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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • December 03, 1975

    Memorandum of Conversation with Chinese Delegation led by Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping

    Chinese delegation visits the White House and discusses Angola. The Chinese emphasize that South Africa must exit the conflict if there is to be any chance of rallying other African states to oppose Neto.

  • February 04, 1982

    Cuba-Angola Declaration

    A defense of Cuban military intervention in Angola, citing the advance of South African troops in Angolan territory as justifiable cause. Accuses the United States and South Africa of inciting bands of Namibian militia to upset the Cuban presence in Angola. Argues that the presence of Cuban troops in Angola is an agreement between two sovereign governments.

  • March 06, 1984

    Message of R.F. Botha to the Governments of the United States, Angola, and Zambia

    Message from R. F. "Pik" Botha declaring that, despite SWAPO incursions into Namibia, South African forces have not retaliated, in order to give the maximum amount of time for Angola to make good on its promise to withdraw its forces. South Africa will, however, maintain a military presence in Namibia while he threat is still there.

  • September 12, 1984

    Memorandum of Conversation between Pedro Maria Tonha, Konstantin Kurochkin and Polo Cintra Frías, 'Versión de la conversación sostenida en el Ministerio de Defensa de la RPA el 12 de septiembre de 1984'

    Pedro Maria Tonha "Pedalé" was the defense minister of Angola; General Konstantin Kurochkin was the head of the Soviet Military Mission in Angola; General Polo Cintra Frías was the head of the Cuban Military Mission in Angola

  • July 04, 1985

    Letter from UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to South African President P.W. Botha

    Letter from Margaret Thatcher to South African State President P. W. Botha, condemning South African attacks on Angola and Gaborone, and warning of some sort of response by Britain should they continue. Also notes that Britain has offered to provide military training to Mozambique via Zimbabwe.

  • September 06, 1985

    Letter from US President Reagan to South African President P.W. Botha

    Letter from Ronald Reagan to South African State President P. W. Botha, urging Botha to take action to bring peace to South Africa, so that the United States may more effectively assist South Africa in the region. Asserts that talks about race and leadership in South Africa need to be conducted with figures currently imprisoned. Reagan writes that he will veto most of the legislation currently moving through Congress.

  • October 31, 1985

    Letter from UK Prime Minister Thatcher to South African President P.W. Botha

    Letter from Margaret Thatcher to South African State President P. W. Botha describing how Thatcher had to defend South Africa at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting from economic sanctions. She emphasizes the need for South Africa to show improvement and let foreign officials into the country within the next six months to avoid economic sanctions eventually being imposed.

  • November 08, 1985

    Cover letter from South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha to US Secretary of State George Shultz

    Letter from South African Foreign Minister R. F. "Pik" Botha to U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz contesting American arguments against supporting UNITA.

  • November 12, 1985

    Letter from South African President P.W. Botha to UK Prime Minister Thatcher

    Letter from South African State President to Margaret Thatcher, thanking her for her support at the meeting of Commonwealth heads, but stating South Africa's objection to the intervention by foreign delegations. He argues that this would give South Africa an ultimatum and disrupt the ongoing internal negotiations.

  • November 17, 1985

    Letter from UK Prime Minister Thatcher to South African President P.W. Botha

    Letter from Margaret Thatcher to South African State President P.W. Botha, expressing her disappointment and anxiety over South Africa's refusal to cooperate with the Commonwealth group. Encourages South Africa not to publicize their refusal, and notes quite plainly that British assistance will be lost if South Africa continues down this path.

  • December 14, 1985

    Letter from UK Prime Minister Thatcher to South African President P.W. Botha

    Letter from Margaret Thatcher to State President P.W. Botha, noting that the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (designated by the Commonwealth meeting earlier that year to observe and instruct the South African government) seems agreeable and would like to travel to South Africa in January. She urges Botha to be cooperative.

  • June 15, 1988

    Report from A.A. Jaquet to SRA, 'Current State of Negotiations between South Africa and Angola'

    Description of the state of Angolan-South African affairs. Discusses recent and upcoming negotiations between Angolan and South African delegations, noting specifically the difficulties of getting the Angolans to accept proposals and to decide on a venue in which to have the talks.

  • July 22, 1988

    Cables Exchanged between Havana and the Cuban Delegation in Cape Verde, 'Reunión de Expertos Militares, Cabo Verde, Julio 22 y 23/1988: cifrados recibidos y enviados'

    Cables exchanged between Havana and the Cuban delegation at the meeting on 22 and 23 July in Cape Verde between South African, Angolan and Cuban officers, and US Department of Defense officials about the withdrawal of the South African troops from Angola.

  • October 06, 1988

    Meetings between Angola, Cuba, the United States and South Africa, 'Reunión Cuatripartita Angola/Cuba/EEUU/RSA, Nueva York, Octubre 6-9 de 1988'

    Meeting between delegations of Angola, Cuba, South Africa and the United States about the future of Angola and Namibia

  • 1989

    Defense Intelligence Agency Briefing, 'The 1987-88 Combat in Southern Angola: Lessons Learned'

    Analysis of the military campaign waged in Southern Angola in 1987-88 as well as the lessons learned from this exchange. Document indicates that FAPLA failed to learn from its mistakes, while UNITA adapted much more effectively to the combat environment it faced in Angola. Although FAPLA managed to hold on to Cuito Cuanavale, its large losses led to a Cuban build-up in Southern Angola, which challenged the existing military balance in the region. This provided new impetus to peace negotiations and resulted in the December 1988 Accords among South Africa, Angola and Cuba.

  • February 07, 1989

    Record from Protocol No. 147 of the Meeting of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Supplying Arms to Angola

    In response to requests from the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, the CC CPSU agrees to supply arms which will be sent from the Soviet Union to the Republic of Cuba, and then provided during the withdrawal of Cuban troops from the People’s Republic of Angola.

  • 2007

    Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich Mityaev, 'The Oral History of Forgotten Wars: Memories of the War in Angola' (excerpts)

    Soviet soldier describes realities of war in Angola, including the powerful South African counter-offenses that he experienced.

  • 2008

    Igor Zhdarkin, 'We Did Not See it Even in Afghanistan: Memoirs of a Participant of the Angolan War,1986–1988,' (excerpts)

    Memoirs of a Soviet soldier fighting in Angola, depicting the scenes of warfare where South African artillery and air force attacked Soviet and MPLA positions, leading many MPLA fighters to flee.