INTRODUCTION: The Soviet President, Mr. Nikolai Podgorny, continued his African tour on Sunday (27 March)?
INTRODUCTION: The Soviet President, Mr. Nikolai Podgorny, continued his African tour on Sunday (27 March) with a visit to the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.
SYNOPSIS: Poised on the divide between black and white ruled Africa, the Soviet President gazed across the spectacular falls to the Rhodesian battle ground where Soviet armed guerrillas are fighting the minority government of Prime Minister Ian Smith.
It was a tranquil scene but the tranquillity was deceptive. The guerrillas, some of whom use southern Zambia as a point of entry into Rhodesia, have pledged to step up their war. President Podgorny has promised them "all necessary aid". His visit was thus seen as having great symbolic value for Moscow's commitment of support for the guerrillas.
It was the closest a Kremlin leader has come to Rhodesian soil and President Podgorny told his hosts that the Soviet Union would not rest until "colonial oppression" in southern Africa was overthrown. The commitment to war was echoed by President Kaunda. He said the guerrillas wanted arms because peace had been blocked by racism, Fascism and colonialism."