The history of Cuba's intervention in the Angolan war is more complex than it appears.
If I stick to the strictest truth, I have to admit that while we support the FAPLA in its fight against UNITA, the fact remains that in many cases do not support them, especially when the Cuban military command felt that no was vital to our forces.
In 1978 he developed the "Exercise Tactical Campaign" directed by Raul Menendez Tomasevich and that was the prelude to "Operation Olive", which I understand was a flop (These operations were totally anti-UNITA). But in 1988, when events of Cuito, the only help they received FAPLA Cuba (in its fight against UNITA), was saved from the catastrophe at 5 FAPLA Brigades who had ventured beyond the direction Cuito Mavinga and had been driven back, haphazardly, to the confluence of the rivers of the same name. In Cuemba beyond Cuito Bie, in the direction Munanga FAPLA were fighting alone against UNITA, several hundred kilometers further north.
Without the logistical and military support of South Africa, which until that time supplied after the independence of Namibia (SWAPO were the sworn enemies of the UNITA) and the fall of the regime of apartheid in South Africa, UNITA was left to drift. The MPLA, recognized by all countries of the southern cone of Africa and the UN, although it was hard, not destroy, but to eliminate the political ghost of UNITA. Even today, killed Savimbi, UNITA is still getting headaches from the political point of view, in Angola, although it is not even a shadow of what once came to be. South Africans can say what they please, but those who were foreign territory entered and items were removed as well.
The biggest mistake committed by Savimbi was to ally with a racist regime, for not only led to the rejection of black Africa, but most democratic and progressive countries in the world.
From a distance they offer us the years, today we know that indeed, the SADF had no military to force the rivers and Cuito Cuanavale. In 1989 we had no exact idea of the means by which they had neither the purpose had been made.
The relationship of Cuban assistance with the fall of apartheid, is nothing more than a grain of sand with a lot of hype around. The southern African country made him a shortage of workers that he had (while blacks were segregated) and there was no alternative. O apartheid was finished or was finished.
Apartheid is a political system, as an enemy of the modern economy as it can be Communism Stalinist, Maoist or the feudal system and slavery. What really matters is whose hands are the means of production.
We know that in the hands of a totalitarian leadership is like going back to the feudal stage of development of mankind.
To truly understand the involvement of Cuba in Angola, we must start with the megalomania of Fidel Castro and his pretensions of Napoleon tropical.
I believe that every event should be and the place it deserves. A Fidel Castro, which corresponds to Fidel Castro and Cuban troops, which corresponds to the Cuban troops. It is true that the facts are intertwined. To us to try to give the right measure. There are many who treat the matter lightly and almost never touch hubs.
General Arnaldo Ochoa, and many of the officers involved, agreed that there was no way the South Africans if we do not provide it. A Cuban offensive into the territory of Namibia, which had never imagined, had only reached 400 to 500 kilometers in depth. If anything.
The key to success or failure was to be able to keep all the land occupied by troops during the planned offensive. Nothing would have been better in, destroy the South African military bases and return to the Angolan territory it would have been the never-ending and ultimately the economy of the regime of Fidel Castro, without support from the Soviet Union, had suffered an unimaginable disaster.
Analyzed from the political point of view, had brought many problems, not only with countries opposed to the regime of Fidel Castro, but also with the socialist countries that were already crumbling (in late 1989 there was only the USSR).
That's why I believe that the "bluff" of Fidel Castro worked, because if Pretoria had endured six months, had been a debacle.
During the Cuban spent 15 years in Angola, the MPLA had strengthened enough to dislodge UNITA alone. This was demonstrated time and even José Eduardo Dos Santos remains at the forefront of Angola and the MPLA, while no longer what it was formerly. The foreign policy of the Castro brothers is not.
Mario Riva Armando Morales (Manchiviri) 2010