Thursday, August 10, 2006

Castro Remembered Fondly in Africa

Reading the above book by the NSA researcher (cited below) about the Cuban people's bravery and audaciousness to help the people of Africa be free was one of the first things that really cemented my solidarity with Cuba. It debunked the myth that these were Soviet directed missions, and showed how decisive Cuban forces proved to be in ending white domination there.

Here are exceprts from an article on that in today's Washington Post.

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.

"The Cubans had a huge influence in southern Africa, they helped to shape history there. ... There are Africans who remember this," Piero Gleijeses, professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University, told Reuters.

When Angola's Soviet-backed independence was threatened in 1975 by South African and Zairean forces and mercenaries, Castro launched "Operation Carlota" -- a rush airlift of Cuban combat troops who defended Angola's new Marxist rulers.

African leaders, and many historians, say Cuba's military muscle -- personally directed by Castro from Havana -- kept Angola free, won independence for Namibia and hastened the end of apartheid rule in South Africa.

The memory of Cuba's help against colonialism and apartheid kept Castro's star burning brightly in Africa. South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela calls him friend...

Castro has extended this goodwill by replacing Cuban soldiers with doctors -- albeit in fewer numbers.


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