TransAfrica News Report

(Vol. 1, No. 8)
by TransAfrica
with Salih Abdul-Rahim (Editor)
Washington, DC, United States
Winter, 1980/1981
8 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents:  THE U.S. AND AFRICA: 1981-1984 • AFRICA ASKS OF AMERICA: ''ARE YOU WITH US OR AGAINST US?'' • ANGOLA: THE BELEAGUERED NATION • U.S. AID TO AFRICA THREATENED by Mark Wenner • RECENT EVENTS • BLACK ELECTED OFFICIALS TAKE STAND ON SOUTH AFRICA • ACTION ALERTS • TransAfrica, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and other black groups have maintained that U.S. interests in Africa will not suffer from Cuban or Soviet involvement so much as from a lack of a U.S. responsiveness to Africa's priorities of political freedom in southern Africa and economic development throughout Africa. The newsletter includes excerpts from a speech by TransAfrica Executive Director Randall Robinson at the Department of State, February 3, 1980, on the occasion of Black History Month. The U.S. does not recognize the Angolan government; the CIA's intervention in Angola in 1975 severely tarnished the U.S. Image throughout the continent and allied the U.S. with South Africa. U.S. insistence on removal of Cuban troops from Angola as a prerequisite of recognition eliminated the possibility of a constructive U.S. role in Angola, decreasing its influence in the region. The new Reagan administration has hinted at possibly renewing CIA activities in Angola. According to most Angola analysts, such a policy would only be a repeat of past mistakes resulting in an increase in Soviet/Cuban influence in southern Africa. Robinson attended the African American Institute (AAI) Conference in Sierra Leone January 8-12 and chaired the closed plenary session on Namibia. At the time of independence from Portugal, in November 1975, foreign intervention in Angola already had exacerbated existing political and military conflicts between the three rival nationalist movements - the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola). After the overthrow of the Salazar regime in Portugal in April 1974, Portugal decided to grant independence to all their African territories and, in January 1975, it worked out the complicated Alvor Accord with the three movements in Angola for a transitional government and elections to lead to independence. This tripartite government collapsed in the summer of 1975. Contrary to the Ford administration's public statements, (which claimed that U.S. intervention in Angola came after, and in response to, a Soviet initiative), the National Security Council's "Forty Committee" on covert intelligence operations decided in January 1975 to provide money and equipment to the FNLA and UNITA. In mid-February, 25 black churches received and posted END U.S. SUPPORT FOR SOUTH AFRICA signs in their church yards. The churches are in Atlanta, Washington, Gary, St. Louis, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, Cleveland, Birmingham, Newark, Boston, Norfolk, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Bridgeport, Detroit, Indianapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Richmond. In response to a request from TransAfrica, 70 black mayors and state legislators in 25 states agreed to introduce legislation calling for divestment of public monies from financial institutions and companies doing business with South Africa. People are asked to tell President Ronald Reagan that the U.S. must pressure South Africa to quickly implement the United Nations Security Council plan for the independence of Namibia through democratic elections. South African aggression against Angola has left 3,000 dead, 3,000 injured, and $7,000 million worth of damage. The newsletter mentions Secretary of State Alexander Haig, the Pan-African Congress Movement, W.E.B. DuBois, David Stockman, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the International Development Association (IDA), the African Development Bank, the Peace Corp, the House and Senate Subcommittees on Africa and their members, Congressman Charles Diggs, the Clark Amendment, P.L. 480, South African attacks on Mozambique and Angola, SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), Jonas Savimbi, Prime Minister P.W. Botha, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Chester Crocker, Richard Allen, and the Wiriyamu massacre. The newsletter includes a letter to the editor from Carolyn Lane in Chicago.
Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers