Africa Notes: Cuba and Mozambique - December 1987
December 28, 1987
When Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North presented his "freedom fighter" slide show to potential Contra patrons, he sandwiched between photos of Soviet submarines and Contra graves a chart purporting to identify the location of "Cuban troops" worldwide. Mozambique was prominently featured, with the figure "700" alongside. In a similar vein, conservative U.S. media routinely refer to the presence of "Cuban troops" in Mozambique, and depict a "pro-Soviet dictatorship" supported by Cuban "military, secret police, and other personnel." These claims, and others of the same genre, warrant examination. Is the underlying assumption that Cuba acts as a Soviet tool in Mozambique supported by the historical record? Precisely what is the nature of the Cuban-Mozambican relationship, how has it evolved, and where might it lead?