Dear Comrade General Secretary of the CPC,
The African National Congress, its leadership and entire membership as well as supporters and people of South Africa would like to take this opportunity to renew the bonds of friendship between our two parties.
The friendship between Communist the Party of Cuba (CPC) and the African National Congress (ANC) is as old as the struggle against imperialism in all facets – slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and apartheid. Our countries could never have been liberated if all peace-loving humanity was not on the same side.
The imperialist forces also formed alliances but were defeated because oppression of others cannot be justified by any means. The power of superior arms and wealth has their limitations for they are always employed to thwart progress.
We particularly wish to acknowledge this friendship of progressive forces in this month of July, which marks the 61st Anniversary of the raid on the Moncada Barracks in 1953, a campaign that is to the Cuban revolution what the sabotage campaign was to the ANC in the 1960`s at the beginning of the armed struggle against apartheid.
We actually have one of our Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) detachments named the Moncada Detachment. This is after throngs of young people especially students from all over South Africa joined the ANC and MK to fight the scourge in our country that was condemned as a crime against humanity by the United Nations.
The friendship between the CPC and the ANC is not accidental. When one considers that at some point in history the British colonised Cuba even for a brief period, it becomes clear that the bond between our peoples and parties was inevitable.
Like Cuba, South Africa changed hands between the Dutch and British the same way Cuba did between the Brits and the Spanish. We are working very hard to educate our people about this bond and the trials and tribulations of the Cuban revolution. In a tradition began by the likes of Jose Marti, our brother and comrade Fidel Castro and members of the PCC managed to lead Cuba to freedom.
From as early as 1962, despite difficulties created by the imperialist forces, Cuba offered South Africans much needed military and academic training. Our people have benefited – and continue to do so – from the medical services that Cuba has always excelled in.
In fact, your country and government have assisted thousands of people on the African continent and elsewhere in this regard. In all our formations including the trade union movements in both our countries, we have weathered the storms.
The women of Cuba led by the Federacion de las Mujeres Cubanas (FMC) joined hands with women of South Africa led by Women`s Section of the ANC at the United Nations International Conference of Women in Mexico in 1975.
At this conference the condemnation of apartheid as a crime against humanity was reiterated and the suspension of the racist regime from the General Assembly of the UN was sealed. Together as members of the Women`s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) that was based in Berlin, capital of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), our women fought for the peace, equality and development for all humanity.
Our youth also joined forces in the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and popularised the struggle in Southern Africa, educated the world on the justness of armed struggle and the support Cuba offered to Angola when the latter was forced into a war of attrition by the most powerful country, the United States and its proxy, racist South Africa.
They continue to call it a civil war but we know that they helped the forces that could not liberate Angola as they were tribally based and lacked the mass support from the majority of the people of that country. The imperialist forces and South Africa were only interested in the continued exploitation of the wealth of Angola – in this regard, the oil and diamonds were what they were after.
Democracy and self-determination for the people of Angola was secondary – if they could not topple the victorious MPLA and install a puppet regime, they were bent on destroying the country completely. However, in the true spirit of internationalism, the Cuban people honoured the request by Agostino Neto, the founding president of liberated Angola to assist them in their moment of need.
We do not forget the great battle of Cuito Canavale where the myth of the invincibility of the might of racist South Africa was shuttered once and for all. The military skills of the cadres of both SWAPO and ANC trained by the Cubans sent the racists packing.
The “Stalin Organ” or Katusha was so devastating it sent them running helter skelter all over the place. The South African Defense Force (SADF) was forced out and had to face the nation – albeit the white minority – to explain the body bags to parents and loved ones of the young men who had fallen illegally outside the borders of their country.
Their grip on illegally occupied Namibia slipped away and the way was paved for the liberation of South Africa. The ANC was absolved by history as the unrelenting force for liberation and peace.
In our quest to strengthen and consolidate our democracy, we still rely on the PCC`s willingness and ability to hold our hand against all odds.
The ANC will continue to work closely with your party collaborating in all aspects of development and peace. As Vladimir I Lenin stated, “taking power is easy the challenge is keeping it.” Demands on our 20-year-old democracy are many and varied.
The glaring inequality and abject poverty of the majority of South Africans did not come in 1994. This is the legacy of centuries of oppression and deprivation.
Among our people the protracted Cuban struggle against the US economic blockade is seen as a proud display of unfettered patriotism. We unreservedly support the international democratic forces for the unconditional liberation of the Cuban Five from United States prisons.
Liberated Cuba has never faltered; instead it is growing in stature and proving its enemies wrong. Increasingly braver prouder nations are rallying around Cuba by increasing trade and encouraging other peace-loving countries to do likewise will remain primary. We salute countries like the Russian Federation, which has recently made important steps towards economic collaboration with Cuba.