At the time of the revolution, the Portuguese communist party was backed-up by the Soviet Union and independence was meant to put a pro-Soviet government in all Portuguese colonies.

This failed in Timor and Macau and cost the Angolans more than one million lives in less than one year.

In 1979 the World was very much polarised towards the USA and USSR and the confrontations that took place in Angola reflect this fact.

Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Moçambique are the countries that cover the south coast of Africa and the so-called Cape Route.

If the Suez Canal is blocked, all traffic from the oil-rich countries in the Middle East and South East Asia to Europe and the USA can be easily stopped by the country that controls the Cape Route.

The other strategy point about South Africa is that a very large percentage of the world reserves of titanium exists in this part of the World.

The USA, although alerted about these facts, was haunted with the shadow of Vietnam and were very cautious about their involvement in Angola.

In the initial stages of the independence war, the Russians sent in the Cubans to help the MPLA and the USA the South Africans to back Unita and FNLA.

Two months after the war started Unita and FNLA controlled most of the country with the exception of the capital, Luanda.

When Russia threatened to escalate the war if the South Africans moved into the capital, The Americans ordered the South African army out and the Cubans and their masters moved in.

Pontal do Sul

Old Lady - Dima 1973


War Damage- Silva Porto 1996

Pontal do Sul

Guerrilla Base - Mema Okusivala 1972


Carcarodon Carcarias - Our boat to flee from Angola, Lobito 1978

When the independence came we, Angolans thought we were going to be able to decide our own destiny. How naïve we were… we only changed masters but jumped from the pan to the fire.

For 6 month Angola was the theater of a war with a different meaning depending upon which side you were in:

•  A tribal war involving the three major tribes which still to be resolved,

•  A political war between Cubans and South Africans representing their Masters in the geopolitical chess game.

The dreadful aspects of this war can better be equated by looking at the war statistics:

•  In 14 years of guerrilla war between Portugal and the parties representing the three major tribes, approximately 55,000 people lost their lives. As always the majority were women, children and old people.

•  In six months of the post-independence war, more than one million people died.

The waste of human lives was horrendous even for us used to the problems of the war.

Angola, like other countries in Africa and some parts of the World, suffers the effect of the external interferences in their business.

When the so-called Civilized World in Europe decided to partition Africa in the last century, and mainly due to ignorance, they did not consider the tribes living in there and their area of influence. For the Europeans, they were all Blacks.

Angola in its actual format contains 17 major tribes which, although all “Blacks”, like each other as much as the French like the British, the Indians the Pakistanis and the Iraquis the Iranians.