73 persons who perished in the Cubana Air Disaster 41 years ago, were today remembered.
On October 6, 1976, two bombs exploded eleven minutes after flight 455 took off from the Grantley Adams Airport when the aircraft was at an altitude of 18000 feet. Among those who lost their lives were 11 Guyanese, five students who were on their way to pursue studies in Cuba.
The Cubana Air Disaster monument was erected at the Turkeyen Campus of the University of Guyana in 2012.
The brother of one of the Guyanese victims who died in the Cubana Air Disaster in 1976, Jeffrey Thomas, President David Granger, Ambassador of Cuba to Guyana, Julio González Marchante and Honorary Consul of Barbados Gerry Gouveia today laid wreaths at the monument to honor those killed.
President David Granger pointed out that Guyana is against any form of terrorism and noted that the Caribbean must be a zone of peace. He said this can be realized, only if international law and the territorial integrity of small states are respected.
“Guyana reassures the world of its commitment to the Caribbean as a zone of peace. Guyana remembers today the victim of the Cubana terrorist attack. We assemble annually before this monument, to memorialize the human cost of international terrorism,” the President stated.
This view was supported by the Cuban Ambassador, who noted that the victims of the 1976 terrorist act will continue to serve as an inspiration as the fight against terrorism continues.
He stated: “The terrorist act was a shocking fact in a region where some nations had decided courageously to establish relations with Cuba exercising their right to national independence and sovereignty. T hey were Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana.”
He noted that the commemoration served to reiterate Cuba’s unwavering will to fight against terrorism and to express its firmest rejection and condemnation of all terrorist acts, methods and practices, regardless of their motivations, including those in which there are States directly or indirectly involved.
The aircraft which exploded had 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five North Koreans on board.