Founding President Sam Nujoma said he was humbled to have been selected as the recipient of the honour which recognises the outstanding work of Venezuelans and foreign nationals.
The country’s first democratically elected leader was yesterday officially conferred the Order of Francisco de Miranda, in its first class by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a virtual ceremony held at State House. “I accept this award with humility on behalf of the Namibian people and other progressive people of the world, especially those who stood in solidarity with us during our liberation struggle for freedom and genuine independence,” Nujoma said.
The same honour was also conferred to former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, late ANC president Oliver Tambo, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Zimbabwean defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and the secretary-general of the Organisation for Angolan Women, Luzia Inglés Van-Dúnem. Nujoma thanked Maduro for the honour named after a selfless revolutionary Francisco de Miranda whose deeds, he said, will never be forgotten. “Indeed, Francisco de Miranda is a Venezuelan revolutionary who helped to pave the way for independence in Latin America. He remains known as the forerunner of Simón Bolívar,” Nujoma stressed. Nujoma also took the opportunity to congratulate fellow recipients. “This is an appeal from all those, throughout the world, who are seeking an end to all forms of injustices and oppression and it will consolidate the already existing good relations between Namibia and Venezuela and indeed with the entire African continent,” he said. Nujoma further assured Maduro of Namibia’s support. “Namibia will always be in support of constructive and cooperative international dialogue with full regard for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and equality of nations in the interest of harmonious co-existence, peace and cooperation,” he said. “It is within this spirit that we continue to cooperate with Venezuela in multilateral platforms such as the Non-Aligned Movement, in advancing our shared ideals for greater integration to strengthen South-South Cooperation which we regard as an indispensable condition for sustainable development,” he added. Nujoma said Namibia has a foreign policy grounded on the rule of law and democracy as fundamental values. “Namibian people emphasise the importance of Venezuela’s sovereignty and call on the international community not to interfere in Venezuela’s internal matters,” he said.