It has been 42 years since 73 persons died in what is commonly referred to as the Cubana Air Disaster or Crimen de Barbados when Cubana de Aviación flight 455 from Barbados to Jamaica was brought down on October 6, 1976 by a terrorist bomb attack.
Eleven Guyanese were killed.
In observance, the Embassy of Guyana in Havana has organised two major events this week.
On Thursday, there will be a public event at the Casa Del Alba Cultural in Havana during which, among others, members of the diplomatic corps will deliver memorial presentations.
Among those expected to speak are former Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Ricardo Alercon Quesada, and the Barbadian and Namibian Ambassadors to Cuba. Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, His Excellency Halim Majeed, will deliver the feature address.
Meanwhile, on Friday a wreath laying and prayer service is scheduled to be held at the Colon Cemetery, also in Havana.
Simultaneously with the attack on the Cubana de Aviación flight, the office of the Trinidad Airline was also bombed and a “mysterious” fire in Guyana destroyed a large quantity of fishing equipment supplied by Cuba.
These were preceded by the bombing of the Guyana Consulate in Trinidad and Tobago.
Later, they were claimed by “El Condor”, an anti-Castro exile group, which waged war against Caribbean countries that had maintained strong ties with Cuba.
On December 8 1972, Guyana established diplomatic relations with Cuba. Today, that relationship spans a variety of areas including trade, health, agriculture and education.