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International symposium on Cuba’s role in ending apartheid in South Africa
September 27 & 28, University of Toronto

"The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice unparalleled for its principled and selfless character.”
- Nelson Mandela, July 26th , 1991 –

The two-day symposium, Africa’s Unknown War: Apartheid Terror, Cuba & Southern Africa Liberation, commemorates the 25th anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, a landmark in the struggle for African independence & self-determination: the decisive defeat in Angola of the racist armed forces of the apartheid South African state by combined Cuban and Angolan troops. This led to the immediate independence of Namibia and accelerated the end of racist rule in South Africa. These events and Cuba's extensive & crucial role in the struggle against apartheid South Africa, however, remain virtually unknown in the West. Also forgotten is the apartheid regime’s regional war of terror, which set the context of Cuba’s intervention, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars of economic damage.

The symposium is being held at the William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street, University of Toronto. The symposium features visiting scholars and activists from Cuba and elsewhere who participated in Cuba’s anti-apartheid action. The event begins at 7pm, Friday, September 27 with the film screening of Brothers and Sisters Keeper: Cuba and Southern African Liberation, followed by panel discussion and reception. On the following day, Saturday, September 28, the program continues from 8:30am – 5pm with a series of panels and keynote presentations on the following topics: Apartheid's War of Terror; Cuban and Southern African Liberation; The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale & Legacies of the Liberation Struggle.

Featured speakers include: *Jorge Risquet (Cuba’s chief diplomat in Africa in the 1970s-80s); *John Saul (internationally acclaimed scholar and anti-apartheid activist); *Silvio Baró (scholar of Cuban foreign policy and former member of Cuba’s mission to Angola); *Piero Gleijeses (Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy and Johns Hopkins University, and 2005 Guggenheim Fellow); *Prexy Nesbitt (former representative of the MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) in the United States).

Sponsors include: University of Toronto (African Studies, Caribbean Studies Program & New College): CUPW; Chair of Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University; USW; A Different Booklist; Canadian Network On Cuba; Group for Research and Initiative in the Liberation of Africa.

For more information please you can contact Isaac Saney ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; tel. 902-494-153); Melanie Newton ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; tel. 416-978-4054); Miguel san Vincente ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; tel. 416-538-0889) |