Whatever rightwing propaganda you’ve been fed or whatever you think of Fidel Castro now (no one should be leader of a country for more than 40 years), you can’t deny the decisive role Cuba under Fidel Castro’s leadership played in liberating Africans–especially in Southern Africa.
If you’re still in the dark, (or you’re in denial) about what went down in Angola through the 1970s and 1980s and South Africa’s role there as a US proxy and how a series of battlefield victories there by joint Cuban-Angolan forces against white South Africa’s army hastened the end of Apartheid, I’d suggest speed-reading historian Piero Gleijeses‘ book “Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976.” You should also watch these films: Jihan Al Tahri’s BBC documentary film, “Cuba! Africa! Revolution!,” “Brothers in Arms!” by Jack Lewis about Ronald Herboldt, a coloured sailor who joins the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and later interrogates white South African soldiers in Angola. Finally there’s the remarkable short film, “Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator,” by Baruch College professor Katrin Hansing.
Anyway, the clip, above, is from, I think, Estella Bravo’s documentary “Fidel.” A significant part of the film deals with Fidel’s internationalism. The best part of the clip here is the recording of the first meeting in Cuba in 1991–at about the 3:20 mark–between two giants of the 20th century: Fidel and Nelson Mandela. Fidel would later visit South Africa in September 1998 where during a speech in its Parliament, after soaking in the praise, Fidel delivered this warning to South African parliamentarians: “Let South Africa become a model of a more just and more humane future. ” I am not sure they took Fidel advice.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre.