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FIDEL CASTRO'S 1977 SOUTHERN AFRICA TOUR: A REPORT TO HONECKER

Cuba and the MPLA were friendly but stronger than the MPLA in the short less close, and Cuba's support for the term, the MPLA was building for the movement was limited to training a long haul, and this would bear fruit. handful of MPLA fighters in Cuba and, “This movement,” they wrote, “is the as the MPLA was convulsed by inter- best structured politically and militarnal strife, to giving unwavering support ily, (and) as a result it enjoys extraordito the group around Agostinho Neto.32 nary popular support."34 Time favored

Lack of space precludes an in- the MPLA. depth discussion of the 1975 Cuban in- The report also included a letter tervention in Angola. I will focus in- from Neto specifying the aid he sought stead on two particularly controversial from Cuba (see doc. 4). But Neto was, issues: when Cuba sent its military in- in fact, uncertain about what he wanted structors and when it sent its troops. I from Cuba. He told Pina and Cadelo will also comment briefly on some of that “once we know what weapons the the points raised in Odd Arne Westad's Soviets are going to give us, we will article about the Soviet role in Angola have to adjust our military plans; exin this issue of the Bulletin.

actly what we ask from Cuba will be The basic outline of the story is contingent on this."35 A recurring idea

: well known. Upon the collapse of the of military instructors floated in the air Portuguese dictatorship on 25 April but was not precise. As Cadelo noted, 1974, there were three rival indepen- “Even though Neto gave us a letter with dence movements in Angola: Agostinho some concrete demands, it was not reNeto's MPLA, Holden Roberto's Na- ally clear what the best form of cooptional Front for the Liberation of Angola eration with Cuba would be, or how and (FNLA), and Jonas Savimbi's National when it should be implemented."36 Union for the Total Independence of one point, however, Neto was definite: Angola (UNITA). On 15 January 1975, he wanted Cuba to provide the funds to Portugal and these three movements ship the weapons the MPLA had in Daragreed that a transitional government, es-Salaam, its major arsenal, to Angola. under a Portuguese High Commis- Neto “said that he was confident that sioner, would rule the country until in- they would receive Soviet aid, but that dependence on 11 November 1975. it would not arrive for five months and Before independence would come elec- that it was therefore imperative to move tions for a Constituent Assembly which their material and equipment from Darwould elect Angola's first president. es-Salaam to Angola."37 Neto told

The first high-level contact be- Cadelo and Pina that he would need tween the MPLA and Cuba following $100,000 for the task. 38 the coup in Portugal was in late Decem- But Cuba did not send the money, ber 1974, when two senior Cubans ar- and nothing happened beyond the arrived in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania: rival of ten to twelve Angolans in Cuba Carlos Cadelo, the Communist party for special training in March and official whose portfolio included April. 39 There is no indication in the Angola, and Major Alfonso Pérez Mo- Cuban documents I have seen that the rales (Pina), who had served, with great MPLA renewed its requests until May, distinction, with the PAIGC guerrilla when Neto met Cuban Deputy Prime fighters in Guinea-Bissau. They met Minister Flavio Bravo in Brazzaville, Neto and other MPLA leaders in Dar- “and asked (Cuba's) help to transport es-Salaam and asked permission to some weapons, and also asked about the travel to Angola. Neto approved: "He possibility of a broader and more speasked us to verify everything he had told cific aid program." In late June, Neto us so that we could get an objective met with Cadelo in Maputo, view of the real situation in Angola."33 Mozambique, and renewed his reAfter two weeks in Angola, Cadelo

40

quest. and Pina met Neto again. Their subse- Three weeks later the United States quent report was lengthy (42 pages) and decided to greatly expand the CIA's optimistic: the elections would take covert operation in Angola (increasing place; while the FNLA was militarily aid to the FNLA and initiating support

Editor's Note: In early 1977, Cuban President Fidel Castro took a an extensive tour of Africa and then continued on to Europe and the USSR. During a stop

in East Berlin, Castro recounted his experiences to East German Communist leader Erich Honecker. The record of those discussions was located in the archives of the former ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) by Christian F. Ostermann (CWIHP/National Security Archive).

