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Castro has stamped his mark on Africa's history

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:10 AM
Original message
Castro has stamped his mark on Africa's history
<clips>

DAKAR (Reuters) - As the world wonders about Fidel Castro's health, Africa remembers him as the foreign leader who most invested his personal effort -- and Cuban lives -- to help end colonialism and apartheid.

Throughout the veteran Comandante's 47-year rule, the world's poorest continent has loomed large in his global outlook and it was the scene of his most ambitious overseas adventures.

From the deserts of Algeria and Ethiopia to the jungles of Guinea Bissau and Congo and the Angolan bush, close to half a million Cubans have fought and worked on African soil in the name of "revolutionary solidarity." More than 2,000 died there.

Most served as soldiers in Cuba's large-scale military interventions in Angola and Ethiopia.

"I vividly remember the support Cuban troops rendered (to Ethiopia) during our struggle in beating back a Somali invasion of our east ... I wish speedy recovery and long life to the great Cuban leader Fidel Castro," retired Ethiopian brigadier-general Wasihun Negat told Reuters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

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geomon666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. Comunista! Comunista! Comunista!
That's all you ever hear here in the Sunshine State.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. So we learn, so many years later, that Kissinger lied about U.S.
actions in Africa. Not such a big surprise, is it?

Information can be studied at this site:
April 1, 2002

SECRET CUBAN DOCUMENTS ON HISTORY OF AFRICA INVOLVEMENT
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 67
Edited by Peter Kornbluh

NEW BOOK based on Unprecedented Access to Cuban Records;
True Story of U.S.-Cuba Cold fear Clash in Angola presented in Conflicting Missions

Washington D.C.: The National Security Archive today posted a selection of secret Cuban government documents detailing Cuba's policy and involvement in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. The records are a sample of dozens of internal reports, memorandum and communications obtained by Piero Gleijeses, a historian at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, for his new book, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976 (The University of North Carolina Press).
(snip)

Gleijeses also interviewed over one hundred fifty protagonists, among them the former CIA station chief in Luanda, Robert Hultslander who spoke on the record for the first time for this book. "History has shown," Hultslander noted, "that Kissinger's policy on Africa itself was shortsighted and flawed." He also commented on the forces of Jonas Savimbi, the rebel chief recently killed in Angola: "I was deeply concerned ... about UNITA's purported ties with South Africa, and the resulting political liability such carried. I was unaware at the time, of course, that the U.S. would eventually beg South Africa to directly intervene to pull its chestnuts out of the fire."

In this first account of Cuba's policy in Africa based on documentary evidence, Gleijeses describes and analyzes Castro's dramatic dispatch of 30,000 Cubans to Angola in 1975-76, and he traces the roots of this policyfrom Havana's assistance to the Algerian rebels fighting France in 1961 to the secret war between Havana and Washington in Zaire in 1964-65 and Cuba's decisive contribution to Guinea-Bissau's war of independence from 1966-1974.

"Conflicting Missions is above all the story of a contest, staged in Africa, between Cuba and the United States," according to its author, which started in Zaire in 1964-65 and culminated in a major Cold War confrontation in Angola in 1975-76. Using Cuban and US documents, as well as the semi-official history of South Africa's 1975 covert operation in Angola (available only in Afrikaans), this book is the first to present the internationalized Angolan conflict from three sidesCuba and the MPLA, the United States and the covert CIA operation codenamed IAFEATURE and South Africa, whose secret incursion prompted Castro's decision to commit Cuban troops.

Conflicting Missions also argues that Secretary Kissinger's account of the US role in Angola, most recently repeated in the third volume of his memoirs, is misleading. Testifying before Congress in 1976, Kissinger stated "We had no foreknowledge of South Africa's intentions, and in no way cooperated militarily." In Years of Renewal Dr. Kissinger also denied that the United States and South Africa had collaborated in the Angolan conflict; Gleijeses' research demonstrates that they did. The book quotes Kissinger aide Joseph Sisco conceding that the Ford administration "certainly did not discourage" South Africa's intervention, and presents evidence that the CIA helped the South Africans ferry arms to key battlefronts. Contrary to what Kissinger alleges in his memoirs, the first Cuban military advisers did not arrive in Angola until late August 1975, and the Cubans did not participate in the fighting until late October, after South Africa had invaded. The book also reproduces portions of a declassified memorandum of conversation between Kissinger and Chinese leader Teng Hsiao-p'ing to show that China had refused U.S. entreaties to continue participating in Angola because of South Africa's involvement, not because the U.S. Congress refused to allocate further funding for the covert war, as Kissinger claimed.

