Erasmo Calzadilla

Location of Cuba (red), Angola (green), and South Africa (blue)
Location of Cuba (red), Angola (green), and South Africa (blue).

HAVANA TIMES — After Fidel Castro decided to take part in the war in Angola in the mid 1970s, any Cuban who had the required age and build could see themselves transformed into an internationalist soldier overnight. Thousands lost their lives in that war and no few returned home with incurable traumas.

The apparent aim of Cuba’s intervention was to repel the South African invaders. It was no secret, however, that “our” forces favored the red wing of the warring Angolan factions.

Ironically, almost two decades after the war, the African nation is heading in a direction diametrically opposed to socialism – and many Cubans want to jump on the wagon of the prosperity afforded by this Third-World-styled capitalism.

But it’s not that easy. When Angola entered its deadly war, the Cuban leadership organized the recruitment process in such a way that even the humblest man from the sticks could “win the lottery.”

Today, however, when Angola is offering well-paid jobs and the possibility of getting oneself out of poverty, Cuba’s bureaucracy handles matters with the utmost secrecy. I have a ton of friends and acquaintances that want to sign up but don’t know who has the list, what door to knock on, what office they’re handing out the cake in.

Shouldn’t the Cuban media provide people with clear information about the possibility to return to an Angola of opportunities? Or do the elite prefer to keep the hen of the golden eggs a secret?

If any reader knows anything about this, please post a comment, so we can all get in on what’s going on.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

6 thoughts on “Cubans after a Piece of the Angolan Pie

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