GAWU implores President, Gov’t to have Komal Chand’s body returned from Cuba

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The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) is imploring the Government to arrange for the body of its late President Komal Chand to be flown to Guyana from Cuba.

Mr Chand died one month ago while receiving treatment in Havana; he was accompanied by his wife.

“A glimmer of hope emerged when it was learnt that the Government has arranged an aircraft to take packages to Guyanese in Cuba over the coming weekend.

“Requests were made for Mr Chand’s body and widow to be accommodated on the return flight.

“Those requests were not approved as the Government said it could not afford such a request,” GAWU noted in a statement Friday.

The Union said it understands that the request would not have been a princely sum but yet the family was told that the Government would have to seek to raise the required sum through donations from the society.

The Union said that another reason for the apparent denial has been that it would open the door to other requests for citizens abroad to be repatriated back home.

“We ask what is wrong with such requests as we have seen many other countries doing the same for its citizens.

“We believe it would have been much more prudent of our scarce financial resources for the flight arranged to bring home Guyanese who wish to return from Cuba once they undergo the necessary tests and take appropriate precautions during the flight,” GAWU stated.

Since Chand’s passing to now, the Union said it has been in contact with several Governmental officials seeking to have the return of Mr Chand’s body.

“Despite assurances that they would do everything in their possibilities to assist, dishearteningly not much assistance has been forthcoming as the relatives of Mr Chand face what has to be one of their most difficult periods in their lives,” GAWU stated.

The Union said that on Thursday, the family was informed that it is now charged with covering the cost of taking care of Mr Chand’s body in Cuba.

“Previously, the family was assured that those costs would be taken care of and they hadn’t any need to worry in that regard,” GAWU stated.

The Union said it has written President David Granger to appeal to him for some proactive action on the part of the Administration to alleviate, in some respect, the pain suffered by Mr Chand’s relatives.

“We are hopeful that the President would consider our request and swiftly address them to bring closure to this sad chapter confronting the Chand family.

“Certainly, he is deserving of the assistance of the State recognizing that he has been a national leader for many years and worked tirelessly in the advancement of the rights of the downtrodden of this country he loved so dearly,” GAWU stated.

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