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Contrapuntos Latino Africanos: Operation Antonio Maceo and the Mists of Benguela Bay

Christabelle Peters


This essay provides a phenomenological analysis of Operation General Antonio
Maceo, the Cuban military offensive that took place in southern Angola between
January and April 1976 to ensure that South African troops retreated toward
Namibia. By peeling away the historical, social and cultural contexts layered
around the symbolism of the “Bronze Titan” (António Maceo), I reveal the
structures and meanings interwoven into the concept of Latin African that
Fidel Castro articulated as the historical-biological-cultural imperative that
legitimated Havana’s decision to send thousands of Cuban internationalists to
Angola shortly after the outbreak of that country’s civil war. This approach
allows us to read the operation as a retelling of national life and unveils the
more shaded qualities of collective experience that might otherwise elude us.

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Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.