Africa Notes: Keeping Namibian Independence on Track: The Cuban Factor - October 1989
October 23, 1989
Since the implementation of the United Nations' independence plan for Namibia began on April1, 1989, two crises have temporarily threatened to derail the process. Although Cuba had both the means and the opportunity to exacerbate each of these situations, it refrained from doing so, and in one case worked in parallel with the United States to repair the damage. Havana followed this course because keeping the transition timetable on track serves its national interest. As the Namibian process moves forward, and Angolan national reconciliation negotiations continue to seesaw, more crises are inevitable. An examination of the motivations behind past Cuban responses may help observers and policymakers anticipate Havana's reaction to future hiccups.