In his most recent article, Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro addresses episodes in the historic fight against Apartheid in South Africa, and the long-standing struggle of Nelson Mandela with Cuban participation to liberate the country. Fidel recalls how Washington and Israel converted the Apartheid regime into a nuclear power.
Fidel says that no other present or past development that he may recall or has heard of, had such a strong impact on world attention as the death of Mandela, and this was based on Mandela’s human qualities and his noble sentiments and ideas.
And in this context, in his article entitled “Mandela has Died, Why Hide the Truth about Apartheid?” Fidel raises the following question: Why do they try to hide the fact that the pre-Mandela Apartheid regime, which inflicted so much suffering on Africa and caused indignation in most nations of the world, that regime was converted into a nuclear power by Israel and the U.S.?
Referring to the developments that put an end to Apartheid in South Africa, Fidel recalled that in 1975, racist troops left Namibia and made their way to Luanda in Angola.
The South African troops beat back the Angolan forces to Cuito Cuanavale, a former NATO military base, some 100 kilometers from the location of a Cuban tanks brigade. At that point, the Angolan president asked Cuba for support, which was given immediately. The Cuban and Angolan contingent counterattacked, the enemy was weakened and began to withdraw.
But the problem was, Fidel recalls, the South African Apartheid regime had up to 12 nuclear weapons. U.S. President Ronald Reagan had authorized the handing over to South Africa of the missiles and Israel supplied the necessary equipment to launch the weapons.
When the South African troops began to use 140-millimeter cannons, Russian combat aircraft manned by Cubans reacted with such success that it brought the enemy to the bargaining table. Cuba had put an end to a racist imperialist adventure.
Going on to the role of the Cuban delegation that attended the funeral services for Nelson Mandela, Fidel congratulated Raul Castro for his firmness and dignity, especially when, in a kind and firm gesture, he greeted U.S. President Barack Obama with the phrase in English: “Mister President, I am Castro.”
Looking to the present and future leadership of Cuba, Fidel said that when his health limited his physical activity, he did not hesitate a minute about whom, in his opinion, could assume the responsibility of leadership. Fidel said, one lifetime only uses a minute of history. Whoever assumes responsibility today will require the experience and authority necessary to choose among a growing and nearly infinite number of variations on the way forward.