Cuba, USSR and Africa (was: Re: intro:Vanessa fromVenezuela)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Mar 26 10:56:54 MST 2001

>CB: Also, the Soviets had to consider that confrontations with the U.S.
everywhere fed into the danger of a nuclear war with them. This a lesson of
the Cuban missile crisis.
>  Wholesale "export of revolution" was a much stickier wicket than a first
glance might conclude.

Newsweek, March 13, 1978, UNITED STATES EDITION

The Cubans In Africa

The Cubans, who are renowned for shedding their blood anywhere and at any
time for a just struggle and cause, are standing alongside the Ethiopian
People's Army at the front line. . .

Some experts reason that the use of Cuban troops has enabled Moscow to
operate with impunity in Africa. In his recent book, "The Surrogate Forces
of the Soviet Union," Brian Crozier, director of London's Institute for the
Study of Conflict, suggests that "the use of Cuban troops confused black
Africa's perception of Soviet imperialism." But Fidel Castro is the first
to deny that the Cuban forces in Africa are merely Soviet puppets. "The
military personnel we have in certain [African] countries are there because
of agreements we signed with their governments - and for us those
agreements are sacred," Castro declared some months ago.

Andrew Young also supports the view that Cuba has intervened in Africa for
reasons specifically rooted in Cuba's own history. "There is no doubt that
Cuba perceives itself as an Afro-Latin nation." Young told NEWSWEEK'S Lynn
James. "I don't believe that Cuba is in Africa because it was ordered there
by the Russians. I believe that Cuba is in Africa because it really has a
shared a sense of colonial oppression and domination." But Young complained
that the Cubans are only "contributing to destruction" in Ethiopia. "Castro
should have had more sense than to get involved in Ethiopia," he added.

For better or worse, Castro seems to be completely in charge of Cuba's
African venture. "It's amazing how closely he keeps track of the details,"
one intelligence source reports. "He can tell you which companies took part
in which tactical movement in the Ogaden." Fidel's brother Raul has become
the chief implementer, traveling to Moscow to coordinate strategy and, no
doubt, to squeeze the Russians for more aid.

Louis Proyect
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