Cuba Mission

RECORDS, 1959, 1976-1994

(bulk dates, 1990-1994 )

6 Boxes (.75 linear meters)




ACQUISITION: ANC Archive Committee

ACCESS: The collection is open.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Located in box 5.

VISUAL MATERIAL: Video Collection is on archives shelves. See separate Audio/Visual Finding Aid.

AUDIO MATERIAL: Audio Collection is on archives shelves. See separate Audio/Visual Finding Aid.PRINTED MATERIAL: Located in boxes 1 – 3.

COPYRIGHT: ANC Archive Committee

PROCESSED BY: Arrangement and description done under the auspices of a joint project between the University of Fort Hare and the University of Michigan. Primary processor, Ed Staples, June 1999. Partially rearranged and reboxed by Sibongile Simelane and Khanyisa Bottoman, June 2003.




Following the banning of the African National Congress (ANC) as an illegal organization in April 1960, the ANC operated underground. The ANC functioned internally as an underground organization and externally as an overseas organization. Oliver Tambo was sent overseas as the ANC acting president general and head of the external mission. External missions were opened in London, Accra, Cairo, and Dar-es-Salaam. Eventually the ANC had offices and representatives in 27 countries by 1990.


The external missions worked to win support for the overthrow of apartheid by promoting the cause of the ANC and urging international economic pressure against the South African government.


The Cuban Mission was established in 1978 with Alex La Guma as the Chief Representative.



Scope and Content Note

The records of the ANC mission in Cuba contain little on the day to day operations of the mission. The records consist mostly of publications and files on anti-Apartheid and Communist organizations, as well as the history of the ANC.


The records are broken up into four series: Diaries, PublicationsSubject Files, and Memorabilia.


The Diaries series (10 cm) consists of one datebook/calendar for the period March through September 1993. The series also contains two condolence books, one for Chris Hani and one for Oliver Tambo, with messages from various embassy officials and staff.


The Publications series consists of Anti-Apartheid publications, South African news publications, and Cuban publications, the bulk of which were published between 1990 and 1993. Many published speeches of Castro are included in this series and include a published version of his “History will Absolve Me” speech given in 1953 and published in 1959. Other Cuban publications of note include an interview with General Raul, as well as several works of literature by Cuban authors: Position One by Norberto Fuentes and Radio Aggression by Emilio Mediavilla.


ANC Publications include HorizonThe Rock, the book ANC SpeaksNewsbriefing, and other miscellaneous publications Have been removed to add to the ANC Special Collection. There is also a run of newsclippings from South Africa. Of interest is a book of poetry by S. Nkondo published by the Congress of South African Writers and Le Rona re Batho: An Account of the 1982 Maseru Massacre written by Phyllis Naidoo and signed by the author.


The Subject Files series consists of many files concerning Latin America, communist, socialist and anti-Imperialist documents and literature, as well as the anti-Apartheid movement. The majority of these files are from the period 1990-1993. The Photographs folder contains a large number of photographs most of which are unidentified. An envelope within this folder is titled “Visit to Cuba by Num. Officials and Handing Over of Donation of Tablets and $2,500 to Cuba from S.A.” and contains photographic documentation of this event. The Photographs folder also contains many prints from the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF). The Press Clippings folder contains copies of press clippings published by the ANC Mission for Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America.


The Memorabilia series (15 cm) consists of three artefacts: a large ANC flag and 2 small Communist Party USA flags.


Box 1

Series I – Diaries

1. Datebook, 1993

2. Condolences to Chris Hani and O.R. Tambo, 1993

3. Condolences to Chris Hani and O.R. Tambo, 1993

Series II – Publications

1. Angola, African Giron by Fidel Castro, 1976

2. Communist Party-USA, 1992-1993

3. Democratic Palestine, 1993

4. Flames of Fury by Sankie Nkondo, 1990

5. History Will Absolve Me by Fidel Castro, 1959


Box 2

6. Interview: Army General Raul Castro to El Sol De Mexico Newspaper, 1993

7. Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1988

8. Land Reform: Analysis, 1991

9. Le Rona re Batho: An Account of the 1982 Maseru Massacre, Phyllis Naidoo, 1992

10. Liberation!, 1990

11. Miscellaneous Publications (Spanish), 1990-1993

12. Miscellaneous Publications (Spanish), 1991 – 1993

13. Negotiation News, 1992-1993

14. Position One by Norberto Fuentes, 1985

15. Radio Aggression by Emilio Mediavilla, 1987


Box 3

16. SA Dialogue, 1992-1993

17. Sanctions-South Africa, 1992-1993

18. Save the Revolution by Fidel Castro, 1990

19. Southern Africa Magazine, 1992

20. United Nations General Assembly, 1979

21. Voter Education Manual, ca.1994

22. World Solidarity, 1992-1993

23. 2nd Congress, Cuba Communist Party, (1980)

Box 4

Series III – Subject Files

1. ANC-Position Papers, n.d., 1991-1992

2. Conferences, 1991-1993

3. Dorkay House, n.d.

4. Education, n.d., 1992

5. Elections, 1992

6. Encuentro Continental (Spanish), 1993

7. El Salvador, 1993

8. FLSN (Sandinista Front for National Liberation)-Nicaragua, 1990

9. International Solidarity Conference, 1993

10. Kasrils, Ronnie-Speech, 1990

11. Miscellaneous, 1992

12. Motsuenyane Commission of Inquiry, 1993

13. Organisation of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1985; 1991; 1993


Box 5

14. Photographs, n.d.

15. Press clippings, 1993-1994, 2000

16. Pretoria Minute, 1990 – 1991

17. Reports, 1990-1993

18. SACP (South African Communist Party), ca.1992

19. Shipanga, Andreas-Testimony, n.d.

20. Suttner, Raymond-Interview, ca.1990


Box 6 [Oversize box]

Series IV – Memorabilia

ANC Flag

Communist Party USA Flag (2)