Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical stole the spotlight at yesterday’s JAAA-Puma Development meet at Kirkvine with a fast 21.37 seconds to win his heat of the Class One 200 metres.Running against a negative wind of 0.3 metres per second, Ellis ran away from his rivals for an easy win in the fastest time of the day among high school athletes.Herbert Morrison High’s Bonanza Cunningham (21.42) was second overall, with Green Pond High’s Orlando Fisher taking third overall in 21.49.Kingston College’s Roshaun Rowe was best in Class Two as he won in 21.70 ahead of Kevin Stone of Petersfield (21.86) and his Kingston College teammate Yashawn Hamilton, 22.13.best timeIn Class Three, Antonio Watson of Petersfield High led the way with 22.73. Andre Bent of William Knibb, 22.89, was second overall ahead of Papine High’s Shemar Willis, 23.12.Among the girls, Edwin Allen High’s Patrice Moody won the Class One 200m in 23.93 for the best time overall, getting the better of Holmwood Technical’s Shante Deer, 24.42.Manchester High’s Daszay Freean topped Class Two with 23.78, beating Edwin Allen’s Shellece Clarke (24.76) and Christine Irving of Holmwood, 24.77.Last year’s Class Four double sprint champion Joanna Reid of St. Jago High impressed in Class Three with a leading time of 24.10. Holmwood’s Dyandra Gray was second overall in 24,54 with third going to Kevona Davis of Edwin Allen, 24.55.GC Foster College’s Samantha Curtis was best among the women in the open half lap event after stopping the clock at 24.05. She got the better of Donya Ewars of the University of Technology, 24.33. Curtis’ teammate, Natasha Russell was third with 24.71.University of Technology’s Travene Morrison stole the spotlight in the men s 200m as he won his heat in 21.14 ahead of G.C. Foster College’s Javon Gray, 21.42 and Emmanuel Dawlson of Sweden, 21.49.
Guyana has joined the rest of the world in remembrance of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, the Cuban revolutionary leader, who died aged 90 on Friday. Castro is known for his defiance of the United States, and survived half a century of assassination attempts by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).Cuban President Fidel Castro (L-Front) is seen with former President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo (R-Front), along with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (back left) during ceremonies in La Habana, Cuba in December 2002The Guyana Government in a statement Saturday reflected on the relations shared between the two countries and how Guyana has benefited tremendously under the reign of President Fidel Castro 1976-2008.Guyana hails Dr Castro, globally renowned as ‘El Commandanté’ or, simply, ‘Fidel’ as an outstanding friend and genuine partner, even before the country attained independence. It was under his leadership that Guyana-Cuba friendly and fraternal relationship had been placed on a solid and unbreakable footing.Former President Forbes Burnham and late Cuban President Fidel CastroWhen an unjust embargo had been imposed against Cuba to isolate the Castro Government, Guyana, in 1972, joined three other countries in the region toCheddi Jagan and Fidel Castro share a light moment in Cubaestablish diplomatic relations with a fellow Caribbean state.Since that time, Castro embraced those countries as partners and responded to their critical needs, especially in the health and education sectors.To this day Guyana benefits from scholarship and training opportunities afforded to its young people in becoming doctors, engineers and other specialists. We continue to benefit too, from Cuban doctors and medical experts serving our people in the healthcare system.Guyana’s President Forbes Burnham had visited Cuba in 1975 as diplomatic relations strengthened over the years.The Guyana Government expressed that Castro was an exemplar of unparalleled generosity, revolutionary commitment, national dignity and unyielding patriotism.“Though he was ailing for many years and had prepared his people for the inevitable, the passing of this colossus whose greatness is indelibly written in the history of the world across both the 20th and 21st centuries, will evoke an immeasurable pain and loss in Cuba and beyond. Guyana mourns the death of a dear friend, a revolutionary icon and a giant of international humanitarianism.“The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana conveys to the Government and people of Cuba sincere condolences and assures that at this time of collective global grief, the people of Cuba are not alone,” Government expressed.Parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, in its statement, said it was deeply saddened over the passing of the revolutionary leader:“This is indeed a great loss not only to the Cuban people but for freedom loving peoples throughout the world. The late Dr Castro was undoubtedly one of the greatest revolutionaries of all times who during his lifetime had demonstrated that no sacrifice can be considered too great when it comes to defending the rights and dignity of the Cuban people.”Castro led Cuba for decades and transformed the country into a one-party socialist state. He courted controversy throughout his reign, with the United States becoming increasingly alarmed in the early 1960s with his friendly relations with the then Soviet Union.Castro became a central figure in one of the defining moments of the Cold War by allowing the Soviets to place nuclear weapons on Cuba.It sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, leading to fears of all-out nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the US.Guyana-Cuba relations dates back to before 1972.In 1962, Cheddi Jagan’s PPP Administration – in the throes of the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the fierce geopolitical rivalry which made the Caribbean a zone of conflict in the second half of the 20th century – embarked on ambitious commercial and political relations with Communist Cuba.Jagan entered office in 1957, two years before the triumph of Fidel Castro’s Revolution in 1959, and proceeded to forge a friendship between Guyana and Cuba.Relations with Cuba became central to Guyana’s new strategy to preserve its territorial sovereignty in the wake of a series of provocative incidents perpetrated by Venezuela. Particularly, the seizure of Ankoko Island in 1966, the promulgation of Decree No. 1152 (Leoni Decree) in 1968 and the instigation of the Rupununi rebellion in 1969 all occurred while friendly western powers stood by.It is believed that by embracing Cuba in 1972 Guyana was seen to be aligned with Communism and Castroism. This was confirmed by Fidel Castro’s visit to Guyana and Forbes Burnham’s visit to Cuba where he was presented with the Jose Marti National Award. When it provided landing rights to Cuban military aircraft ferrying troops to Angola in 1975, Guyana aligned itself with a geostrategic posture which was to have dire consequences.Cuban intervention in Angola, arguably, saved the MPLA Government from being overrun by the South African army and Western-supported FNLA and UNITA guerrillas.The bombing of the Cubana airliner in October 1976 in which 11 Guyanese were killed, an act of international terrorism, was part of the penalty for this new strategic connection. Guyana’s complaints of ‘destabilisation’ during the 1980s were attributed to the attempts by western states to undermine this assumed socialist solidarity.The collapse of the USSR, the ending of the Cold War and the faltering of Cuba’s economy drained the strategic vitality from Guyana-Cuba relations. (Excerpts from www.guyanachronicle.com, www.parliament.gov.gy, www.landofsixraces.com)