Mandela is dead
Why hide the truth about Apartheid?
By: Fidel Castro
Maybe the empire thought that we would not
honor our word when, during days of uncertainty in the past century, we
affirmed that even if the
World War II broke out on September 1,
1939 when Nazi-fascist troops invaded
War, on the other hand, is the only venture that the human race throughout history has failed to avoid, leading Einstein to say that he did not know how World War III would be like but most certainly the fourth would be fought with sticks and stones.
Added up, the means available to the two
most powerful powers –
There is no present or past event I remember or have heard of that has impacted world public opinion so much as the death of Nelson Mandela, and not because of his wealth, but for his human quality and the loftiness of his ideas and feelings.
Throughout history and barely one and a half century ago -- before robots and machines took over our modest tasks with a minimum energy cost-- none of the phenomena that today shake mankind and inexorably rule each and every person --men and women, children and elders, young and adult, farmers and factory workers, manual workers or intellectuals-- existed. The prevailing trend is to move to the cities, where the creation of jobs, transportation, and basic living conditions demand huge investments to the detriment of food production and other more rational ways of life.
Three powers have landed in our planet’s
Moon. The same day Nelson Mandela,
covered with his country’s flag, was buried in the backyard of the humble house
where he was born 95 years ago, a sophisticated module from the
Millions of scientists are studying earth and outer-space matters and radiations. Through them we now know that Titan, one of Saturn’s rings, accumulated 40 times more oil than the existing amount in our planet when oil extraction began 125 years ago and which will last barely one more century at current consumption rates.
The fraternal feelings of profound brotherhood between the Cuban people and Nelson Mandela’s homeland were born out of an event that has never been mentioned and about which we have never said a word during all these long years; Mandela, because he was an apostle of peace and did not want to hurt anyone; Cuba, because we have never done anything for the sake of glory and prestige.
Since the very triumph of the Revolution
Social revolutions were shaking the
pillars of the old world order. In 1960
the inhabitants of the planet amounted to three million. Along with this, the power of big transnational
companies –almost all Americans-- was growing and the American currency,
underpinned by US gold monopoly and its intact industry so far removed from the
battle fields, took control of the world economy. Richard Nixon unilaterally
abolished the backing of
Nothing I have said till now is new.
But why do they try to hide the fact that the Apartheid regime --that brought so much suffering onto Africa and arouse so much indignation in most nations throughout the world-- was the fruit of European colonial powers and was turned into a nuclear power by the United States and Israel, something Cuba, who supported Portuguese colonies in Africa fighting for their independence openly condemned?
Our people, handed over to the
In 1975, racist troops supported by light tanks equipped with 90-millimeter guns set off from Namibia –then occupied by South Africa— and penetrated more than one thousand kilometers into Angolan territory up to the vicinity of Luanda, where an airborne battalion of Cuban Special Troops and several Cuban crews for Soviet tanks with no crews, succeeded in delaying their advance. This happened in November 1975, 13 years before the Cuito Cuanavale Battle.
I’ve already said that we have done nothing for the sake of prestige or seeking benefit of any kind. It is a fact that Mandela was an upright man, a profound revolutionary and a radical socialist who endured with great stoicism 27 years of solitary confinement. I could not but admire his honesty, modesty and enormous merit.
The enemy was advancing behind several
Angolan brigades severely hitting them near the place they had been sent to, approximately
At such a critical point, the President of
Angola requested the support of Cuban troops.
The commander of our troops in the South, General Leopoldo Cintra Frías,
sent us the request as usual. Our firm
reply was that we would provide such support provided that all Angolan troops
and equipment would be under the Cuban command in
There was a positive response from
It was decided that a Cuban Tank Brigade would be immediately sent there. Several other were in the same line towards the West. The main obstacle was the mud and humidity due to the rainy season and the fact that every stretch of land had to be checked for anti-personnel mines. The military personnel to operate the tanks and guns without crew were also sent to Cuito.
To the East, the base was separated from
the territory by the large and fast- flowing
The Mig-23 fighters had a special role to play. Flying at a speed of almost
When the battered and immobilized enemy began to withdraw, the revolutionary forces began to get ready for the final combats.
Numerous Angolan and Cuban brigades began
moving quickly and keeping proper distance to the West towards the only wide
routes from which South Africans always began their military actions against
While troops reorganized and rearmed the
urgent decision to build a runway for the Mig-23 was made. Our pilots were using the aircraft equipment provided
According to reliable sources, South
African nuclear weapons could not be transported by Mirage planes; heavy
Nonetheless, a hydroelectric plant using
the strong current of the
When the racist began shooting with their 140-millimeter guns in this new theater of operations, the detachment of white soldiers was strongly hit by the Mig-23 and the survivors fled the place leaving some posters criticizing their high command. That was the situation when Cuban and Angolan troops marched over the enemy lines.
I learned that Katiuska Blanco, the author of some historical accounts, together with other reporters and press photographers were there. It was a tense situation but everybody kept cool.
It was then that we got the news that the
enemy was willing to negotiate. We had
succeeded in stopping the imperialist and racist adventure in a continent
where, in 30 years time, the population will exceed that of
The role of the Cuban delegation on the occasion of the demise of our brother and friend Nelson Mandela will be unforgettable.
I congratulate comrade Raul for his brilliant performance and particularly for his strength of character and dignity when in a kind but firm gesture greeted the United States Head of Government and told him in English: “Mr. President, I’m Castro”.
When my health imposed limits to my physical capacity, I did not hesitate in expressing my criteria on who, in my view, could assume the responsibility. A life is a minute in the history of the peoples and I believe that whoever holds today that responsibility must have the experience and authority required to choose among an increasing -almost infinite— number of alternatives.
Imperialism will always have several cards up its sleeve to subdue our island even if it has to depopulate it, depriving it from young men and women to whom they offer the scraps of the goods and natural resources it ransacks from the world.
Let the spokesmen of the empire now talk about how and why Apartheid came to life.
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 18, 2013