The Cuban Intervention in Angola

In January 1975, at a meeting held in Kenya, Portugal recognized the MPLA, UNITA, and FNLA as three independent and equal political movements (LOC). A further meeting in Alvor, Portugal, resulted in the agreement of independence on 11 November 1975 with a transitional government in place until that date (LOC). The transitional government, which was an equal unity between all three movements, was sworn in on 31 January 1975 (Smith 66).
Disputes quickly erupted between members of the newly formed government. Pro-western FNLA which was heavily influenced by the United States was at odds with Soviet and Cuban-backed MPLA (LOC). The U.S refused to accept MPLA as a major player in the unity government due to its strong Soviet ties and Marxist inclinations (Smith 69). An arms race began between these two factions leading to the U.S. funding UNITA for the first time (LOC). Fighting which initially began in Luanda spread to the entire country. In July 1975, in response to a request by MPLA leader Antonio Neto to provide support against international imperialism, Cuba set up four centers for military training in Angola (CIA). On 11 August 1975, Cuban Major Raúl Diaz Argüelles proposed to Fidel Castro a military intervention in Angola comprising of 94 men (George 64).
This number eventually increased to 500. South Africa which was supporting FNLA and UNITA had deployed forces in Angola and launched a military operation of 300 troops on October 23 (LOC). This number was raised to 10,000 troops and managed to gain much territory in Southern Angola which was previously under MPLA control and eventually reached within 100 km of Luanda (LOC).