First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 40, October 17, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Reports coming out of the African Horn indicate that the Soviet Union is behind a new, massive influx of Cuban mercenary troops in Ethiopia.
The Middle East News Agency quoted an official of Somalia’s embassy in Cairo this month as saying that “a large proportion of the Cuban troops in Angola have been withdrawn and sent to Ethiopia.” The official also noted that the Soviet Union had agreed to pay all “transportation expenses.”
In Ethiopia, the USSR is backing the bloody Mengistu dictatorship. With the Cuban mercenaries, the USSR is trying to prod Ethiopia into further aggression in the Eritrean region as well as against Somalia.
The maneuverings of the social-imperialists in the African Horn are part of the sharpening rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR for control of the whole African continent.
The Middle East News Agency went on to say: “The Soviet Union exerted strong pressure on Angolan President Agostinho Neto to approve the transfer of Cuban troops from his country to Ethiopia.”
There are signs that contradictions between Moscow and the Angolan government may be growing. Neto paid a visit to the Kremlin on Sept. 28, but was accorded none of the fanfare of previous visits.
Inside Angola itself, it was recently reported that at least 4,000 Cuban mercenary troops had arrived to buttress the more than 15,000 already there. These troops are being used by the Soviet Union to smash opposition to their rule by the Angolan patriots who are still fighting throughout the country.
Angolan battlefield information shows that guerrilla fighters have gained control of the Luanda-Huambo highway and, with it, much of the central part of the country.
In the East, freedom fighters have snapped the Benguela Railway, the main transportation artery of Angola. Other key cities and regions in various parts of the country have been liberated by guerrillas, despite persistent napalm bombing by Soviet planes and frontal assaults by Cuban troops.
Now the Soviet Union is trying to pursue the same tactics it used in Angola against the peoples of the African Horn. As in Angola, their plan is to sow splits and divisions, and come in to mop up and conquer with its Cuban mercenaries.
But the situation in Angola itself shows that these gangster techniques cannot possibly be successful. Even in the face of 20,000 Cuban troops and a fantastic array of modern Soviet weapons, the Angolan people have tenaciously continued their battle for liberation against all forms of imperialism.
No matter how many Cuban mercenaries are shipped into Ethiopia by the USSR, they will certainly not be able to succeed in halting the revolutionary drive of the people.