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Monday, January 25, 2021
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Operation Carlota, a benchmark in Cuban history

By Yeilén Delgado Calvo / Granma.

Ignacio loves a woman. There is nothing extraordinary about him. Enjoy poetry. He loves his friends with fidelity. He is a military man and is passionate about his career. 

Now she, his Amalia, is thousands of miles away, with the child growing slowly in her womb. There is no time to read, and he is just a soldier who puts all his senses in combat, and in preserving his life, and that of the friends who are also there.

Ignacio sailed from Cuba to Angola with a conviction born of honor and a clean vocation for the just. When an enemy machine gun blast breaks through his chest, it becomes clear that you don't have to be from another world to become a hero; that the son, the beloved, the friends, the Island… will raise up a perpetual monument of gratitude and veneration.

In real life Ignacio did not exist, but yes. In this character of the mythical television series Something more than dreaming, the delivery of the more than two thousand Cubans who died due to internationalism, as part of Operation Carlota, and those who returned home with the indelible mark of the war is represented.

When, 45 years ago, troops left Cuba to support the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, an astonishing military epic began. The nation was shocked by the nation that was not marching to the fray to obtain dividends, but to sustain a foreign independence and territorial integrity. That is why attempts to tarnish that episode in world history have failed miserably.

Between November 5, 1975 and 1991, around 300,000 Cuban military personnel and 50,000 civilian collaborators made altruism a daily page in Angola. The gloomy support to the invaders, on the part of the United States of America and the Central Intelligence Agency, was completely insufficient before the courage in combat and the ingenious military strategy.

The defeat of the South African invasion, the liberation of Namibia and the elimination of apartheid are significant balances of that epic, with a positive impact on millions of lives, and which had an unparalleled driver in Fidel.

One of the participants recounted that when the Commander in Chief dismissed them, he honestly explained to them that many would not return, and that the hardest thing was to say so and not accompany them. His responsibility to Cuba prevented him from going to the theater of operations; however, and because of that feeling of commitment, he followed the contest minute by minute, and knew with surprising precision every detail of the terrain.

A whole generation of Cubans grew up alongside the feat that took the principles of internationalism, took them out of the manuals and made them vibrate with fire and blood. The revolutionary effervescence, the Guevarian influence and solidarity were mixed as pillars of a country that is humanity.

Decisive was the military contribution; However, according to Raúl, the glory and the supreme merit belong to the Cuban people: the one who offered their children, cared for the orphans, and even today honors those who died, sustains mothers, and embraces the combatants.

Do not forget, that is the most fruitful tribute, because, as the Army General assured then, from Angola, only Cuba would take a close friendship, thanks, and the mortal remains of the fallen. That's how it went.

The dancer, the domino fanatic, the storyteller, the writer, the lover, the shy ... there were so many Ignacio and there are, sometimes anonymous to their neighbors, but, forever, marked on the map of the pride of Cuba, the one who it is drawn by dint of courage and detachments. (Photo: Granma Archive)