First Published: Unite!, Vol. 2, No. 6, December 1976-January 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Even though Fidel Castro has promised to withdraw Cuban troops from Angola since last May, as many as 10,000 Cuban troops still remain to “assist” the Neto government still centered in Luanda. At this time the civil war in Angola continues, especially in the southern areas where the Benguela railroad has been consistently closed by UNITA forces. Today UNITA fighters and the population along the rail line are standing firm against Soviet social-imperialism and Cuban adventurism, vowing to drive the Cubans and Russians from Angolan soil and to eliminate the oppression of the Angolan people. The following is a recent communiqué from the UNITA Central Committee on their stand toward the Cuban mercenaries.
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Comrade Jonas Savimbi, the President of the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), writing from the party’s mobile headquarters inside Angola on October 1, 1976, stated:
North-South, East-West, Angola has become a vast cemetery: the Cubans are killing, raping women, and oppressing the survivors just like the Portuguese during colonialism. But our Motherland has risen again! The Province is now a fortress of our peoples’ resistance; Huambo Province has become a quicksand for the Cubans; the entire Moxico Province is a training field for our people; and the Provinces of Cunene and Cuando-Cubango are a ring of fire We are sure victory is within the reach of the struggling people of Angola. Our confidence grows clearer and stronger because the illustrious sons and daughters of Angola are on their feet, learning fast through suffering, while the liars and opportunists have fled. For the freedom and liberty of our people, for the peasant-worker majority of the people of Angola to seize their rightful power supremacy, we must pay the price in time, men and women. Avante!
Angola is now “a vast cemetery” for both Angolans and Cubans. More than 20,000 Cuban troops are serving their tour of combat duty in Angola, killing, raping, maiming, exploiting the people, and also getting wounded and killed! Thousands of Cubans have already died and many more will die as Soviet cannon fodder on the battlefield in Angola. Fidel Castro has committed the Cuban people to such treacherous, ignominious role against Angola, against Cuba, against the Third World, at the pay of Soviet social imperialism.
Throughout the months of July, August and September, 1976, the Provinces of Huambo, Bie, and Moxico along the Benguela railway, and Huila, Cunene and Cuando-Cubango on the southern border came under repeated ground and air raids by large contingents of Cuban troops supported by Soviet tanks and MIG bombers. Hundreds of villages have been destroyed by this massive offensive. The Napalm bomb has been used against defenseless civilian population, especially along the Benguela railway which they have so desperately in vain tried to reopen.
True, press coverage on the continuing war in Angola ceased last July when Western journalists were expelled from Angola by the Luanda government of MPIA-Agostinho Neto. Moreover, the international power brokers wish to maintain the Soviet-Cuban solution to Angola; it is not in their interest to publicize the continuation of a war they thought they had won(or allowed to win...). But, despite this conspiratorial silence, the truth leaks out and imposes itself. And despite the formidable Soviet-Cuban military apparatus, Angola has “risen again” just like it did against Portuguese colonial rule.
The Soviet-Cuban puppet minority government of Agostinho Neto is bound to crumble because the people of Angola want freedom, liberty and a DEMOCRATIC government of national unity controlled by the peasant-worker majority, free from any foreign imperialist or social imperialist tutelage. Right now, as one Latin American newspaper quoted NATO information sources in Brussels (Belgium) on October 4, 1976,
most of Angola’s territory is outside the control of Neto’s Luanda government. Neto’s government controls only one third of the country...The guerillas of UNITA...have been carrying out their attacks and liberating more and more territory...