Reflections by comrade Fidel
Kangamba is one of the most serious and dramatic films I have ever seen. I watched it on a small television screen but perhaps my judgment is influenced by cherished memories. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban compatriots will have the privilege of watching it on the big screen of movie theaters.
The Cuban artists’ performance was great. For a moment I thought that the production had required the cooperation of dozens of Angolans. There are scenes that from the humane point of view tear to pieces the contemptuous and racist way in which the imperialists have traditionally approached African culture and habits. There are really unforgettable images of houses in flames after being hit by the rockets with which the South African rulers armed an African ethnic group to fight their Angolan brothers.
The exploits of our compatriots fighting together with the Angolans in that battlefield were really moving. Their heroic resistance saved them all from death.
Those who perished did not do so in vain. The South African Army had been defeated in 1976 when Cuba had sent up to 42 thousand combatants to prevent that the Angolan independence, for which that fraternal people had long been fighting, would succumb to the treacherous invasion launched by the apartheid regime whose soldiers were forced to pull out back to the border that had been their point of departure: the colonized Namibia.
Shortly after the end of the war and
the beginning of the progressive withdrawal of the Cuban combatants under
pressure from the Soviet leadership, the South Africans went back to their old
The battle of Cuito Cuanavale, four
years after that of Cangamba –its
real name—and the dramatic situation experienced at that place were the result
of a wrong Soviet strategy advised to the Angolan high command. We had always
favored preventing the apartheid
regime’s army from intervening in
We had systematically refused to
take part in the offensives carried out almost every year on the hypothetical
or real commanding post of Jonas Savimbi, chief of the counterrevolutionary
UNITA. This was over 625 miles away from the capital, in the remote Southeast
This time, after sustaining great
losses, the brigades had retreated to a place located 12.5 miles from Cuito
Cuanavale, a former NATO air base. It was at that point that our forces in
The battle of Cuito Cuanavale, starting
on November 1987, was combined with the units already moving towards the
Angolan border with
When an even more dramatic film than Kangamba is made, the movie story will show even more impressive episodes where the massive heroism of Cubans and Angolans shone up to the humiliating defeat of apartheid.
It was at the end of the last battles when the Cuban combatants took the risk of being hit --this time together with their Angolan brothers—by the nuclear weapons that the US Administration provided to the hateful apartheid regime.
It would be most appropriate to
eventually produce a third film like Kangamba which is presently being shown to
our people in the movie theaters of
Meanwhile, the empire is stuck with an economic crisis unparalleled in its decadent history and Bush shouts his head off making absurd speeches. This is what is mostly discussed these days.
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 30, 2008