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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 11, 1975

RAúL DíAZ ARGíELLES TO THE CUBAN ARMED FORCES MINISTER [RAúL CASTRO]

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    Raúl Díaz Argíelles to the Armed Forces minister Raúl Castro on the meeting in Angola with Neto and clarifications of what type of aid to provide to Angola
    "Raúl Díaz Argíelles to the Cuban Armed Forces Minister [Raúl Castro]," August 11, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CID-FAR https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112128
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Report on the visit to Angola and on the conversations held with Agostinho Neto, president of the MPLA, and the Political Bureau of the MPLA, as well as with chiefs of the army staff of the FAPLA [the MPLA's armed forces]:


1. We arrived at Luanda, Angola, on Sunday, August 3 and established contact with the MPLA. They immediately took us to a hotel. When President Neto heard about [our arrival], he sent for us and put some of us up in his house and the rest of the delegation in another compañero's house.


In our first conversation with Neto we greeted him on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief [Fidel Castro] and the Minister of the Armed Forces [Raúl Castro], we gave him the present and the note from the Commander-in-Chief and then we explained the purpose of our visit.


We based our explanation on the following points:


a) The request made by the MPLA when it was visited by a delegation from our party and our government in January [Cadelo and Pina] and the request made later in Mozambique by Cheito, the chief of staff of the FAPLA.


b) These requests were somewhat contradictory: during the January visit they asked for aid and the training of cadres in Cuba and in Angola, and later in Mozambique they asked only for the training of cadres in Cuba.


c) We were coming to clarify the aid we should offer, given the FNLA's and Mobutu's aggression against the MPLA and the possible course of events before independence in November. We knew that the forces of reaction and imperialism would try with all their might to prevent the MPLA from taking power, because it would mean a progressive government in Angola. Therefore we were bringing Neto the militant solidarity of our Commander-in-Chief, our party and our government, and we gave him the $100,000.


In the course of this conversation, the Angolans complained about the paucity of aid from the socialist camp, and they pointed out that if the socialist camp does not help them, no one will, since they are the most progressive forces [in the country], whereas the imperialists, Mobutu and ... [one word SANITIZED] are helping the FNLA in every way possible. They also complained that the Soviet Union stopped aiding them in 1972 and that although it is now sending them weapons, the amount of assistance is paltry, given the enormity of the need. In general, he [Neto] wants to portray the situation in Angola as a crucial struggle between the two systems--Imperialism and Socialism--in order to receive the assistance of the entire socialist camp. We believe that he is right in this, because at this time the two camps in Angola are well defined, the FNLA and UNITA represent reaction and world imperialism and the Portuguese reactionaries, and the MPLA represents the progressive and nationalist forces.


We agreed that we would meet again the next day, because we needed to finalize the exact timetables, quantities and details etc. of the requests they had made.

[Half a page SANITIZED--trans.]


We believe that [the MPLA] enjoys the general support of the population; the population is organized and ready to fight, but lacks weapons, as well as food, clothing and basic gear. We believe that we must help them directly or indirectly to remedy this situation which is in essence the resistance of an entire people against the forces of reaction and imperialism.
Revolucionariamente,