Fighting back


There is a call for October 6 to be declared as the International Day Against Terrorism.

That call came from Gerald Perreira, leader for the Organization for the Victory of the People in Guyana during today’s ceremony commemorating the 41st anniversary of the crash of Cubana Airlines flight CU455 off Barbados.

The disaster claimed the lives of 73 passengers, including several Cuban and Guyanese nationals.

Gerald Perreira, leader for the Organization for the Victory of the People, addressing the gathering.

Speaking at the foot of the Paynes Bay, St James monument which was erected in memory of the victims, Perreira, who is also an executive member of Caribbean Network in Defense of Humanity, called on the region to “resolutely stand and condemn terrorism in all its manifestation.

“Today let us commit ourselves to this principled position that we need to say terrorism is terrorism, regardless of which states supports it and which stands against it.

“I would like on this day . . .  to call on all the member states of CARICOM [the Caribbean Community] to push at the United Nations to have this day declared as the International Day Against Terrorism,” Perreira said.

Calling the Cubana crash an act of terrorism that was aimed at fracturing Caribbean unity, he stressed that the purveyors of such acts should not be allowed to win.

Also addressing the ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxine McClean reminded the gathering that the Government of Barbados condemned terrorism in all forms.

Senator Maxine McClean (right) laying a wreath at the Cubana monument at Paynes Bay, St James while Cuban Ambassador Francisco Peña looks on.

“We must also strive to eliminate the seeds of terrorism where they exist and strengthen security and cooperation in our efforts,” McClean said while extending condolences to the families of the 73 passengers who lost their lives in the Cubana crash.

“It’s something that will stay with us forever. As a young Barbadian at UWI [the University of the West Indies], I recall hearing the flight going over and recognizing that there was something wrong,” said McClean, who called for zero tolerance to all strategies that seek to divide and conquer the region.

“That act of terrorism was intended to create fear in us, some four years after Barbados together with three other Caribbean countries established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. It had the opposite effect. In two months we look forward to celebrating 45 years with diplomatic relations with China,” she added.

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