Famous battle in Angola (1987-1988), largely hidden from people in the US. Cuban and Angolan troops defeated South African and UNITA forces in a pitch battle, leading to South Africa's re-evaluation of their position and their rejoining peace talks they had abandonned two years earlier. They then withdrew from Namibia, which became free. The attempts by South African apologists to deny the victory never takes this policy reversal into account. As Thenjiwe Mtintso, South Africa’s ambassador to Cuba, put it in December 2005:
“Today South Africa has many newly found friends. Yesterday these friends referred to our leaders and our combatants as terrorists and hounded us from their countries while supporting apartheid ... These very friends today want us to denounce and isolate Cuba. Our answer is very simple: it is the blood of Cuban martyrs—and not of these friends—that runs deep in the African soil and nurtures the tree of freedom in our country.” -- Cuito Cuanavale revisited, Mail & Guardian, South Africa, 7/11/07\
Pedro Perez-Sarduy's poem Cumbite: "in memory of those who have struggled and fell for the Ngola of today" celebrates these events.
Cuito Cuanavale was part of Cuba's Operation Black Carlota, named after the famous leader of a slave revolt in 1843, Carlota.
¿Por qué ocultar la verdad sobre el Apartheid? 12/18/2013 Jiribilla: por
Fidel Castro, sobre Cuito Cuanavale - "El problema principal radicaba en el
hecho de que los racistas sudafricanos poseían, según nuestros cálculos, entre
10 y 12 armas nucleares. Habían realizado pruebas incluso en los mares o en las
áreas congeladas del Sur. El presidente Ronald Reagan lo había autorizado, y
entre los equipos entregados por Israel estaba el dispositivo necesario para
hacer estallar la carga nuclear. Nuestra respuesta fue organizar el personal en
grupos de combate de no más de 1 000 hombres, que debían marchar de noche en una
amplia extensión de terreno y dotados de carros de combate antiaéreos."
Cuito Cuanavale revisited 4/3/2008 Granma: BY PIERO GLEIJESES - "THIS year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in south-eastern Angola, which pitted the armed forces of apartheid South Africa against the Cuban army and Angolan forces. General Magnus Malan writes in his memoirs that this campaign marked a great victory for the South African Defence Force (SADF). But Nelson Mandela could not disagree more: Cuito Cuanavale, he asserted, "was the turning point for the liberation of our continent -- and of my people -- from the scourge of apartheid". Debate over the significance of Cuito Cuanavale has been intense, partly because the relevant South African documents remain classified. I have, however, been able to study files from the closed Cuban archives as well as many US documents. Despite the ideological divide that separates Havana and Washington, their records tell a remarkably similar story."
Cuito Cuanavale revisited 7/11/2007 Mail & Guardian: "The next day, June 27 1988, Cuban MIGs attacked SADF positions near the Calueque dam, 11km north of the Namibian border. The CIA reported that “Cuba’s successful use of air power and the apparent weakness of Pretoria’s air defences” highlighted the fact that Havana had achieved air superiority in southern Angola and northern Namibia. A few hours after the Cubans’ successful strike, the SADF destroyed a nearby bridge over the Cunene river. They did so, the CIA surmised, “to deny Cuban and Angolan ground forces easy passage to the Namibia border and to reduce the number of positions they must defend.”  Never had the danger of a Cuban advance into Namibia seemed more real. The last South African soldiers left Angola on August 30, before the negotiators had even begun to discuss the timetable of the Cuban withdrawal from Angola."
African Stalingrad, by Isaac Saney 9/1/2006 Latin American Perspectives: "One of the most remarkable aspects of the Cuban Revolution continues to be the various internationalist missions it has sent to other countries. From the earliest years ofthe revolution, Cuba has sent thousands of doctors, teachers, and other personnel on humanitarian assignments to various countries (see, e.g., Erisman, 1991). In the mid-199Os, for example, Cuba had three times as many doctors as the World Health Organization serving abroad and providing free medical treatment (Castro, 1996: 30-31)….However, the most dramatic manifestation of Cuba’s internationalism is little known in the West: the island’s crucial role in securing the independence of Namibia and ending racist rule in South Africa."