The following excerpt-from a discussion on 3 April 1977 at the House of the SED Central Committee in East Berlin-contains Castro's impressions of the situations in several southern African countries, (e.g., Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, People's Republic of the Congo), and several guerrilla or liberation groups in the region, such as the African National Congress (ANC), then struggling for power in South Africa, and two groups fighting to rule ZimbabweRhodesia, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Zimbabwe African Political Union (ZAPU). Also included are Castro's assessments of individual political leaders, remarks about coordination with Moscow, and an overall conclusion that Africa was the place to inflict a major blow against world imperialism. (For Castro's remarks at this meeting on the situation in the Horn of Africa, see the excerpts printed later in this issue of the CWIHP Bulletin.)

,,36 On

Transcript of Honecker-Castro,
Meeting, 3 April 1977 (excerpts)

Minutes of the conversation between Comrade Erich Honecker and Comrade

Fidel Castro, Sunday, 3 April 1977 between 11:00 and 13:30 and 15:45 and 18:00, House of the

Central Committee, Berlin.

a

Participants: Comrades Hermann Axen,
Werner Lamberz, Paul Verner, Paul
Markowski (with Comrades Edgar Fries
and Karlheinz Mobus as interpreters),
Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Osmany Cien-

continued on page 18

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for UNITA), but there is no evidence Cuba decided to offer Neto almost five claim that Cuba did not move sooner to that Cuba and the MPLA knew about times more instructors than he had re- help the MPLA because the Soviet it. What they knew-and indeed it was quested. In Risquet's words, “If we were Union did not want it to. But can one public knowledge—was that the pro- going to send our men, we had to send seriously argue that Cuba needed SoAmerican Zairean government of enough to fulfill the mission and to de- viet permission to send $100,000 to Mobuto Sese Seko had sent troops into fend themselves, because too small a Neto? Others may repeat the canard northern Angola on Roberto's side. By group would simply have been over- that Cuba sent 200 military instructors May, Portugal was no longer making whelmed.”:46

to Angola in the spring of 1975,51 but any attempt to police even the main Contrary to the widespread image the evidence flatly contradicts this. In crossing points with Zaire and it was of the Cuban intervention in Angola, the absence of a satisfactory explanareported that over one thousand Zairean Havana had been slow to get involved. tion, one can only note that the Cuban soldiers were in northern Angola.

41

The documents that I have seen do not leaders were focusing on domestic matAngola, warned Neto, “was being sub- explain this delay, and I have not been ters and that relations with the MPLA jected to a silent invasion by soldiers able to interview those protagonists who since 1967 had not been intense. In July from Zaire. "42

could provide an answer, notably Fidel Cuba finally shifted gears. It was as if By late July, Angola was in the and Raúl Castro. Perhaps there was, the music had suddenly changed; Cuba throes of civil war and Havana finally on Cuba's part, a reluctance to be drawn had made its choice, and Operation geared into action. From August 3-8, a into what could become an open-ended Carlota was born. seven-man Cuban delegation, led by a conflict. Perhaps there was reluctance On August 21, Díaz Argüelles was very senior military officer, Raúl Díaz to jeopardize relations with the West back in Luanda as the head of the fledgArgüelles, was in Angola. “Their mis- when, after a long period of isolation ling Cuban Military Mission in Angola sion was to pin down on the ground with and hostility, they were markedly im- (MMCA). He reported to Abelardo the leaders of the MPLA exactly what proving: for the first time, the United (Furry) Colomé, the first deputy minisaid they wanted, the objectives they States was interested in a modus viv- ter of the Armed Forces. His reports expected to achieve with this aid, and endi with Cuba:4

