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by posted by F Espinoza
Friday, Mar. 28, 2008 at 3:57 AM
The victory in Cuito Cuanavale made the dreams of the father of the Angolan homeland, Agostinho Neto, come true, Cuban Major General Leopoldo Cintras Frias said here on Saturday.
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Cuito Cuanavale’s Victory was Neto’s Dream
Cuito Cuanavale, Angola, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) The victory in Cuito Cuanavale made the dreams of the father of the Angolan homeland, Agostinho Neto, come true, Cuban Major General Leopoldo Cintras Frias said here on Saturday.
Cintras, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, made those statements at the main event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of that battle, which changed southern Africa"s history.
The Cuban general recalled that Neto had assured ten years before that the liberation of Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa was the continuity of the Angolan people"s struggle.
"For their part, the Cuban people, who once again fulfilled their internationalist duty at the time, have continued to develop their solidarity vocation in the battles for the health and education of brother peoples," he pointed out.
"After returning to this scenario 20 years later, where what is considered the greatest battle in Angola was waged, our first and emotive memory is for those who fell," Cintras added.
"Those who visit this peaceful place today can hardly imagine the complexity of the military situation and the clamor of battle those days, when the choices were the respect for Angolan sovereignty and the alleged perpetuity of racist regimes in this part of the continent," the general pointed out.
"For the Cuban troops, that struggle took place in a truly complex scenario, due to adverse natural conditions and logistic difficulties," Cintras noted.
He recalled that in 1987, during the South African army"s last attack and occupation of Angolan territory, the Angolan government asked Cuba for its internationalist support.
As Fidel Castro has explained, he added, "in a titanic effort, despite the serious danger of an aggression pending on Cuba, near the United States, the top political and military leadership of the Revolution decided to solve the problem once and for all, in conjunction with the Angolan side." "Then Cuba sent the necessary troops to inflict, in conjunction with the Angolans, a resounding defeat on the South African racists."
Cuba Marks 20th Anniversary of Decisive Battle in Angola
The celebration, held at the headquarters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), recalled the days of tenacious struggle against the rejected apartheid régime
By: Luis Hernández Serrano
“We today reaffirm the sacred commitment of defending the essential values of our revolution and those of socialism with the same firmness as that shown at Cuito Cuanavale,” said Division General Samuel Rodiles Planas. The hero of the Republic of Cuba and the last chief of the Cuban military mission in Angola made his statements in a ceremony marking the twentieth anniversary of that historical battle.
The commemoration that took place in the Universal Room of FAR, and was presided over by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, who is also president of the Council of State and of Ministries.
Also present were members of the Political Bureau of the party, Commandant of the Revolution Juan Almeida Bosque and the generals of army corps; FAR Minister Julio Marries Regueiro; and Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, minister of the Interior. Likewise, the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba also attended, as did special invitees representing the internationalist soldiers of Cuito Cuanavale, along with war correspondents who participated there, and families of Cuban soldiers who died in the effort.
Division General Samuel Rodiles Planas described the battle of Cuito Cuanavale as the greatest Cuban military operations in the years of internationalist military assistance.
He asserted that South Africa and the United States launched the most threatening blow there against the Angolan troops, which were advancing through the south, though Cuba responded immediately to the urgent call of the government of that fraternal nation.
“We disembarked for the southwest of Angola, while 800 kilometers to the southeast several of our best units advanced toward Cuito Cuanavale. They prepared a mortal trap against the South African forces of colonialism and apartheid. At that time, we deployed some 55,000 Cuban internationalist fighters to assist Angola.
“Our first memory is for those who fell in combat there, to the heroes who survived and for the relatives, who always knew how to support them.”
Also speaking at the ceremony were Ambassador Antonio José Condesse de Carvalho (Angola), Ambassador Claudia Grace Uushona (Namibia) and Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso (South Africa).
“When the Cuban troops advanced with all their force, the foreign aggression was halted,” emphasized Condesse de Carvalho. “The Cuban people are in the heart of each Namibian, and you will always have the love, loyalty and gratefulness of our people,” assured Ambassador Grace Uushona; while Ambassador Mtintso expressed: “Although Fidel said that the internationalism of Cuban people was to pay back its own debt to humanity, we give thanks to him and to the Cuban people.”
A taste of Cuban culture was added to the commemoration with a performance by the Ballet of Cuban Television and the Havana Sonantas Guitar Group.
Fidel awarded Order of Welwitschia
WINDHOEK.—For his support for the liberation struggles in Africa, the Order of Welwitschia was conferred on Fidel during the inauguration ceremony for the new headquarters of the Namibian Parliament on the 18th anniversary of that country’s independence.
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba presented the award to Army General Leopoldo Cintra Frías, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, who stated that with this medal the leader of the Cuban Revolution has received the gratitude of Namibia and it is also a tribute to all Cuban combatants, to those who died on African soil and to the people of Cuba in general.
Expressing thanks for the distinction during the ceremony, which was broadcast by Namibian radio and television, Cintra Frías also highlighted the importance of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.
Translated by Granma International •
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