THE Founding President of Namibia, Dr Sam Nujoma as well as Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah were among several prominent world leaders that were honoured with the Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda Order First Class.
Fellow laureates of the two veteran Namibian leaders are the former President of Mozambique, Joaquin Chissano, the late President of the African National Congress in South Africa, Oliver Tambo, the current Zimbabwe minister of defence Oppah Muchinguri, and the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Angolan Women, Luzia Inglés.
Upon being conferred the Order of Francisco de Miranda during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, Founding President Nujoma stated that Namibia will continue to support constructive international dialogue with full regard to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and equality of nations in the interest of harmonious co-existence, peace, and cooperation.
“I accept this award with humility and on behalf of the Namibian People and other progressive people of the world, especially those who stood in solidarity with us during our struggle for freedom and genuine independence,” Dr Nujoma said.
The Founding President said that it is within the spirit of cooperation that Namibia will continue to cooperate with Venezuela on multilateral platforms such as the Non-aligned Movement in advancing the shared ideals for greater integration to strengthen South-South Cooperation which is regarded as an indispensable condition for sustainable development.
“Namibia has a foreign policy grounded in the rule of law and democracy as fundamental values. In this regard, the Namibian People emphasise the importance of Venezuela’s sovereignty and we call on the international community not to interfere in Venezuela’s internal matters,” he said.
Dr Nujoma pointed out that he accepts the award because it is a source of encouragement to continue building a better and just world for all
“I wish to dedicate this award to the people of our two countries, who wile separated by distance, are united in their fight against injustices,” he said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah upon receiving her award said that she too is deeply honoured and grateful to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the decision to confer the Francisco de Miranda Order First Class on her.
“Namibia and Venezuela have a long history and the people of Namibia will never forget the invaluable contribution by the Venezuelan people during our liberation struggle. It was not by chance that on the 28th of October 1989, Ambassador Gilberto Corrasquero, an outstanding Venezuelan diplomat, arrived in Namibia as part of the Special Committee of the United Nations to observe elections that started the transition of Namibia to independence,” she said.
She said that Namibia continues to align herself to the belief that unity is strength.
“It is my strong belief that all the challenges we face are not insurmountable. Just as this was a rallying call in the darkest days of our struggle, so too will it remain our hope amidst our current challenges.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also assured the people of Venezuela of Namibia’s continued support and solidarity.
She too called on the international community to allow the people of Venezuela to resolve their internal issues in an amicable and peaceful manner and within the confines of the laws of their republic.
“We call on the international community to be impartial and not to take sides in the dispute,” she said.
The Deputy Prime Minister dedicated her award to the working class, the peasants, and to the women of the world, who are faced with injustice every single day of their lives.
“It is my hope that we will continue to see significant changes in the lives of the working class all over the world and the empowerment of women, thus bringing them closer to decision-making processes and allowing them to actively advance the global agenda for Sustainable Development,” she concluded.