Monday, November 14, 2016

A Thought for Angola
ON November 11 Angola rejoices with the arrival of the biggest celebration of its people

Ernesto J. Gómez Figueredo |
November 14, 2016 14:11:05

A new project has seen Luanda Bay benefit from modern road infrastructure, green spaces and cultural, sports and commercial areas. Photo: Reuters
ON November 11 Angola rejoices with the arrival of the biggest celebration of its people. The population of the African nation commemorates the historic moment in which they managed to break the chains of Portuguese colonialism, when their first President, Agostinho Neto, proclaimed Angola’s independence in May 1st Square, today Independence Square, 41 years ago.

Following that victory, the Angolan state and people have directed policies toward consolidating the development of the nation and achieving greater prosperity for all its citizens.

This is a day marked with pride for every citizen of Angola, and the entire continent, as it represents the conquest of freedom and the right of the people to choose their own destiny as a sovereign nation, after a period of almost 500 years of colonization and 14 years of armed struggle to achieve national independence.

On the occasion of the celebration, the Angolan Embassy in Havana sent a statement to the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), in recognition of the internationalist fighters who, encouraged by the ideals of freedom and social justice, fought alongside Angolans and prevented foreign forces from stripping this people of their dignity.

“In the context of these celebrations we wish to extol the process of struggle for the social, political and economic development of Angola and the historic significance of relations of friendship and cooperation between our nations, coinciding also with the forty-first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, which are solid in all spheres,” the statement reads.


Angola is today experiencing a new cycle in its history. It is important to highlight the achievements of the country in the most diverse spheres after the end of the war against colonialism that cut short thousands of lives, destroyed important infrastructure, and consequently set back the country’s development.

With a new Constitution approved in 2010, fundamental rights became legally binding, the framework of social and economic rights was expanded, and better defense mechanisms were created, providing greater guarantees to citizens to defend their interests.

Agostinho Neto declaring the independence of Angola in 1975. Photo: Archive
If we analyze the past 15 years, during which Angola not only put an end to an ongoing military conflict, but built an extensive program for the integration and insertion of excluded sectors of the population, today we can state that significant progress has been made.

The current government has programs aimed at poverty reduction, which focus on the care of women and young people, and constitute, in general terms, policies that integrate several socio-professional categories of attention.

At the same time that important infrastructure is built and restored, special attention is given to education and health programs.

The number of children with access to free education has increased, and this challenge has been accompanied by the training of teachers and the construction of schools at all levels, in all corners of the country.

As a result, Angola is a country advancing with an increasing number of young specialists and where women and children have their rights protected and consolidated.

The diversification of the economy is a process of accelerated change and several analysts agree that within a few years, Angola could be launched as an exporting country of agro-industrial products.


Relations between Cuba and Angola are long-standing, be it from the political, diplomatic, economic, military or social point of view.

Today, the two nations have several bilateral projects underway, including cooperation programs in areas such as health, education, higher education, electricity, civil construction, water resources, and fisheries.

In terms of higher education, the Republic of Angola has 2,386 students studying a range of degree courses in universities across Cuba, with a total of 1,185 enrolled in General Medicine and 165 in Education.

Thanks to cooperation programs, there are 3,023 Cubans offering their services in the health sector across the 18 provinces of the African country. This is a profound and diversified relationship.

In terms of diplomatic and political relations, the two nations agree in terms of candidacies and discussions in international fora and platforms, such as in the international fight against terrorism and criminal networks, money laundering, human trafficking and the eradication of epidemics.


The Angolan people and government maintain a spirit of renewal and continuity with specific objectives, to consolidate peace, strengthen democracy, and preserve national unity and cohesion following the civil war that extended from 1975 to 2002.

A new stage in the history of the country is underway, which promotes the development of a participatory and responsible society, while ensuring the political inclusion of all citizens without discrimination.

Angola’s key interest is to find a sustainable way of continuing to build a democratic and lawful state, which is strong, modern, and regulates the nation’s economic and social life, while promoting the development and diversification of the economy and reducing inequalities.

It is crucial that the country create paid and productive employment, raising the skills of workers, and their productivity.

Angola is today combining its forces to ensure the harmonious development of a vast territory, while promoting the strengthening of its role in the regional and international context.

These are the key principles and tasks of this people, who have been the architects of their history, and have the patriotic strength and awareness to build an even greater Angola, not physically, but in terms of their courage in looking toward a promising future.

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