Castro’s troubled legacy in the Horn of Africa: hero or villain?

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In southern Africa, Fidel Castro is almost universally seen as a hero. After all it is the Cuban leader who sent his forces to Angola to halt apartheid South Africa. What southern Africans would easily forget is that Cuban troops were sent to many other African conflicts with mixed results.
Professor Piero Gleijeses, who chronicled Cuba’s relations with Africa, noted:

The dispatch of 36,000 Cuban soldiers to Angola from November 1975 to April 1976 stunned the world and ushered in a period of large-scale operations, including 16,000 Cuban soldiers in Ethiopia in late 1977; Cuban military missions in Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Benin; and, above all, the continuing presence in Angola that peaked in 1988 with 52,000 soldiers.

In Somalia and Ethiopia Castro’s record gets a distinctly mixed reception. The headline on one popular website said it all:

Ethiopians celebrate Castro, Somalis fume at him over 1977 Ogaden war.
Read the full article here.

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Alem says:

    Castro’s was a “mixed reception” because someone is trying to mix Somali reality with Ethiopian. Never let us forget this all took place in a bi-polar world.

  2. Geremew says:

    Castro and the Cuban Revolution has continued demonstrating their efforts to helping those peoples which struggles against colonialist and postcoloalist forces. They also did a lot of remarkable achievements educating the children of our countries and producing a fruitful knowledge and social.consciousness about many things.

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