On occasion Rafael Rodriquez, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that while it was clear that Cuba had a close relationship with Russia, they did not depend on Russian assistance when Cuba sent the first soldiers to Angola.
Castro himself claimed that the “imperialists” were not able to understand why Cuba went to fight in Angola, because, unlike the “imperialists, Cuba was not interested in “oil, or copper, or diamonds, or any other mineral resources”. According to him it was merely the case that Cuba could not passively sit and watch an African nation, “a sister-nation”, being gobbled up by the imperialists and being “brutally attacked by South Africa”. (As quoted in English by G.S. Labuschagne, “Moscow and Angola”, Salvo, July 1977, p.14)
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