Monthly Archives: November 2005

The story of how Cuba helped to free Africa

By ISAAC SANEY*

Angolan and Cuban soldiers at the front

CUBA’S direct, critical and extensive role in the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa is little known in the West. November 5th, 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of Cuba’s decision to deploy combat-troops, at the request of the Angolan government, to repulse a major South African invasion of October 1975. In 1987-1988, a decisive battle occurred in the south-eastern Angolan town of Cuito Cuanavale. When it occurred, the battle was the largest military engagement in Africa since the North African battles of the Second World War. Arrayed on one side were the armed forces of Cuba, Angola and the South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO); on the other, the South African Defense Forces, military units of the Union for the Total National Independence of Angola (UNITA — the South African-supported organization) and the South African Territorial Forces of Pretoria-controlled Namibia. Continue reading

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