President Dr. Irfaan Ali, today attended the 44th commemoration ceremony of the Cubana Air disaster which was held at the Cubana Air Disaster Monument at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus.
The Head of State joined relatives of the victims, ministers and other officials of Government, including Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon. Hugh Todd, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, the Hon. Charles Ramson, Honourary Consul to Barbados, Captain Gerry Gouveia and the Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Narciso Reinaldo Amador Socorro, for the annual wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the victims.
Forty-four years ago, eleven young Guyanese, mostly students on scholarships in Cuba, perished in one of the worst Cuban air disasters in history.
Guyanese will always remember the catastrophe of Wednesday, October 6, 1976, which took the lives of our scholars and also the lives of 57 Cubans and 5 Koreans.
On that tragic day, the 73 unfortunate souls were on Cubana Airways Flight CU-455 en route from Guyana to Cuba.
The flight’s path was expected to take them from Timehri to Trinidad, Trinidad to Barbados, Barbados to Jamaica, and finally Kingston to Havana, Cuba. However, nine minutes after it took off from Barbados, two bombs exploded in the plane, causing it to crash into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Guyanese who perished were Sabrina Harripaul, Eric Norton, Ann Nelson, Raymond Persaud, Margaret Bradshaw, Gordon M. Sobha, Rawle Thomas, Rita Thomas, Violet Thomas, Jacqueline Williams and Seshnarine Kumar.