1st Edition

The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991 From Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale

By Edward George Copyright 2005
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    372 Pages
    by Routledge

    A new examination of why Cuba, a Caribbean country, sent half a million of its citizens to fight in Angola in Africa, and how a short-term intervention escalated into a lengthy war of intervention.

    It clearly details how in January 1965 Cuba formed an alliance with the Angolan MPLA which evolved into the flagship of its global 'internationalist' mission, spawning the military intervention of November 1975 culminating in Cuba's spurious 'victory' at Cuito Cuanavale and Cuba's fifteen-year occupation of Angola.

    Drawing on interviews with leading protagonists, first-hand accounts and archive material from Cuba, Angola and South Africa, this new book dispels the myths of the Cuban intervention, revealing that Havana's decision to intervene was not so much an heroic gesture of solidarity, but rather a last-ditch gamble to avert disaster. By examining Cuba's role in the Angolan War in a global context, this book demonstrates how the interaction between the many players in Angola shaped and affected Cuba's intervention as it headed towards its controversial conclusion.

    1. Internationalism in the Cuban Revolution and the Birth of the Alliance with the MPLA  2. The Cuban mission to Brazzaville and the Collapse of the Alliance  3. The Carnation Revolution & the failure of Angola's Decolonisation  4. Operations Savannah and Carlota  5. 'The Second Liberation War'  6. The Failed Withdrawal From Angola  7. 'The People's War': Cuban internationalists in Angola  8. Abortive Peace Negotiations and the path to full-scale war  9. The Big Offensives  10. The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale  11. The Fighting in Southwest Angola and the Negotiating End-Game  12. The sting in the tail: the withdrawal from Angola the Ochoa case & the start of the 'Special Period'  Conclusion


    Edward George was born and raised in London, and read Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Bristol. In 1996 Bristol awarded him a scholarship to carry out a PhD in Cuban and Angolan history, and this book is the result of the eight years of research which followed. During that time he lived in Havana for over a year, and travelled for six months around South Africa and Angola, visiting some of the remotest parts of the war zone. Dr George is the Cape Verde author for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and is a freelance writer on the politics, economics and history of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.