sebastián Nacitunga, then a twelfth-grade student at the Hendrich Wilbooi school, applauded with enthusiasm on that memorable morning of May 29, 1985. He lived through the tragic moment of the massacre: “They ruthlessly lashed out with shrapnel and then with bayonets. Some children managed to go into the forest.
More than 900 children, women and the elderly were killed after a surprise attack … »Fidel specified that morning:« The International press did not speak a word of that; no, those who were dying were not white, they were Namibians, they were African, they were black.
The press – North American, of course, did not talk about it, North American television did not talk about it, because, logically, that is not talked about. Africans, blacks, in the imperialist conception of the world, have no right to life, they have no right to denounce, they have no right to protest in their “free press”, in their “free world …»
The terrible catastrophe that drowned hundreds of defenseless refugees in a sea of ​​blood remains a nightmare in the memory of the survivors, including Adelina Nojona Nushimba, whom I met on the spot for the seventh anniversary of the crime, which occurred that quiet morning of may…
Cassinga, where the massacre was, is located more than 1,000 kilometers from Cabinda, in southern Angola. Fidel pointed out: «If there is a tragedy in Namibia, there is an even greater tragedy in South Africa, where 24 million Africans are totally deprived of their rights by a meager minority of arrogant and arrogant whites… »
The historic leader of the Revolution acknowledged that the United Nations has been making a great effort to accelerate the independence of Namibia.
The Secretary of the United Nations has expressed here his hope that you will constitute the 160th State of the United Nations. The then UN Secretary General, Javier Pérez de Cuellas, who stayed with Fidel, referred to the organization’s commitments: “I want with my presence to give you a stimulus that you know that in all corners of the world You fight silently in some for others, for the independence of each and every one of you, but nothing can help that independence more than the personal effort of you, young Namibians. Together with me, thank Cuba and its leader for this admirable effort they make to help you become useful citizens of free Namibia. ”
Such was the conviction with which Fidel referred to the implementation of United Nations Resolution 435 and the independence of Namibia that I wrote with confidence that morning of May 29, 1985: «Sooner than later the people of Namibia will conquer their independence”.
Each worker, student and people in general, with arms in hand, will defeat the imperialist forces that illegally occupy the brother African country.
Namibia will be conferred on the 160th State of the United Nations, the aspiration of all progressive humanity ”. Almost five years later, on March 21, 1990, the then occupying and racist South Africa flag was lowered and the Namibian national ensign was raised. (Photos: Granma files).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)


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