Book review: Conflicting Missions
Written by Leon Engelbrecht, Thursday, 03 September 2009
A Colossus who bestrode the
But what drove him to step onto that stage? Some years ago US academic Piero Gleijeses sought to answer that question and Conflicting Missions was the result. Gleijeses was the first Western scholar given access to the archives of the Cuban armed forces and he had access to some top Cuban officials – although not Fidel or his brother Raul.
Access to the archives reportedly after several years of pestering the Cuban authorities through the 1990s and was in part a Cuban reaction to their former African allies airbrushing them out of history. "The Africans are not rushing to tell
South Africans generally know Cuba for its role in the Namibian-Angolan "Border War", which culminated at Cuito Cuanavale in early 2008 – exactly 20 years ago, a fact mentioned in the ruling ANC`s annual "January 8" statement this year: Among the events the party plans to celebrate this year is "the 20th anniversary of the defeat of the SADF at the battle of Cuito Cuanavale", which the ANC says "marked a turning point in the apartheid war of aggression against the people of Angola, contributing to the achievement of Namibian independence, and providing impetus to the process that led to the negotiated end of apartheid."
The statement then adds: "We use this occasion to salute the sons and daughters of the Cuban people who laid down their lives in the fight for our freedom." Of interest is the absence of mention of the Angolan Armed Forces. Angolan troops made up the bulk of the forces at Cuito Cuanavale and the fighting preceding it. Whether the ANC`s silence is a reflection of its warm ties with
This vibrant amnesia means
Gleijeses writes that Castro was a main driver of these interventions, which nearly always had three legs: military assistance, scholarships and civil aid, mostly in the form of medical doctors. The US CIA, Gleijeses says, correctly summed him up, saying he was driven by "his sense of revolutionary mission" as well as the need for self-preservation. Henry Kissinger later acknowledged Castro as the "most authentic" revolutionary of his time. As a result Cuban aid came free to the recipients – a shrill contrast to Soviet and East Bloc aid that often came with a price tag even higher than that attached to Western aid.
Gleijeses reveals a Castro concerned about a fickle
Conflicting Missions cover the period 1962 to 1976, ending just after the withdrawal of South African troops from
- Rippel Effect receives another IGS-4S follow-up order from Colombia
- Denel exploring Rooivalk programme restart
- Tender closing date for Project Hotel extended
- ISS: South Africa joins the EU in the dogbox for abusing illegal African migrants
- South Africa should invest in public toilets to combat sexual assault: experts
- Denel finishes acquisition of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa
- ISS: Preventing violence against women - all talk and no action
- Xenophobia row exposes rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria
- Seriti commission granted a further extension
- Artillery, rocket business booming for RDM
Upgraded PS-05/A radar gives Gripen C/D extended performance, operating range
by Saab, 29 April 2015
The PS-05/A Mk4's hardware configuration with a new radar back-end gives improved radar performance and operational range, says Saab.
Saab signs contract with Brazil on weapon acquisition for Gripen NG
by Saab, 28 April 2015
The total order value for the Gripen NG weapon acquisition by the Brazilian Ministry of Defence is approximately $245 million.
Nautic Africa acquires Anchor Boat Shop
by Nautic Africa, 24 April 2015
Established nearly 80 years ago, the boat producer holds the exclusive rights for Yamaha engine sales in Africa.
Saab receives order on Ceros 200 from Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization
by Saab, 17 April 2015
The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization will buy the tracking system for approximately SEK 145 million.
More than just IFE - Thales expands its offer into InFlyt Experience
by Thales, 17 April 2015
Thales will reshape its in-flight entertainment and connectivity activities into Thales InFlyt Experience.
Nautic Africa service portfolio expanded to include quayside facility management services
by Nautic Africa, 17 April 2015
The maritime company has added quayside facility management to its portfolio, commencing with management of the Hamlet Quay.