:47 the Organization of from late August through October (all the stages in which the aid should be American States was preparing to lift handwritten) are kept in the archives of given.»:43 They also brought Neto the its sanctions; and West European gov- the Centro de Información de la $100,000 he had requested six months ernments were offering low interest Defensa de las Fuerzas Armadas earlier. (See doc. 5)

loans. Perhaps Cuba had feared that the Revolucionarias and are a very imporNeto wanted Cuban military in- dispatch of military instructors would tant source on the evolution of the Custructors. He did not have a precise fig- offend even friendly African countries ban presence.52 ure in mind, but he was thinking of no like Tanzania; or perhaps the attention Díaz Argüelles' first order of busimore than a hundred men who would of the Cuban leaders was distracted by ness was to obtain Neto’s approval for be spread out among many small train- the preparations for the first Congress the 480-man military mission and four ing centers. He also wanted Cuba to of the Cuban Communist party that large CIRs. “Comrade Neto accepted send weapons, clothing, and food for would be held in December. “The revo- our offer with great emotion,” he inthe recruits. On the basis of this request, lution was institutionalized in 1975,” formed Colomé in late August. “He was Díaz Argüelles drafted a proposal for a remarks Risquet. “It was a year of moved. He asked me to tell Fidel that military mission “that would include 65 never-ending work. This may have they accept everything."53 officers and 29 noncommissioned of- played a role. And the situation in The members of the MMCA began ficers and soldiers for a grand total of Angola was quite confused. In the first arriving in late August, and they kept 94 compañeros.":44

months of 1975 there was very little coming through September, all on comThis plan was reworked in Havana discussion in the sessions of the Politi- mercial flights. There were slightly after Díaz Argüelles returned. The re- cal Bureau about Angola. Our focus over 100 by early October. The others vised plan contemplated the dispatch of was on domestic matters.":48

came aboard three Cuban ships that had 480 men who would create and staff None of these explanations is very left Havana on September 16-20: the four training centers (Centros de persuasive. By preparing to host a con- Vietnam Heroico and the Coral Island Instrucción Revolucionaria or CIRs). ference for the independence of Puerto docked at a beach near Puerto Amboim Some 5,300 Angolans would be trained Rico, Cuba was signalling that there "where no one lives" on October 5 and in these CIRs within three to six months. were limits to the price it would pay

for

8 respectively; the La Plata reached Cuba would send the weapons for the improved ties with Washington.49 By Punta Negra (Congo Brazzaville) on the instructors and for the recruits in the sending troops to Syria in October 11th. Díaz Argüelles described their arCIRs, as well as enough food, clothing, 1973—troops that might well have be- rival in a lengthy report to Colomé.54 camping gear, toiletries, medicine, cots, come involved in a major clash with the The three ships brought the weapand bedclothes for 5,300 men for six Israelis—Cuba had demonstrated its ons and equipment for the CIRs, includmonths. The CIRs would begin oper- continued willingness to take risks for ing 12,000 Czech rifles for the ating in mid-October.45 In other words, a cause it believed just. 50 Some may Angolans. (They could not give them

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Soviet weapons because in 1965 Mos- CIA). “Well armed, the army of the vention.” It held key areas in eastern
cow and Havana had signed an agree- FNLA has but one obsession: Luanda," Angola (including virtually all the dia-
ment that Cuba would seek the Sovi- reported Le Monde in late August. One mond-rich Lunda district). From its
ets' permission before sending weapons of Roberto's lieutenants boasted, "We positions along the southern coast it was
it had received from them to a third have tanks. There is no force that can extending its control "well into the in-
party.) They also brought the trucks to stop us from entering Luanda ... We will terior," threatening UNITA's core areas.
transport the men and materiel to the take Luanda and it will be a blood- Finally, the report pointed out, “Of ma-
CIRs. (The Cubans had correctly sur- bath." In mid-September, the head jor political significance is the fact that
mised that the MPLA would be unable of the CIA Task Force on Angola wrote, the MPLA controls 9 of Angola's 16
to provide sufficient transportation.) “Mobutu committed his elite Seventh district capitals and is contesting a 10th
There were problems, however, with the and Fourth Commando Battalions at Luso in eastern Angola.
trucks that came aboard the Vietnam and the tide swung back in favor of the By mid-October, with the MPLA
Heroico and the Coral Island, which FNLA north of Luanda.":58 The MPLA continuing to gain ground, a conserva-
"arrived in poor condition,” Díaz stopped their advance on September 26, tive British newspaper observed,
Argüelles told Colomé,

