As scheduled, 38 years ago, on November 11, 1975, MPLA’s (the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) Agostinho Neto, from Luanda, officially proclaimed Angola’s independence. He was not alone. Holden Roberto, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) leader, was declaring it from Ambriz, while UNITA’s (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) Jonas Savimbi was professing as much from Nova Lisboa (now, Huambo). A sign of things to come. So it would be naive to dedicate a post to the occasion. Instead, here’s a song by the unapologetic Santocas (easily recognizable, although the single, released by MPLA’s DIP – Department of Information and Propaganda with ref# S002, was issued without any credits – btw, more on Santocas in future posts) that epitomizes not only Angola’s but also the world’s conflicts. “O Massacre de Kifangondo” refers to a complex and decisive battle that took place just a day before these events, on November 10, 1975, involving FNLA’s forces aided by the Zairean and South-African armies, and the victorious MPLA troops (the FAPLA) backed by Cuban soldiers and Soviet Union officials. Further south, UNITA had the military support of the USA. Yes, all pieces were in place.
Santocas sings that the Kifangondo massacre – allegedly perpetrated by FNLA – will not be forgotten: “These barbarians still rape and torture children/ They’re lackeys paid with American dollars/ These Judas will have to be judged / By the people”. So, Angolans were independent. They were also finding out that the liberator could become the oppressor.