By Edward Palmer
The recent New York Times article about Henry Kissinger’s plans to launch air strikes against Cuba as reported in William LeoGrande’s recent book ‘Back Channel to Cuba’ reveals much about Kissinger’s immorality and base character and his inherent colonialist mind-set. Kissinger was “insulted that a small country would ruin his plans for Africa.” He had supported and collaborated with the White South African regime that brutally killed Black South Africans, notably in the infamous Sharpville massacre.
Kissinger was particularly angered by Cuba’s victory in Angola against the South African regime, which was largely led by Black Cuban soldiers. When South Africa could not manage a military victory, it agreed to the New York accord, in which South Africa agreed to cease military aggressions and Cuba agreed to withdraw from Angola, factors that later contributed to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
One of the first countries Mandela visited upon his release from apartheid’s Robben Island prison was Cuba. He went to personally thank Fidel Castro for his nation’s support. Sweden was another major supporter that provided financial wherewithal which allowed the ANC to have a presence in both Europe and the United States. Swedish support for the ANC may have been a contributing factor to Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme’s assassination.
It is unlikely that apartheid would have ended in South Africa in the short run without Sweden’s financial support for the ANC and the critical military victory in the battle of Cuita Cuanavale in Angola led by Black Cuban soldiers.
The New York Times article illustrates that Kissinger was a handmaiden to the South African apartheid regime and to the neoliberal agenda He should be condemned for his anti-Black policies.
Edward L. Palmer is Co-Chair of the Peoples Programme International.