- Gebundene Ausgabe: 655 Seiten
- Verlag: The University of North Carolina Press (4. November 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1469609681
- ISBN-13: 978-1469609683
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 5,1 x 16,5 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 537.638 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991 (New Cold War History) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. November 2013
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Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.--Choice
During the final fifteen years of the Cold War, southern Africa underwent a period of upheaval, with dramatic twists and turns in relations between the superpowers. Americans, Cubans, Soviets, and Africans fought over the future of Angola, where tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers were stationed, and over the decolonization of Namibia, Africa's last colony. Beyond lay the great prize: South Africa. Piero Gleijeses""uses archival sources, particularly from the United States, South Africa, and the closed Cuban archives, to provide an unprecedented international history of this important theater of the late Cold War. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In this book, as in its prequel Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, Piero Gleijeses, a professor of American foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins, discusses the opposing roles played by the US and Cuba in the battle to free Southern Africa.
This is a work of careful research, the author using archives of the US, Cuba, South Africa, and Russia, as well as interviews with and quotes from memoires of key players in these countries and others. It will be impossible to refute, although we can be sure some will try.
The US supported Portuguese colonialism until revolution in Portugal forced an end to it. Then they supported the most pro-imperialist forces in the former colonies; those willing to collaborate with the apartheid regime to see that no radical change took place. UNITA in Angola was one such movement; their atrocities were glossed over, and their South African ties downplayed. While publically taking their distance from apartheid South Africa, the US government collaborated with them against the MPLA in Angola and SWAPO in Namibia (no country in the world publically opposed independence and free elections in the South African colony). South Africa was experiencing internal rebellion, and was desperately playing for time, not being willing to accept majority rule. The battles all over Southern Africa helped to determine its fate.
Cuba was on the other side, and contrary to what many believed, this book carefully documents that far from being Soviet puppets, it was Cuba who acted, forcing the conservative Soviet leaders to play a supporting role at best.
This book documents all the battles, diplomacy, and major media reporting surrounding these events. To make a long story short, the bad advice given to the Angolan army by the Soviet advisors led to a very dangerous situation in Angola. While UNITA did not pose a huge threat, South Africa did, and their air force dominated the skies. They also had a large presence of ground troops in Angola, both to do what UNITA couldn't, and to prevent a SWAPO victory in Namibia.
Cuba let down its own defenses to send thousands of ground troops, pilots, planes, and anti-aircraft weapons to Angola. In the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, South African forces were decisively defeated by the combined forces of Angola, Cuba, and SWAPO. Negotiations followed, which resulted in South Africa leaving Angola and Namibia. The handwriting was on the wall, and in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. After street battles, massive international support, and negotiations, he was the first democratically elected president in South Africa in 1994.
Gleijeses appropriately gives Mandela the final word, given during his 1991 trip to Cuba: "We come here with a sense of the great debt that is owed the people of Cuba. What other country can point to a greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?"
Other suggested books: How Far We Slaves Have Come! South Africa and Cuba in Today's World;Cuba and Angola: Fighting for Africa's Freedom and Our Own;The Coming Revolution in South Africa (New International no. 5);From the Escambray to the Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution;The Struggle Is My Life;Nelson Mandela Speaks: Forging a Democratic, Nonracial South Africa;Thomas Sankara Speaks: The Burkina Faso Revolution 1983-87.
The reporting of these interchanges, diplomatic and ,political intercourse between the respective key leaders of Havana ,Moscow, Washington and Pretoria is very well documented largely from original sources - with rigorous scholarship by the author. Clearly, a book that should be a must read by policy makers and students of International affairs.
I am sure this was not professor Gleijeses intention but by the end of the book one cannot escape the feeling that the Cubans were no taking the Angolan government seriously. They basically decided on everything and then submitted it to the Angolan government that obviously was facing Cuban decisions they could not refuse ( even if under the guise of suggestions) There are also minor contradictions (like the statement that Cuba only became military involved in Angola in November 75 after the South African invasion while about 500 pages earlier he states that Cuban "advisers" were already on the ground in August). So read it. It must be read. But remember: the author made use of his incredible access to documents and interviews to put forward the official Cuban version of events.
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