just north of the village of "FNLA and UNITA know that they

Quifangondo—at Morro do Cal, 26 ki- must improve their positions by Noand we had to repair a great many of lometers north of Luanda. As indepen- vember 11 or risk being left out in the them. ... When I told you how impor

dence day (November 11) approached, cold," while the Rand Daily Mail retant it was that the equipment arrive in

Roberto's impatience grew. “The ported that the MPLA was “making a good condition I was thinking about this

troops of the FNLA will be in the vigorous fourpronged drive on Nova kind of problem, because I knew that we would have to transport most of the

capital on Tuesday," he declared on Fri- Lisboa,” Savimbi's capital in the cenmen and material in our own trucks. The

day, October 17. Over the next few tral highlands, and the South African distances here are very great ... and

days, he kept repeating that his troops military instructors attached to UNITA there are neither mechanics nor spare would enter Luanda “within 24 mused disconsolately "that the UNITA parts ... Comandante, this is the largest

forces ... are not in a position to offer operation we have ever undertaken and

On October 23, Roberto's forces- the necessary resistance to the FAPLA we are doing it in the worst conditions

about 3,500 men, including some 1,200 (the MPLA armed forces] without and circumstances. With little time for

Zairian troops60_attacked Morro do help.

-attacked Morro do help.”64 Meanwhile the Portuguese planning and with almost no knowledge

Cal. But the 1,100 defenders, which military was pulling its units back toof and experience in the country ... we have had to improvise as we go along

included about 40 Cubans, held firm. ward Luanda in preparation for with... It is a task of enormous magnitude

This was the first time that Cubans par- drawal by November 11. . I have taken the steps necessary to

ticipated in the fighting. Five days later, It has been said that the MPLA was start the training on October 15 ... so a group of Cuban instructors fought winning because of the Cuban troops. that the troops will be ready on Novem- again, with the MPLA, east of But there were no Cuban troops, only ber 5.) 55

Quifangondo to recover the village of instructors, and none had participated
Quiangombe. 61

in any fighting until the handful fought By October 18-20, almost on

The MPLA had been gaining at Morro do Cal on October 23. The schedule, the instructors, recruits and

ground on the other fronts. “The present real explanation for the MPLA's sucequipment were in place and the four military situation favors the MPLA,” cess is perhaps provided by the Zambia CIRs were ready to start operations. On wrote Díaz Argüelles on October 1.62 Daily Mail, which was unsympathetic paper, the MMCA had 480 men, 390 of

U.S. intelligence agreed. In a lengthy to the movement. After noting that the whom were instructors in the four CIRs

September 22 report, the Bureau of In- MPLA was “almost certain to emerge and seventeen of whom were a medical

telligence and Research of the State as the dominant force” once the Portubrigade. (There were 284 officers.) AC

Department warned: “Since the out- guese departed, it stated: “There is a tually, there were almost 500, because

break of fighting in Angola in March, sense of purpose and a spirit of belonga few civilian pilots had been sent at the MPLA has achieved an almost un- ing among MPLA members and symDíaz Argüelles' request to fly the small

broken series of military successes ... It pathizers which the two other movecivilian planes that the MPLA had ac

is in complete control of Luanda and ments cannot match."65 quired and some specialists in air traf

the surrounding areas ... In the past two The imminent victory of the MPLA fic control and handling cargo at ports months it has won virtually complete forced South Africa, which had been were also attached to the MMCA. 56

