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04-Nov-2015 10:57

Following the retreat of Zaire and South Africa, Cuban forces remained in Angola to support the MPLA government against UNITA in the continuing Angolan Civil War.In 1988, Cuban troops intervened again to avert military disaster in a Soviet-led People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) offensive against UNITA, which was supported by South Africa, leading to the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the opening of a second front.

After smooth negotiations, Mozambique's independence was granted on 25 June 1975, but Angolan control remained disputed between the three rival independence movements: MPLA, FNLA and UNITA in Angola-proper and Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) in Cabinda.By Keith Porter Title: former president, Cuba Served: 1959-2008 Succeeded: Fulgencio Batista Previous Positions: Lawyer Date of Birth: August 13, 1926 Place of Birth: Oriente Province, Cuba Education: University of Havana Law School Military Service: Military leader of revolutionary forces which gained control of Cuba in 1959. Quote: "The truth is that after several decades of neoliberalism, the rich are becoming increasingly richer while the poor are both more numerous and increasingly poorer." --Fidel Castro, 2000Relationship with the United States: U. In 1961, Cuban exiles with tacit support from the United States attempted to overthrow Castro in an episode known as "The Bay of Pigs." Castro and his relationship with the Soviet Union led to a nuclear showdown with the United States in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy severed diplomatic ties with Cuba, including an embargo on trade, shortly after Castro took power in 1959.In November 1975, on the eve of Angola's independence, Cuba launched a large-scale military intervention in support of the leftist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) against United States-backed interventions by South Africa and Zaire in support of two other liberation movements competing for power in the country, the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).The country soon fell apart into different spheres of influence, the FNLA taking hold of northern Angola and UNITA in the central south.

The MPLA mostly held the coastline, the far south-east and, in November 1974 gained control of Cabinda.

The disunity of the three main movements postponed the handing over of power.

Until independence, the independence movements' priority lay in fighting the colonial power and they initially had no clear alliances.

With the disappearance of Portugal as their common foe, ethnic and ideological rivalries moved to the fore.

Fighting between the three already broke out in November 1974, starting in Luanda and quickly spreading across all of Angola.

The new leftist Portuguese government showed little interest in interfering but often favored the MPLA.