In Ethiopia, huge civilian and military parades have been held to mark the fourth anniversary of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie.
MV Cuban President Fidel Castro steps down from plane at airport. and is greeted by Ethiopian Head of State, Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam.
MV Dr. Castro and Colonel Mengistu taking salute and reviewing guard of honour. (2 SHOTS)
MV Dr. Castro greeting Soviet army officers and civilians. (2 SHOTS)
GV Colonel Mengistu addressing crowd at celebrations in Revolution Square.
MV Crowd listening.
GV Revolution Square with banner of Lenin.
MV Workers marching in Revolution Square, carrying red flags. (3 SHOTS)
MV Dr. Castro and Colonel Mengistu looking on as workers give gymnastic display. (3 SHOTS)
GV Dr. Castro and Colonel Mengistu watching as troops march past. (3 SHOTS)
MV Dr. Castro and Colonel Mengistu looking on as women soldiers march past carrying rifles. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: In Ethiopia, huge civilian and military parades have been held to mark the fourth anniversary of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie. Ethiopia is now ruled by a military control (Dergue) headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. The country once relied on the United States for military training and arms, but last-year Ethiopia turned to the Soviet Union and its allies for support. The massive military hardware the Ethiopians have since received went on display in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday (13 September), eyewitnesses reported. New tanks, missiles and heavy artillery were reported to be on show.
SYNOPSIS: Among the foreign leaders who travelled to Addis Ababa for the occasion was President Fidel Castro of Cuba. He was greeted at the airport on Tuesday (12 September) by the Ethiopian Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu, and accorded a hero's welcome by the crowd.
According to Western Intelligence sources, Dr. Castro supplied some 17,000 Cuban troops to assist Ethiopia fight off a Somali invasion last March. About 13,000 are still believed to be in the country and up to 2,000 of them have been reported in Eritrea where Ethiopia is trying to end a 17-year secessionist rebellion. At a ceremony later in the day, Colones Mengistu presented the Star of Great Honour decoration to his Cuban guest.
The Soviet Union has also sent a strong delegation, headed by First Vice President, Vasily Kuznetsov. Dr. Castro met the party soon after his arrival. Just a few hours previously, he had held talks with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin during a stopover in Moscow on his way to Ethiopia.
In a major address in the capital's Revolution Square, Colones Mengistu heaped lavish praise on the Cubans but was sharply critical of China who he accused of supplying arms to the Eritrean rebels and to Somalia. Ethiopians have reportedly been speculating for months on the likelihood of an announcement of the formation of a Workers' Party to take over power from the present military council. But there was no mention of such a party in the Colonel's speech.
Several thousand civilians from organisations set up in the four years since the overthrow of Haile Selassie marched through the streets of Addis Ababa and gave gymnastic displays.
Colonel Mengistu told the crowds that the armed forces remained necessary until a classless Ethiopian Society was created. There were no Cuban troops in Tuesday's small military march past, nor in the major parade the next day. Diplomatic sources believe Dr. Castro may again be trying during his visit to promote a political solution to the Horn of Africa conflict.