control of the coast from Luanda south providing weapons and military instrucMeanwhile, the civil war contin

to the Namibian border and thereby has tors to the FNLA and UNITA since late ued. The FNLA controlled Angola's gained unimpeded access to five major August, to make a decision. “The choice two northern provinces bordering on

ports.” It was also in control of lay between active South African miliZaire, where it had its supply line in men Cabinda, from which it could not be tary participation on the one hand and and material (which included, begin- dislodged “without strong outside back- in effect-acceptance of an MPLA vicning in August, equipment sent by the ing-i.e., direct Zairian military inter- tory on the other," writes a South Afri

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can military historian. Prodded by Africa and the whole campaign was rican troops had nothing to do with it) UNITA, the FNLA, Mobutu and the beginning to look more South African greatly admired the courage of what United States, Pretoria decided to es- than Angolan."71

they said were mercenaries from Cuba calate. "The go-ahead was given on The South Africans, however, ech- fighting with the MPLA." The official October 14." 66

oed by the entire Western press, abso- South African historian of the war That day, a South African column lutely denied that their troops were writes, “The Cubans rarely surrendered crossed into Angola from northeastern fighting in Angola and attributed the and simply cheerfully fought until Namibia (South-West Africa). For the victories to a revived FNLA and death.”78 By late December, the Cufirst few days the column moved west UNITA. The MPLA, on the other hand, bans finally reached rough numerical just north of the border. Then it veered denounced the South African invasion parity with the South Africans and prenorth-west deep into Angola.67 The as early as October 22.72

pared to go on the offensive. [doc. 6] South Africans advanced at full speed, As the South Africans were clos- According to Westad, "After the sixty or seventy kilometers a day, meet- ing in on Benguela, the MPLA's Politi- creation of the MPLA regime (on Noing scant and ineffectual resistance. Sa cal Bureau “met in an emergency ses

vember 11] the Soviet) Politburo auda Bandeira (Lubango) fell on October sion” and listened to Neto's proposal: thorized the Soviet General Staff to take 24; Moçamedes, the major port of to ask Cuba for troops. “There was direct control of the trans-Atlantic desouthern Angola, on the 28th.

unanimous agreement,” states a well- ployment of additional Cuban troops, At first Díaz Argüelles underesti- informed account. Central Committee as well as the supplying of these troops mated the gravity of the threat. There member Henrique Santos, who had with advanced military hardware. were no Cubans in the area, and he had studied and trained in Cuba in the The Cuban evidence, however, tells a no clear idea of the strength of the en- 1960s, immediately flew to Havana different story. Until January 1976, the

73 emy. “The MPLA still has the advan- bearing the MPLA's request. The Cu- it indicates, all Cuban troops and weaptage, only ten days before indepen- bans' response "was, I can say, imme

ons were transported to Angola on Cudence,” he concluded at the end of Oc- diate," writes an MPLA leader.74

ban ships and Cuban planes (Britannias tober. “The enemy, ill-prepared and November 4, Cuba decided to send and IL-18s) without any Soviet involvedispirited, including the Zairian army troops to Angola.“That same day the ment. It was the Cubans' inability to units ... is giving us the breathing space

head of the MMCA was instructed to find friendly places in which to refuel to train the [MPLA] battalions.":68

make arrangements with the MPLA for their planes that led them to seek SoOn November 2 and 3, Cubans par- our planes to land in Luanda.'

