MONTREAL — The French-language translation of Pathfinder Press’s Our History Is Still Being Written: The Story of Three Chinese Cuban Generals in the Cuban Revolution by Armando Choy, Gustavo Chui and Moisés Sío Wong just rolled off the presses. This new translation adds to the already existing editions in English, Spanish, Farsi and Chinese.
These interviews, conducted from 2002-2005, present a powerful introduction to the Cuban Revolution. They show how Cuba’s workers and farmers were able to change the course of history in their country and around the world, transforming themselves in doing so.
The generals tell how they joined the revolutionary movement led by Fidel Castro as teenagers to help overthrow the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Bastista in 1959 and open the way to a socialist revolution. They also describe the massive Chinese immigration in 19th-century Cuba and how the socialist revolution was “the most important measure to uproot discrimination against Chinese and blacks in Cuba.”
One chapter is devoted to their participation in the internationalist mission Cuba shouldered in Angola from 1975 to 1991, helping to defend that newly independent country against repeated military aggression by the apartheid regime in South Africa and its African allies, with the backing of Washington. This unprecedented effort involved a total of 375,000 volunteer combatants, as well as 50,000 doctors, teachers and other Cubans.
These Cuban forces led the historic defeat of Pretoria’s army in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale from 1987 to 1988 in southern Angola. This turning point gave a boost to embattled workers and youth in South Africa and helped lead to the freeing of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the overthrow of the apartheid regime.
The book contains several chapters describing the responsibilities each general was shouldering when they were interviewed — helping to generalize urban farming across the country in order to face the food shortage that hit Cuba after the collapse of trade relations when the Soviet Union imploded in the early 1990s; organizing the decontamination of Havana Bay; and organizing former Cuban military officers to transmit the lessons of their revolutionary experiences. Their goal was to strengthen the Cuban Revolution in younger generations.