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This chapter looks at Cuba’s presence in Africa, with special attention to the Angolan war and the end of apartheid in South Africa. In 1975 Angola’s president Agostinho Neto requested Cuban help to rout two mercenary armies supported by apartheid South Africa that were intent on destroying the recently won liberation. Cuba, feeling the responsibility of a country largely built on African slave labor, saw sending troops to Angola as a way of repaying that tragic history. More than one thousand Cuban soldiers died in Angola. Cuba was essential to that country’s liberation; even Nelson Mandela said that without those Cubans apartheid in South Africa would not have been defeated, nor would Namibia have won its independence. The author explores Cuba’s presence in Africa from several points of view, including that of those who were against it.

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