„75

viet help in late December. The ticipated in the fighting for the first time The first Cuban troops-158 men Britannias and the IL-18s needed to resince the battles for Morro do Cal and from the elite Special Forces of the fuel twice en route to Luanda. The secQuiangombe on October 23 and 28. Ministry of Interior—left aboard two ond stop presented no problem: GuineaThis time, the military instructors joined Cuban planes on November 7, arriving Bissau was steadfast in its support. The in the fight to defend Benguela from the in Luanda two days later. 76 Through the problem was with the first stop. Iniadvancing South Africans. "We were rest of November and December the tially, Barbados agreed, but under U.S. facing the best organised and heaviest Cubans succeeded in holding a line less pressure it withdrew its permission on FAPLA opposition to date,” wrote a than two hundred miles south of Luanda December 17; thereafter the Cubans South African, Cdr. Jan Breytenbach, even though the South Africans enjoyed used, in quick succession, Guyana and who led one of the invading units.69 superiority in numbers and material. the Azores.80 In early January, the

Outgunned and outnumbered, the (North of Luanda, the Cubans swiftly Soviet Union agreed to provide its ILdefenders of Benguela withdrew. defeated Roberto's motley horde.) 62s, which could fly directly from Cuba Savimbi crowed: “Some time ago I There were numerous skirmishes and to Bissau. The first IL-62 left Havana promised you that there would be mili- two small battles as the South Africans on January 9 with Cuban troops and tary surprises in Angola,” he told the attempted to break through: at Ebo, on Soviet pilots. (The Cubans had not yet press in Kinshasa. “We are now wit- November 23—“Black Sunday,” ac- been trained to fly the plane.)81 nessing the disintegration of Neto’s cording to a South African historian- Risquet states that on 16 January troops on Angolan territory. Today I the Cubans scored a significant vic- 1976, Cuba and the USSR signed a milipromise you even greater surprises be- tory;77 and on December 12, at Bridge tary protocol in which the Soviets fore November 11, because we know 14, fourteen miles south of the strate- agreed to transport weapons for the that there are only nine days left.”.70 On gic village of Catofe, the South Afri- Cuban troops in Angola.82 I have not November 6, Benguela was in South cans took their revenge, but the Cubans seen the protocol. I have, however, two African hands. The next day Lobito, quickly regrouped and stopped them documents that support Risquet's statetwenty miles north of Benguela and before they could reach Catofe. The ment: a January 29 letter from Risquet Angola's major commercial port, fell. South Africans were impressed: the to Castro (doc. 7) and a January 30 note “We were, evidently, on our way to Cape Times reported on November 21 stating that two Soviet ships had left for Luanda," writes Breytenbach. “Fresh that “FNLA and UNITA commanders Angola with the first shipment of weaptroops were being deployed from South [maintaining the fiction that South Af- ons for the Cuban troops there.83

It is important to put Westad's com- Africa. In Algeria, for example, the Cuba's policy in Africa was guided ments in context. He writes that “... Soviets had no objection to Cuba's very by Cuban national interest and ideolthe Soviet General Staff ordered about close relations with Ahmed Ben Bella's ogy-a fact which U.S. analysts well sixty of their own officers to join the regime and seem to have welcomed understood. When Che went to Africa Cuban forces from Congo. These men Cuba's decision, in October 1963, to in December 1964, U.S. intelligence started arriving in Luanda on the send a military force to help Algeria followed his trip closely. “Che evening of November 12." In the Cu- rebuff Morocco's attack. Similarly, in Guevara's three-month African trip was ban documents in my possession there Congo Leopoldville the Soviets must part of an important new Cuban stratare only six references to Soviet offic- have welcomed Guevara's column, egy," wrote Thomas Hughes, the direcers in Angola, and all of them are re- since they were themselves helping the tor of Intelligence and Research at the lated to the dispatch of Soviet weapons rebels. These parallel and often mutu- State Department. This strategy, he arto Angola [for one, see doc. 7); none ally supporting tracks are even more gued, was based on Cuba's belief that a mentions any Soviet input into military evident in the case of Guinea-Bissau. new revolutionary situation existed in strategy. Furthermore, I have seen an The Soviets began giving aid to the Africa and that Cuba's own interest lay additional file of documents that would PAIGC in 1962, well before Cuba did. in the spreading of revolution there beprove conclusively how little Soviet From June 1966, the Cuban military cause in so doing it would gain new officials had to do with Cuban military presence complemented and enhanced friends who would lessen her isolation strategy and tactics. These are cables the Soviet role, since the Cubans were and, at the same time, weaken U.S. infrom Fidel Castro to the Cuban com- in charge of the increasingly sophisti- fluence. There was only one reference manders in Angola. They demonstrate cated weapons provided by the USSR. to the Soviet Union: “Cuba's African the extraordinary degree of control that It follows, some may say, that the strategy," concluded Hughes, “is deCastro exerted over the conduct of the Cubans were mere cannon fodder for signed to provide new political leverwar. In February 1996 I was allowed Moscow. But the fact that their poli- age against the United States and the to read these cables, but, unfortunately, cies ran along parallel tracks during this socialist bloc. . . .The Cubans doubtthey may never be released—not be- period did not make Cuba a Soviet agent less hope that their African ties will incause they contain controversial mate- or proxy. In fact, Cuba was following crease Cuba's stature in the nonaligned rial (even the most ornery Cuban cen- its own policy, a policy that happened world and help to force the major sosor would be hard put to find much to to dovetail with that of the USSR. The cialist powers to tolerate a considerable sanitize in them), but because only Fi- case of Algeria is illustrative. The Cu- measure of Cuban independence and del Castro can declassify them and he bans, at their own initiative, began sup

