The Cuban Vice-President, Mr. Carlos Rodriguez, has told the U.N. General Assembly that Cuba had?
The Cuban Vice-President, Mr. Carlos Rodriguez, has told the U.N. General Assembly that Cuba had nothing whatever to do with the Katangan invasion of Zaire's Shaba Province. He emphatically denied that Cuban troops trained the invaders or took any part in the bloodshed at Kolwezi.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Rodiguez was speaking in the debate on disarmament. He described American accounts of Cuba's involvements as "impudently repeated lies", and denied that Cuba had any political ties with the aggressors. Mr. Rodriguez said he could reaffirm before the Assembly that not only were there no Cubans involved in the action, but Cuba did not even supply the weapons. He said Cuban soldiers went abroad at the request of people concerned about the sovereignty and independence of their countries. They were providing examples of courage, discipline and high-level technology, not promoting conflicts.
Mr. Rodriguez also took the opportunity to link Western Powers with the South African incursion into Angola early this month. He said America and the West were partly to blame because they tolerated the racist Government of South Africa.
He further hinted that the West might more directly support a South African move against Angola, but for the presence of a Cuban "deterrent" there. Despite Mr. Rodriguez' denial of Cuban involvement in Zaire, counter claims flowed from yet another source. Speaking in the same debate, Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua said the people of Zaire were now repulsing a mercenary invasion engineered by the Soviet Union and Cuba. He said this was the second time the Russians had organised an assault on Zaire by mercenaries, and repeated earlier claims that Russia provided the most dangerous source of a new World War.