The 27-year-long Angolan civil war was also an international crossroads of the Cold War as well as a regional resource war, involving Cuba, the Soviet Union, Zaire, South Africa, and the U.S. When it was over, Namibia was independent, apartheid had fallen, Angola was a nation, and the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Through music, interviews, and historical radio clips, producer Ned Sublette, author of Cuba and Its Music, tells the story of Cuba’s massive commitment in Africa, from the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the subsequent independence of Congo, to the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. We talk to guest scholar Piero Gleijeses, foreign policy specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and author of Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa 1959-1976 and the forthcoming Visions of Freedom, and to Marissa Moorman, author of the forthcoming Tuning in to Nation: Radio, State Power, and the Cold War in Angola, 1933-2002, who will share with us rare archival recordings. We’ll talk to Cuban trovador Tony Pinelli, who traveled in a brigada artística playing music for Cuban soldiers and for Angolans, and to Angolan composer, instrument builder and musicologist, Victor Gama, who traveled in remote areas of the interior recording music. And from Cuba, Angola, Zaire and Portugal, we hear some of the music that accompanied the struggle.
First aired December 2012