Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cuba: An African Odyssey

“We always said, ‘All we’ll bring out of Angola is our comrades’ remains. We won’t take any oil, diamonds or anything. Only the remains of our dead comrades.’ ”  Jorge Risquet

Last night I saw a wonderful documentary, Cuba: An African Odyssey. It told the story of Cuba’s decades long support for liberation movements in Africa. The story spans some thirty years, from the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba to the end of South African apartheid.

After watching the film, I had feelings of anger and embarrassment. I always feel this way when I realize the enormity of the lies and propaganda I have been fed my entire life.

Our government and the wealthy and powerful work hand in hand with the corporate media to keep us uninformed.  The specter of white supremacy is also a factor in the misleading of people in the telling of history. I was raised to read the paper and/or watch the news every day, but despite all my years of reading newspapers, I did not know that the Cubans were instrumental in freeing Nelson Mandela from imprisonment.

The Cubans agreed to leave Angola if the South Africans agreed to leave Namibia. The Cubans also demanded that Mandela be released. That important fact of history was left out of news reports of the day.

In other words, the New York Times and Washington Post and CBS and CNN lied to the world. Omissions are lies just as much as misstatements of fact are also lies. I was never told that Cubans attempted to continue Lumumba’s revolution in the Congo, or that Che Guevara led a command there, or that the Soviets attempted to dissuade the Cubans from their African involvements.

I suppose it isn’t my fault, but as a writer and a leftist who claims to have knowledge others do not, I still get very angry about the propaganda bombardment I and millions of others have been subjected to.

A luta continua.