Surgimiento y desarrollo de los rastafari en la Cuba socialista 5/18/2005 La Ventana: "Los rastafari son un fenómeno relativamente joven en Cuba. El movimiento ingresó en la isla por vez primera hacia fines del decenio 1970-1979 y ha seguido haciéndolo a través de distintos agentes. La mayoría de los cubanos que se identifican con el movimiento, de un modo u otro, supieron de su existencia escuchando la música reggae. El reggae, que hasta el día de hoy ocupa muy poco tiempo de transmisión en las estaciones de radio cubanas, fue llevado a la isla por marineros y estudiantes, sobre todo caribeños y africanos, a fines de ese decenio. Después, escuchar y grabar las transmisiones de estaciones radiales de Jamaica y la Florida fue la vía principal para acceder al nuevo ritmo. Puesto que hasta la década de 1980-1989 las grabadoras personales no abundaban, las primeras grabaciones fueron hechas por un grupito de entusiastas esforzados, y luego escuchadas en fiestas semanales de reggae organizadas en casas particulares, mayormente en barrios urbanos. Fue así que el ritmo empezó a circular, que se captó a nuevos entusiastas y se estableció un nuevo circuito musical alternativo."
US link to SA bio-warfare programme 11/3/2002 Mail & Guardian, South African: "A California doctor who committed suicide after being accused in a murder plot gave deadly germs to apartheid South Africa's secret chemical and biological weapons programme, US television series "60 Minutes" reported on Sunday. Larry Ford met with scientists from South Africa's Project Coast in the 1980s to discuss chemical and biological warfare, Wouter Basson, who headed the project, told the TV programme. He also passed a bag filled with cholera, typhoid, botulism, anthrax and bubonic plague to a South African military doctor during a meeting at the house of the South African trade attache in California, former FBI informant Peter Fitzpatrick told "60 Minutes".
Ex-CIA official says Kissinger policies destabilized southern Africa 4/1/2002 AP
From Old Files, a New Story of U.S. Role in Angolan War 3/31/2002 NYT: "Historians and former diplomats who have studied the documents say they show conclusively that the United States intervened in Angola weeks before the arrival of any Cubans, not afterward as Washington claimed. Moreover, though a connection between Washington and South Africa, which was then ruled by a white government under the apartheid policy, was strongly denied at the time, the documents appear to demonstrate their broad collaboration."
Jonas Savimbi: America's "Freedom Fighter," Africa's Terrorist 2/27/2002 Black World Today
A Tribute to Fidel Castro and the African Revolution
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale 1988
South African History Online (SAHO)
Cuba and the struggle for democracy in South Africa
"This is my first video , you can see South-African P.O.W. and South-African tanks, vehicles and aircrafts destroyed or captured . This video is to all the Angolan people and Cuban soldiers and the white racist South-Afican soldiers that can see because this Battle was a Communist Victory... and so all the Border War , in fact the invasion of Angola was stopped, Namibia became an independent state, and the Apartheid in South-Africa ended."
African Stalingrad: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, Latin American Perspectives, 9/06
Cuito Cuanavale revisited, Mail & Guardian, South Africa, 7/11/07
"The next day, June 27 1988, Cuban MIGs attacked SADF positions near the Calueque dam, 11km north of the Namibian border. The CIA reported that “Cuba’s successful use of air power and the apparent weakness of Pretoria’s air defences” highlighted the fact that Havana had achieved air superiority in southern Angola and northern Namibia. A few hours after the Cubans’ successful strike, the SADF destroyed a nearby bridge over the Cunene river. They did so, the CIA surmised, “to deny Cuban and Angolan ground forces easy passage to the Namibia border and to reduce the number of positions they must defend.”  Never had the danger of a Cuban advance into Namibia seemed more real. The last South African soldiers left Angola on August 30, before the negotiators had even begun to discuss the timetable of the Cuban withdrawal from Angola."
Replaying Cuito Cuanavale, History Today, 9/2012
"Any assessment of the outcome of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale should heed Clausewitz’s dictum that ‘war is a continuation of politics by other means’. The SADF subscribed to the formula that the war was 80 per cent political and 20 per cent military. They recognised that victory could not be won on the battlefield alone but necessitated an all-out offensive employing diplomacy, propaganda and psychological warfare. The SADF and its proxies might have won many engagements, though not the war, because Pretoria was compelled to accept a SWAPO government in Namibia, which it had fought so long to avert. Although the SADF insisted that it was never defeated, the political system of white power and privilege that it had defended for so long was dismantled."
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale - 1987
"This video shows the truth about what happened in late 1987 in South-East Angola. The video says it all, but the SADF/Unita forces seriously crushed the Communist forces of Cuba/MPLA!"
THE BATTLE OF CUITO CUANAVALE - Cuba's Mythical Victory
A BATALHA DE CUITO CANAVALE de Juan Benemelis
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