Angola’s independence struggle commemorated in Cuba

Source:  Granma
November 12, 2015

Author: laura Bécquer Paseiro | laura@granma.cu

A ceremony presided by President Raúl Castro to mark the 40th anniversary of Angola’s independence was held on Wednesday, November 11, in Havana

cuba commemorates angola's indepemdence strugglesPhoto: Estudio Revolución

“From Angola we take with us a close friendship that unites us with this heroic nation, the gratitude of its people and the remains of the dear brothers killed in the line of duty,” Army General Raúl Castro stated back in 1976, summing up the contribution of the Cuban people in the definitive liberation of the African country.

agostinho neto 2The proclamation of Angola’s independence on November 11, 1975, by the forces of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, led by Agostinho Neto, opened the way not only to the building of a new Angola, but also to external threats, such as that from South Africa’s apartheid regime, which wished to expand across the continent.

In response to a request from Neto, thousands of Cuban soldiers and civilian collaborators crossed the Atlantic, committed to assisting their Angolan brothers and sisters in a struggle that had plunged the country into a serious crisis.

A ceremony presided by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Raúl Castro, was held on Wednesday, November 11, in Havana, to mark the 40th anniversary of Angola’s independence and Cuba’s contribution.

We witnessed the birth of a free and independent state, each battle was a lesson that cemented the faith in victory, expressed Army Corps General Álvaro López Miera, a member of the Politburo and first deputy minister of the FAR, during his speech at the event.

Fidel Neto Raul y OsvaldoHe went on to stress the heroic resistance of the Angolan people and the strategic vision of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Cuba is filled with joy at seeing Angola celebrating four decades of independence, López Miera, also chief of the Army General Staff, stated, while noting that the cooperation of the island in the African nation continues today, in areas such as health, sports and civil construction.

“Yes, I can”

Thanks to the “Yes, I can” Cuban literacy method, over a million Angolans have learned to read and write; through Operation Miracle more than 34,000 have been operated on; and 7,500 young Angolans have graduated in Cuba, he added.

Angolan Minister of Former Combatants and Homeland Veterans, General Candido Van-Dunem, attended the ceremony on behalf of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos. During his speech, he expressed the gratitude of the Angolan people to Cuba and noted the strong bilateral ties between the two nations.

The date is a matter of pride but also of reflection on the long and glorious struggle up until today, the Angolan General added, noting that both countries continue to be united by the ideals and the blood shed by their people.

Brigadier General Raúl Díaz-Argüelles and Victor Schueg Colás

An emotive moment was the posthumous presentation by the Cuban President of the title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba and the Máximo Gómez Order, First Degree, to the daughters of Brigadier General Raúl Díaz-Argüelles and Victor Schueg Colás.

These decorations were also awarded to Major General Carlos Fernández Rondín, minister of the Interior, following a proposal from the State Council.

In turn, the head of the Political Directorate of the Interior Ministry, Major General Romárico Sotomayor, received the title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba and the Order of Playa Girón.

Source:  Angola’s independence struggle commemorated in Cuba  Granma

One thought on “Angola’s independence struggle commemorated in Cuba

  1. Angola’s independence and steady progress is only another example of Cuba’s significance in the world. However, Angola is not just another example of Cuba’s significance, it is a particularly important one for at least two reasons.

    First, Angola was and is probably Cuba’s biggest military expression of solidarity in terms of soldiers mobilized and sent anywhere on the planet to date to assist a sister nation gain its independence. This was a massive strategic operation that required the assistance of several Caribbean and other nations including Jamaica to grant Cuban military planes the right to flight over their airspace. Indeed, the very act of these nations to extend to the Cuban government the right to fly their military planes in their airspace was and is an act of anti-colonial, anti-apartheid and anti- imperialist solidarity with the government and people of Angola.

    Second, the internationalist solidarity of Cuba 40 years ago to send thousands of soldiers to fight alongside their Angolan comrades was not only bold but it was also necessary to resist the formidable array of counter revolutionary forces such as the Portuguese colonialists, the South African apartheid soldiers, Jonas Savimbi and his UNITA forces, the US CIA and other Western forces.

    The latter forces were all involved in the conflict and they were decidedly opposed to the liberation forces of Agostinho Neto and the MPLA . They were ardently opposed to the legitimate presence of the Cuban soldiers who were in Angola at the request of the Angolan government of President Neto to assist the MPLA forces to repel the South African military invasion of Angola and the massacres of Savimbi and the imperialist forces who supported his crimes financially, through intelligence, training and logistics.

    Thousands of Angolans and Cubans died to make Angola a free and independent nation. Their deaths though regrettably achieved a strategic objective which was to defeat the murderous racist apartheid army from South Africa from extending a foothold in Angola which clearly wanted to exploit its vast mineral wealth. That was the strategic goal of the imperialists to knock out the the anti-imperialist forces of the MPLA and Neto who fought for the independence of Angola, install the mass murderer and pro-imperialist thug Savimbi as a puppet government that would license all the imperialist mining companies to exploit Angola’s mineral resources. In short, the plan was to maintain Angola as a neo-colony and to use its mineral wealth to enrich western corporations and corrupt Angolans who were willing to do the biddings of the South African and western governments!

    As such, 40 years later as Angola celebrates its 40th independence, it’s worth reiterating once again that without Cuba’s military assistance , Angola’s independence would probably not have materialized against those formidable and odious imperialist forces.

    Indeed, today Angola’s progress and independent status are largely attributed to Cuba’s continued technical, civilian and military assistance. Thus as we celebrate, Angola’s 40th independence and progress as a nation, we must also celebrate the Cuban revolution and its leaders particularly Fidel Castro, all the countries including Jamaica that cooperated with Cuba’s mission in Angola and all the anti-imperialist and progressive forces globally who stood in defense of Angola and against the dark forces of counterrevolution.

    However, we would have failed in our responsibility, if we did not salute the brave and courageous Angolan and Cuban soldiers who gave their lives and the thousands of innocent Angolans massacred by Jonas Savimbi and his criminal gang of UNITA and the counter revolutionary forces that aided and abetted them.

    Mil Gracias Cuba por su solidaridad a Angola!

    “Peace if you are willing to fight for it” Fred Hampton

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