Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Donates US$100,000 To Memorial To Victims Of Slavery And Transatlantic Slave Trade

The government of Equatorial Guinea has donated US$100,000 toward the construction of a permanent memorial to honor the victims of slavery and transatlantic slave trade. The memorial will be built on the grounds of the United Nations in New York.

Guillermina Mekuy Mba Obono, Equatorial Guinea’s Delegate Minister of Culture and Tourism, announced the donation today and said, “President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has responded positively to your call. The President of the Republic has asked me to express the gratitude of the people of Equatorial Guinea for your tireless efforts. I am the carrier of our contribution, which is symbolic, but for us, it expresses our firm commitment to this noble cause. We hope that this permanent memorial will embody the invincible spirit of our ancestors, their sons, their grandsons, their great grandsons, and all of their descendants.”

 “We are all part of the same family,” she said, “a large family, the family of humanity. At the foot of this memorial, all of us in the Caribbean, in Africa or elsewhere, we all say, cry together, sing together: Never, never, never again.”

Delegate Minister Mba Obono said that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, its people, its government, and its president, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, are proud to be associated with this event.

“In honor of the victims of slavery, we participate in the restoration of the dignity of those who had been stripped of everything. A permanent memorial here at United Nations Headquarters is not only a powerful symbol for the education of future generations, but also a clear reminder to anyone who would like to forget. Equatorial Guinea is therefore determined to associate itself fully with the remembrance.”

Mba Obono recalled that the islands of Bioko and Annobón in Equatorial Guinea were important landing sites for the slave trade. “Black pearls – human pearls- were captured and…shipped to the Americas. Volcanic peaks, the green velvet of our rainforests, the luxuriance of our nature, the black sand of Bioko may have given some people a picture of a tropical paradise. But for decades, our people were subjected to the vilest exploitation of man by man.”

“Human trafficking was at the heart of deep structural inequalities, both economically and socially,” she said. “These injustices and inequalities continue to affect people of African descent throughout the world. Member states must sustain their efforts. Equatorial Guinea welcomes the initiative by the Caribbean states to erect a permanent memorial. Those who did fall under the yoke of slavery had few hiding places. What was left was their beliefs, their drums, their invincible determination not to die. They ran the risk of losing their identity, the reason for living.”