The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and its civil societies in collaboration with the Nigeria-Cuba Friendship, Business and Cultural Association have appealed for lifting of economic ban on Cuba by the US government.
They made the call on Thursday during the visit of Cuban Ambassador, Mr. Carlos E. Treso Sosa and his deputy, Mrs. Miriam Morales Palmera to the congress in Lagos.
Speaking, Mr Carlos Sosa, Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria said that the US placed an economic blockade on Cuba because it refused to adopt the US model of operation in Cuba.
According to Sosa, Cuba is known for being advanced in medicine and needed to interact with other parts of the world to be able to develop and grow its economy.
He said that the situation had become worse as Cuba could not transact business with members of the UN and the third world countries.
“Things have become worse today than before with the present US government. The US government collected 40 million dollars as fine from a third world country that had business deals with us.
“Anything we buy from the US we pay in advance but we cannot sell our products to the Americans. We are also not allowed to spend dollars in our country,’’ he said.
The Cuban ambassador said that the relationship with Nigeria started in 1805 but because of the blockade, countries who have relationship with the US would not want to associate with them.
He said that the Cuba was developing in terms of health care production and needed to reach out to other countries of the world.
He said that because of its advancement in medicine, Cuba has the lowest mortality rate in the world.
In his remark, Mr Abdulkareem Motajo, President of the association called for the lifting of the embargo on Cuba, because the people are Africans through history.
Motajo said that Labour in Nigeria was campaigning for the freedom of the Cuba because some Africans and Nigerians were transported through slave trade to Cuba.
He said that the people of Cuba had suffered for 50 years and needed economic freedom so that their country would grow.
Also, TUC President, Mr Bobboi Kaigama in his remark condemned the act, noting that some other countries would also suffer as a result of not buying health care facilities from Cuba.
Kaigama who was represented by Mr Simeso Amachree, a senior official of TUC said that US not allowing Cuba do business with other countries contravenes the act of interdependency of nations.
He also urged the Nigerian government not to reverse the ban on importation for companies to grow and create job opportunities.
Abiodun Aremu, Secretary, Joint Action Front (labour Group) said that the blockade against Cuba was against humanity.
Aremu said that a country with integrity must be ready to be self-reliant, sovereign and independent.
The Republic of Cuba is a country with the largest island in the Caribbean and, with a population of over 11 million.
Cuba is known for human development by the United Nations and high for health and education.