el maestro

el maestro
"Trincheras de ideas valen más que trincheras de piedra." José Martí

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cuba celebrates 17th Anniversary of South African Independence

Mandela and Fidel, Matanzas 1991
“The blood that you have shed in defence of the noble cause for humanity has nourished the trees that will forever bear fruits of liberation of mankind”, said South African Ambassador to Havana PJ Pitso, to a representation of the Cuban government, social organizations and members of the Diplomatic Corps at the National Hotel in the Cuban capital on the occasion of South Africa's Freedom Day yesterday.

Main stream media has never acknowledged the decisive role that Cuba played in ending racist rule in South Africa. In 1975, Cuba - at the explicit request of the government of the then newly-independent Angola - deployed 36, 000 troops to repulse a large-scale invasion by the racist South African state. Cuban troops remained for more than 15 years to defend Angola from South African aggression. During this period more than 300, 000 Cubans served in Angola: not only as soldiers but also as doctors, teachers, and engineers. More than 2, 000 Cubans died in defense of Angolan independence and right of self-determination.

Angolan-Cuban forces
In 2007-2008, the South African armed forces were definitely defeated by combined Cuban, Angolan and Namibian troops at Cuito Cuanavale in south-eastern Angola. Cuba's contribution was vital as it provided the essential reinforcements, material and planning.The defeat at Cuito Cuanavale of the South African armed forces led to the immediate independence of Namibia and accelerated the dismantling of apartheid.

In 1991, Nelson Mandela poignantly stated "the Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice unparalleled for its principled and selfless character."

In 1998, Mandela further declared: "If today all South Africans enjoy the rights of democracy; if they are able at last to address the grinding poverty of a system that denied them even the most basic amenities of life, it is also because of Cuba's selfless support for the struggle to free all of South Africa's people and the countries of our region from the inhumane and destructive system of apartheid. For that, we thank the Cuban people from the bottom of our heart."

Indeed, Cuba is often described as the only foreign country to have gone to Africa and gone away with nothing but the coffins of its sons and daughters who died in the struggles to liberate Africa.

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