Photo: Prensa Latina

Salvador Valdés Mesa, a vice president of the Council of State, participated this Friday, February 3, in the official Heroes’ Day ceremony, at the invitation of the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi.

At 9 a.m. local time, the Mozambican leader placed a floral wreath in front of the star-shaped crypt in the middle of an immense square, where the remains of various heroes of this African nation rest.

Following the wreath laying, a parade began to the interior of the sculpture, where several white marble niches are located. The first have inscribed the names of Eduardo Mondlane and Samora Machel.

Mondlane, founder of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in 1962, was assassinated on February 3, 1969, and Machel, the first president of the country following independence, was killed in a suspicious plane crash on October 19, 1986.

In attendance during the solemn ceremony at this naturally illuminated site was Valdés Mesa, the only foreign guest, as well as all ministers, members of parliament, FRELIMO Party leaders, former presidents of the country and of the National Assembly, and the diplomatic corps accredited in Maputo.

President Nyusi later delivered a speech to mark the occasion, in which he sent a message of peace and reconciliation to the people of Mozambique.

He then toured the area where thousands of people had gathered, accompanied by the Cuban official, also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Political Bureau.

Among cheers and expressions of popular support, Nyusi and Valdés Mesa observed the rich and colorful presentations of diverse artistic and cultural manifestations.

February 3 was declared a national holiday to commemorate those fallen in the struggles for liberation and independence from Portuguese colonial rule, finally achieved on June 25, 1975.

At the end of the ceremony, the vice president of the Council of State visited the FRELIMO Party headquarters, where he held a friendly meeting with Secretary General Joaquim Machava.

Maputo represents the last stage of an official tour of three African countries by Valdés Mesa and his accompanying delegation, which began on January 26, when he arrived in Ethiopia.

In the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abeba, Valdés Mesa participated as Cuba’s representative to the 28th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

The second stop on his trip was South Africa, where the strong ties of friendship between the governments and peoples of this nation and Cuba were ratified, as well as the excellent level of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Valdés Mesa is heading a delegation that includes Gerardo Peñalver, director general of Bilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba; Ángel Villa, director of the Ministry’s Sub-Saharan Africa Office; and Brigadier General Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, Hero of the Republic of Cuba. Cuban Ambassador in Maputo Raúl García also accompanied the delegation during their tour of Mozambique.