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The handshake

nHistorical context gives insight into actions at Mandela memorial

William Covington | 12/12/2013, midnight

Ayuko remembers during that time Africans in Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia, and South Africa were being slaughtered by the South African military. The South African government was receiving arms financed by the Saudis and funneled to South Africa’s government through a deal brokered by President Richard Nixon called the “Nixon Doctrine.”

Countries like South Africa were included in the Nixon Doctrine according to Global Research, and the Saudis acted as their conduit.

The documentation gathered by the anti-apartheid forces was to be presented to the United Nations.

They were eventually able to present their evidence to the UN, Ayuko noted.

Ayuko believes Cuba’s military involvement in overthrowing apartheid was significant, however the true primary sponsor of the anti-apartheid war was Nigeria. The country of Nigeria played a major role in training anti-apartheid freedom fighters. Substantial support also came from Libya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Tanzania, Guinea, Ethiopia and China.


When Ayuko and the rest of the volunteers landed in Guinea in 1973, they were overwhelmed by the large number of Soviet military transports that came in from Cuba, refueled and took off again heading south, presumably to Angola. They were informed by Guinea locals that the Soviet transports contained Cubans soldiers going south to help end apartheid and imperialism.

Ayuko made it a point to mention that while watching Mandela’s memorial, he noted that Castro was introduced as this brother from a small island who defeated the South African army. Castro was the last dignitary to eulogize Mandela, and Ayuko called that fact “significant.”

Castro’s attendance at Mandela’s memorial service was no fluke. America was well aware of the connection between the anti-apartheid fighters and the communist island nation.

On April 1, 2002, the National Security Archive made public a selection of secret Cuban government documents which detailed Cuba’s policies and involvement in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. According to the documents, then Cuban President Fidel Castro made a decision to send troops to Rhodesia without informing the Soviet Union, and consequently in essence, Cuba became the first country to directly attack apartheid. This is contrary to what has been widely alleged by media over the years. (The Pan African Film Festival will show the film “Cuba and the African Odyssey” during it’s 2014 screenings.)

The media has said that the conflicts in Rhodesia and Angola were individual wars. However, according to Ayuko, who was in constant communication with individuals involved in the struggle, the battles were actually one huge, coordinated war fighting the imperialist and colonial regimes in Africa. The war did not end until South Africa gave in and Mandela was freed.

But even as the majority of the American people came to oppose South Africa’s apartheid regime, President Ronald Reagan stood by the country.

African American leaders and organizations pressured Congress to take action and ultimately it passed sanctions against South Africa. True to form, Reagan vetoed the bill. But to Reagan’s shame, Congress overrode the veto. In 1981, President Reagan tried to convince the world how a apartheid South Africa preserved U.S. welfare in that part of the world.