In 1991 former President Nelson Mandela made Cuba his first foreign destination to pay an official visit to after his release. During this visit he remarked in an address in Havana (Cuba):
“The defeat of the racist army at Cuito Cuanavale has made it possible for me to be here today! Cuito Cuanavale is a milestone in the history of the struggle for Southern African liberation!”
From 1987 to 1988, shielded from the international media and therefore largely unreported, the town of Cuito Cuanavale suffered under siege for over ten months in one of the biggest, and what turned out to be the last battles of the Cold War.
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