Cuban art gift for historic site of Angola

Luanda -The Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto Memorial, which pays tribute to the first president of Angola, received today a gift of Cuban art to witness the friendship between both peoples.

It is a painting recreating the image of Neto at the time of the foundation of the State in late 1976, when the proclamation of independence was threatened by powerful foreign forces, and the ties with Cuba were opening an unprecedented path of internationalist solidarity.

A spokesperson of the Cuban mission in this capital said that the gift is 'a little contribution' to the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the indepence of Angola (Nov.11, 1975) and the 45 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.

November is especially symbolic for both nations, said ambassador Esther Armenteros at the ceremony, recalling those events, as well as Fidel Castro and Agostinho Neto's leadership, who were close friends and shared revolutionary ideals.

The first Cuban internationalist troops arrived for the first time here in Nov., 1975, in response to a Neto's request, and in that very same month, Angolans and Cubans fought together in the Cabinda and Quifangondo battles against foreign attackers, she recalled.

Armenteros believes that Fidel and Neto were two great men who had an impact on the history of both countries, because they completely devoted their lives to the conquest of freedom, independence and people's welfare, and that legacy, she advised, must be passed down to new generations.

For Antonio Antunes Fonseca, director of the Memorial, the Cuban presence was fundamental not only at the military level. Thanks to that aid Angola could train the necessary leaders to refound the State, since that emancipatory project could not be built on the grounds of colonial heritage, he said.

The official also highlighted cooperation in health, education, economy and other areas, since 'the Cuban presence has been remarkable in all aspects, before and also now,' he summed up.

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