In assessing the motivations of Cuba's foreign policy, Cuba's relations with the Soviet Union, and the nature of the Communist threat in Africa, Gleijeses shows that CIA and INR intelligence reports were often sophisticated and insightful, unlike the decisions of the policymakers in Washington.
(snip)
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB67/index2.htm...
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Raul's army
really did prove itself in Africa, especially in Angola where it met and defeated South African troops.

General in charge of Angola Arnaldo Ochoa came back to Cuba a very deserved hero who had to get revolutionary justice when he was put in front of a firing squad and killed. Reportedly he was taped criticizing sending Cuban boys off to die in foreign lands.

Raul supposedly went up to bat for him arguing leniency, but he was killed.

The official verdict was death for "drug trafficking." That was in 1989.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:02 AM
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4. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:45 AM
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. What a stupid post.
Africa is currently all capitalist. Maybe that's the reason Africa is such a basket case.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:09 AM
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9. Deleted message
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jpkenny Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Africa, if it is, a basket case is so because of EU and western pillage
of its natural resources and wealth along with the west's propping up puppet governments that ensure that the west will have a virtual free hand in their economic and natural resource devastation.
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DemCapitalist Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. It's always "the West's" fault, isn't it?
Clueless...
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. You have to be kidding
And, Castro isn't Hitler. Nor even a Saudi prince -- praying for his death is questionable at best.
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DemCapitalist Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Well, one thing's for sure--you are lost.
And no, I am not kidding.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
12. Remarks on Cuba's service to African freedom from European apartheid
As you occassionally see, there are some ignorant people still who have no idea what the hell happened in Africa who want to add their two cents. It's good to keep on encouraging them to start learning about it, just as the rest of us have had to learn:
Letter from President Thabo Mbeki
ANC TODAY - ONLINE VOICE OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
Volume 1 No 10: 30 March - 5 April 2001

~snip~
As we conversed with our hosts, we recollected the period in our region which ended just over a decade ago, which saw the involvement of apartheid South Africa in a massive and concerted effort to impose its will on the region and thus extend the life of the apartheid crime against humanity. Cuba's contribution to the defeat of that campaign of aggression and destabilisation against independent Africa was, of course, particularly exemplified by its decisive involvement in the military struggle to defeat the apartheid forces that had invaded Angola soon after that country's independence from Portugal.

The Cuban forces were to stay in Angola for over a decade. That stay ended only when, after their defeat at Cuito Cuanavale, the apartheid invaders understood that they would never be able to realise their objectives and that the Angolan people should have the freedom to determine their future. With that realisation came the understanding in Pretoria that it could not dictate to the independent African states through the use of force. Neither could it hold back the tide leading to the independence of Namibia and the liberation of South Africa.

Our delegation laid a wreath at the Veterans Pantheon in Havana, which contains the bodies of the heroes and heroines of the Cuban people, including those who died in the war of independence from Spain in the 19th century as well as the war in Angola for the liberation of the peoples of Africa. As we carried out this solemn act and walked around the pantheon, we could not but gain a fresh appreciation of how much this small island of Cuba had been a major contributor to our own freedom, without asking that we do anything in return.

As we listened to old soldiers at this monumental cemetery, we could not fail to see that here we had people who were genuinely committed to the cause of Africa's people, who felt great friendship for our own people and were prepared to make sacrifices in our interest. Therefore we understood well what they meant when they said that it was their commitment to internationalism and solidarity that had made it possible for them to decide that they were willing to die if necessary, so that we should be free.
(snip/...)
http://64.226.35.229/southafrica.htm
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