12 December 2006

Polo Cinta Frias

SACP GS Dr Blade Nzimande addressed the Stakeholders’ Forum of the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Cape Town yesterday. His address was a major review of the central place of education within the general struggle against Imperialism, which is the proper way to understand the role of education in the world at this time. Let us hope that it woke up the Commonwealth delegates, so that they were reminded of the historical nature of their task. See the article linked below.

“Polo” Cinta Frias is a name that is little-known to South Africans yet this Cuban military commander played a major role in our history. His is our Marshal Zhukov, the military victor over fascism in our part of the world and the commander who, more than any other, secured our peace. But if you listened to Moeletsi Mbeki talking about that history you might not think so. Mbeki used the occasion of COSATU’s 21st anniversary celebrations in Boksburg last week to argue that the apartheid regime had “hard power”. We as the liberation movement had no more than “soft power” according to Mbeki, and were only saved by the US Black Caucus and the “Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act”.

We learned on the same occasion that comrade Cinta Frias, the commander of the Angola southern front at the time of Cuito Cuanavale, may be coming to the inauguration of the Freedom Park Wall of Remembrance (Sikhumbuto) in Pretoria on Saturday, December 16th, the day that for the last few years has been officially called the Day of Reconciliation, and which was once known as Dingaan’s Day.

See the second link below for some idea of the role played by Comrade Cinta Frias and the Cubans in the direct military defeat of the racist South African Defence Force and the consequent liberation of Southern Africa, including South Africa. The document includes excerpts from Cde Fidel Castro Ruz on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the first Cuban expeditionary force to Angola in 1976 and the 49th anniversary of the landing of the “Granma” in Cuba, on 2 December 2005.

Let us hope that the truth and the whole truth will be told on Saturday when the wall is handed over to Moeletsi Mbeki’s brother Thabo in the latter’s capacity as representative, for the time being, of the nation. The working-class component of the struggle against apartheid must not be forgotten, and that includes the proletarian internationalist contribution of our brothers and sisters, the Cubans. See the last link below for the only small announcement of this event we have seen so far.

Part of the educational struggle over Imperialism that Comrade Blade Nzimande talks about must surely be the restoration of our history to its rightful place in the minds of the people. Since there is very little on the Internet in English about comrade Cinta Frias, and no images that we have been able to discover, let us recall Marshall Zhukov, the Soviet victor over Nazi fascism, and also the recent victors over Israeli colonialist fascism, with an image of Hassan Nasrallah, appropriately displayed at one of the huge demonstrations that have been taking place in Lebanon in recent days.

Click on these links:

Rebuild mass fronts for educational transformation, Blade Nzimande (4216 words)

Excerpts in memory of our Cuban comrades (1212 words)

Freedom Wall to be handed over to Mbeki, SABC (232 words)


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