Castro wins 1998 Qadhafi human rights prize

 South News Aug 30

Durban:   Libya awarded the "Muammar Qadhafi Human Rights Prize" to Fidel Castro at a special ceremony on Sunday in Tripoli, the official JANA news agency reported.

In a message to the committee, Castro apologised for not making the ceremony and said he was ready to receive the prize at a time and place yet to be fixed.Instead, the 250,000 dollar prize was handed over by a committee to Cuba's ambassador to Libya, who used the occasion -- broadcast on state television -- to rail against "imperialism."

"We share the same struggle against a criminal policy of imperialist aggression directed against us," the unnamed ambassador said. Washington has unilaterally imposed trade sanctions on Libya since 1986 and on Cuba for the last 37 years.

JANA said the award, established in 1989, recognizes Castro's "resistance to imperialism, his struggle in the name of principles, and his courage to confront reality, all of which augur a new step forward in the people's struggle against hegemony, embargo and aggression."

Cuban President Fidel Castro is en route to a meeting of non-aligned leaders in South Africa.Castro will address a joint sitting of the South African legislature on September 4, following the Non-Aligned Movement summit. Castro is one of around 70 world leaders due in South Africa's Indian Ocean city of Durban at the end of next week for the NAM summit. He is expected to travel to Cape Town to address a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces immediately afterwards.

According to an African National Congress communique "The Cuban people under the leadership of President Castro have displayed selfless internationalist commitment to the liberation of the oppressed people of Africa broadly and South Africa specifically. In this regard, we remain deeply indebted to the Cuban people for their unflinching sacrifices in the struggle against apartheid."

"The ANC is particularly pleased that President Fidel Castro will be addressing parliament on September 4. Comrade Castro's address to parliament marks a high point in the relationship between the South African and Cuban peoples," the ANC communique said on August 27.

His visit to Brazil was postponed from Sunday to Monday because of the crash involving a Cuban-owned aircraft in Ecuador on Saturday, Brazilian television station TV Globo reported today.

Earlier in the week in Grenada, Fidel emphasized that the Third World peoples, "who were so atrociously colonized and exploited," now constitute the overwhelming majority of UN member countries and the day that "it is democratized, and its irritating privileges and usurpation of Security Council functions come to an end, and all of us enjoy equal rights at the UN, the sooner will we see the end of injustice, of abuses and the plundering to which our peoples fall victim."