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Cuba and Angola, 38-year of Bilateral Relations

Nov 19,  -- Cuba and Angola are expanding bilateral relations based on 38 years mutual support.

Back on November 15, 1975, four days after Angolan independence was declared, then Foreign minister Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Cuban ambassador Oscar Oramas signed the first bilateral accord.

This was consolidated a year later, when the two nations signed a general collaboration agreement that led to the setting up of the Angola-Cuba Bilateral Intergovernmental Commission.

Shortly after, the first groups of Angolans and Cubans launched a literacy campaign in an African nation where a staggering 85 percent of the people could not read and write.

Since then Havana and Luanda have continued to renew collaboration protocols. And as the saying goes, friendship is borne out under the worse of possible circumstances.

Cuba responded to Angola’s call in the 1970’s in an epic chapter to safeguard the independence of the country. Sixteen years later, the support given by over 300 thousand internationalist Cubans contributed to the end of apartheid in South Africa. Subsequently Namibia declared its independence in 1990.

African revolutionary and anti-colonialist leader Amilcar Cabral has gone on record saying that "Cuban combatants were determined to give their lives for our freedom and in return they took with them only the corpses of those who fell in action."

Presidential elections in Angola were held and won by Dos Santos in 1992 but he leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Jonas Savimbi, did not accept the results of the vote and re-initiated hostilities in November of that year.

In 1994 the UNITA of Savimbi and the government of Angola signed the Lusaka protocol in Zambia, though the civil conflict still continued until February 22, 2002, when Savimbi died in an ambush. One of the longest wars in the history of Africa had come to an end.

Angola saw its dream of full Independence come true on April 4, 2002 and Cuba continued to cooperate with the African nation in a new state of national reconstruction. Such cooperation has continued to the present day.

Gisela Garcia, Cuban ambassador to Angola, confirmed recently that over four thousand Cuban workers are currently working in sectors such as health, with 1 800 doctors and in education with 1 400 teachers.

Mutual enterprises are also underway in energy and water resources. Havana has further indicated its willingness to assist Luanda in rural electrification and veterinary services.

Currently over 1500 Angolan youths are  pursuing higher education courses in Cuban universities.

Sociologist Ambrosio Baptista has said that when a comrade, a friend, needs something, the word ‘tomorrow’ stands for ‘too late!’

Cuba was and still is that real friend who acts as an immediate transfusion
to assist the wounded without waiting for someone to call “Urgent!”

Edited by Juan Leandro
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