Meeting Transcript, Kissinger and Brezhnev Discuss Angola in Moscow
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
Brezhnev: Dr Kissinger, you know what’s here? A map of our attack on the United States. (He shows the map on the wall behind the curtain.
Kissinger: Of course. From Angola! [Laughter].
Brezhnev: Don’t mention that word to me. We have nothing to do with that country. I cannot talk about that country.
[Brezhnev then moved away and Gromyko and Amb. Stoessel came up to talk with the Secretary].
Kissinger: The Cubans were in Angola before the South Africans entered. We asked you a question: if the South Africans withdrew, would the Cubans withdraw?
Gromyko: We have nothing to do with that, We have given some equipment to the legitimate government—that’s all.
Kissinger: You transport the Cubans in your planes. They are chartered Soviet planes.
Gromyko: What planes are you talking about? The ones which transported equipment? We have sent no troops.
Amb. Stoessel: No, the Soviet planes used to transport Cuban troops to Angola.
Gromyko: (avoiding a direct answer) The South Africans are still there. They make no move to leave.
Kissinger: The South Africans are in the process of withdrawing.
Gromyko: If this is announced, we will react to it.
Kissinger: I wish to tell you in all seriousness that we can never accept 8,000 Cuban troops in Angola.
[As the meeting closes, Kissinger makes one last effort to put Angola on the table; he even makes threats, but Brezhnev does not take the bait].
Kissinger questions Brezhnev about Cuban involvement in Angola and asks if the Cubans will withdraw if the South Africans do. Brezhnev gives no definitive answers.
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