In Cuba, the Executive Secretariat of the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) called together a Tricontinental Platform in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The meeting, held at OSPAAALâs headquarters in Havanna on June 8th, commemorated 40 years of Israeli Occupation in Gaza, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights. It formed part of the Global Action Week, âThe World says NO to the Israeli Occupationâ. Attendees included Marcos RodrÃguez, vice minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba; Oscar MartÃnez, second head of the International Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba; Professor Rodrigo Ãlvarez Cambras, President of the Cuban-Arab Friendship Society; and members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba as well as representatives of political parties, revolutionary organizations and social movements of more than 40 countries from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The meeting opened with a minuteâs silence for the martyrs of the Palestinian struggle.
OSPAAAL General Secretary Alfonso Fraga PÃ©rez spoke to the assembled delegates on the need to step-up actions in solidarity with Palestine. He told the meeting: “All those in the world who, like us, love peace and justice are moved by the information we daily receive on the situation of the occupied territories along these 40 years. With the unconditional support of the United States, Israel has built illegal settlements in stolen Palestinian land â 18,700 square kilometers â to such an extent that today that heroic people lives in 18% of the territory of the historical Palestine; it has massacred tens of thousands; demolished 18,000 homes; arrested 650,000 Palestinians, many of whom have been submitted to brutal tortures and other vexations. They have exterminated more than one million Palestinian olives trees and have increased the number of refugees up to 5,200,000, which today make up for 70% of the total Palestinian population”.
Ambassadors from Namibia, Egypt, Algeria and Vietnam also spoke of their support for Palestine. His Excellency Luis Cabrera Gonzalez, Ambassador of Nicaragua conveyed a special message of support from President Daniel Ortega.
Jaime Rodriguez of the Party of Dominion Workers spoke on behalf of a number of Cuban political parties and social movements about the need to protect Palestine from the imperialist and Zionist âhawksâ.
The meeting was closed by a speech from his Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Alzeben, Palestinian Ambassador to Cuba. He thanked the delegates for their expressions of solidarity.
The Tricontinental Meeting was the climax of a week of activities to mark the 40 years of Occupation which included poetry reading, talks and film screenings.