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Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976
Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976
by Piero Gleijeses
Edition: Paperback
Price: $35.49
69 used & new from $2.63

10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You gotta read this book:, May 8, 2005
From page 271,

"U.S. intelligence reports shed some light on the issue. In January 1976 Kissinger told Congress that "In August [1975], intelligence reports indicated the presence of Soviet and Cuban military adviser, trainers and troops, including the first Cuban combat troops." He was rewriting history: in the summer of 1975 U.S. intelligence told a different story. (d) An August 20 CIA report concluded, "What seems ....likely is that the Soviets have asked Cuba to help out with advisers and technicians....[sanitized] Officials of the Ministry of Information, which is controlled by the MPLA, have tried to pass them off as tourist." On September 22, an INR report claimed that "the Soviet and other allied countries, notably Cuba, have provided technicians and advisor to assist in military planning and logistics. While most are based in the Congo, there is increasing evidence that some foreign advisers are present with MPLA units inside Angola." On October 11 the CIA National Intelligence Daily specified that "a few Cuban technical advisers have been operating with Popular Movement [MPLA] inside Angola for time." There was no mention Cuban troops, or even of large numbers of instructors, until early October, when a significant number of Cuban advisers did indeed arrive."

(d) Kissinger, Jan. 29, 1976, U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Ralations, Subcommittee on African Affairs, Angola, p. 10. In his memoirs, Kissinger cites one of my articles to support his claim that the Cuban intervention "began in May, accelerated in July, and turned massive in September and October," which is precisely the opposite of what my article said. (Kissinger, Renewal, p.820)

As to the likelihood that Cubans were following Soviet orders, we hear on page 307 from "Arkady Shevchenko, who was an adviser of Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko in 1970-73 and then undersecretary-general of the United Nations until 1978, when he defected to the United States, [and who] writes that in 1976 Vasily Kznetsov, acting foreign minister, asked him to join a group reviewing Soviet policy in Africa.. Shevchenko asked Kuznetsov, ""How did we persuade the Cubans to provide their contingent?'...Kuznetsov laughed ...and told me that the idea for large-scale military operation had originated in Havana, not Moscow.""

Evidently, the Cubans were acting in Africa at great cost to themselves at least in part from a humanitarian concern for the dignity of Angolans. The historical record shows no such concern on the part of the United States of America.

well-documented, well-reasoned, and suspenseful. Great scholarship.

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