CIA operations in Angola
According to former CIA operative John Stockwell:
- The propaganda output from Lusaka was voluminous and imaginative, if occasionally beyond credibility. In late September, Lusaka news stories began to charge that Soviets were advising MPLA forces inside Angola. This was at first a plausible line and Lusaka kept it going. Certainly Soviet advisors might have been inside Angola, although we had no evidence to that effect. The world press dutifully picked up Lusaka’s stories of Soviet advisors, while we at headquarters watched nervously, preferring that propaganda ploys have at least some basis in fact … Another Lusaka fabrication accused Cuban soldiers of committing atrocities in Angola. It mentioned rape and pillage. Then its stories became more specific, “reporting” a (totally fictitious) incident in which Cuban soldiers had raped some Ovimbundu girls. Subsequently it wrote that some of those same soldiers had been captured and tried before a tribunal of Ovimbundu women. Lusaka kept this story going endlessly throughout the program. Later Caryle Murphy, a Washington Post stringer who had covered Luanda, told me the Cuban soldiers had universally fallen in love with Angola and were singularly well-behaved. The only atrocity we were able to document had Cubans victims rather then criminals. Sixteen Cuban soldiers captured in October were executed by UNITA soldiers at the end of the war.
- John Stockwell, former CIA chief of Angola ‘task force’, Stockwell, 1978: 194-195.