criticism."86 This was a fair analysis is busy with other matters.

porting the Algerian rebels in 1961. of the pragmatic aspect of the policy, My failure to obtain copies of these Havana's decision to send troops in but it omitted the strong idealistic mocables is all the more frustrating since 1963 was taken less than two hours af- tive that also marked Cuban policy in many, particularly Americans, may read ter a direct appeal by Ben Bella, mak- Africa. Havana firmly believed that it this story of the early relationship be- ing it unlikely that Castro would have had a duty to help those who were strugtween Cuba and Africa and reflexively had time to consult the Soviets even if gling for their freedom; it was this beask, what about the Soviet Union? he had wanted to.84 In the Congo, like- lief-not pragmatism—that led Cuba to Wasn't Cuba acting as a Soviet proxy? wise, Cuban policy was evidently not help the Algerian rebels and risk the

It is a frustrating question, for it coordinated with Soviet policy. The wrath of de Gaulle. As a PAIGC leader requires one to prove a negative on the conclusion is suggested by the fact that said, “The Cubans understood better basis of incomplete information. Since Che, his men, and their weapons trav- than anyone that they had the duty to no available documents bear directly on elled to Tanzania via the cumbersome help their brothers to become free.":87 the question, I can only offer an in- method of taking commercial flights This policy would not have been formed opinion. There are two ways to even though they could presumably possible without the volunteers—men address it. One is to look broadly at have arrived on the Soviet ships that at who freely chose to risk their lives and Cuba's Africa policy and its overall re- about the same moment were docking endure sacrifices in order to serve Cuba lationship to Soviet policy. The second at Dar-es-Salaam.85 A firmer indica

and help others. Just as Havana was is to analyze Cuban motivations in Af- tion of this lack of coordination appears not bowing to Soviet pressure by interrica.

in “Pasajes de la guerra revolucionaria vening in Africa, so too did individual During the period under consider- (Congo),” the secret manuscript that Cubans volunteer of their own free will. ation, Cuban and Soviet policies ran Guevara wrote upon leaving the Congo. In Angola as well, Havana was not actalong parallel tracks in Africa. This was And certainly the Soviets played no role ing on behalf of the Soviet Union, even not a given: they could have been at log in the Cuban decision to withdraw. though President Ford and Secretary gerheads, as they were in Latin America Castro left the decision to Guevara, his Kissinger liked to speak of the Soviet

“ through the mid-1960s because of friend and commander-in-the field. (Se Union and their Cuban mercenaries."88 Cuba's support for armed struggle there. doc. 3] The Soviet Union was not in Rather, as former Soviet ambassador to No such clash, however, occurred in the picture.

the United States Anatoly Dobrynin

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