oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - The standard of research on the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, 1987-1988 : research review article



The purpose of this article is to examine the standard of research about the so-called Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. After examining what objectivity for the academic researcher should mean, two categories of researchers are looked at. The first is called the "non-researchers". They are those who do no or virtually no real research into the events at Cuito Cuanavale, but uncritically copy what politicians and politically correct academics have to say about the subject. The focus also falls on one particular historian, Italian-American Professor Piero Gleijeses. On the basis of several articles (his book about Cuba's role in Africa until 1976 is judged to be good), the conclusion is that his evident admiration for Cuba and its dictator, President Fidel Castro, and his revulsion at apartheid South Africa brings about a one-sided and distorted picture of what went on at Cuito Cuanavale and the Border War in general. The last category is the "serious researchers", whose work is based on good research. Although their work displays certain gaps in the sense that they had no access to Cuban or Angolan sources, they generally are much more reliable in their facts than the "non-researchers" and Professor Gleijeses.


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