A call for book chapters on the legacy of Fidel Castro in Africa.
Soon after the overthrow of the Fulgencio Batista’s government in 1959, a group of young Marxist and communist revolutionaries – including Fidel Alejandro Castro, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Raúl Modesto Castro – set their sight, not on Latin America and the Caribbean, but on the African continent. Their goal, as many scholars have contended, was the decolonisation of Africa and the dismantling of the apartheid system. They did so, not as puppets of the Soviet Union or other marauding forces, but out of a profound conviction in the freedom and equality of all men and nations. Leading this pack of young revolutionaries was Fidel Castro, and the starting point was Algeria in 1961.
From 1961 until he vacated office in 2011, Fidel Castro was a constant presence in Africa’s drive for development. In addition to his many military assistance, he was noted for his humanitarian efforts in enclaves with unspeakable human suffering. Fidel Castro was admired for his courage, his simplicity, his stubbornness, his sense of self, his humanity and his willingness to put his people and country first. He was a revolutionary of the original intent. However, he wasn’t without his share of moral failings, political mistakes, and ideological miscalculations. There were plenty of those. Nonetheless, he was right and righteous in many other ways.
Fidel Castro was a foreign leader like no other. Almost six decades after he demonstrated his interest and commitment to the twin projects of decolonisation and development of Africa—and almost two years after his death—the legacies of his engagements still reverberate across the continent. His contributions as Cuban leader helped immensely to change the course of modern African history, especially Southern Africa. He built a relationship of true and genuine partnership with African countries the like of which did not occur before him. Castro was not entirely comfortable with the Soviets, and several US administrations wanted him dead.
In field after field, Fidel Castro set a new tone of relationship in international cooperation with African nations and their leaders. After all these years, his fidelity to Africa and its people remained unquestionable and uncontested. It is for this reason that this volume is dedicated to the close examination of the historical and political understanding of Fidel Castro during and after Africa’s liberation struggle. Who was this man, this anti-imperialist? Why was he committed to a continent that was thousands of miles from his neighbourhood?
There is a large body of work on Castro in Africa; nonetheless, we believe there are issues that are yet to be examined or properly examined insofar as his foray into Africa is concerned. Hence, we seek scholars, ex-combatants, diplomats, and career professionals to examine and re-examine Fidel Castro’s role and place in Africa’s colonial and post-colonial history. We also encourage contributors to interrogate his personality, friendships and alliances, tendencies, worldview, and ideologies. Suggested topics include:
- The impact of the 1966 Tri-continental Conference (in Havana) on Africa
- Fidel Castro And the Ogaden War
- Castro’s reaction to the US foreign policy in Africa
- Cuba and Algeria: how it all began
- The influence of Cuban intellectuals on Fidel Castro
- The human and economic cost of the liberation struggle on Cuba
- Communism and revolutions in Africa
- Castro and the Soviet Union in Africa: the anatomy of a relationship
- Revisiting Zaire (1964-1965) and Angola (1975-1976)
- A tale of two historical figures: Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro
- Castro’s humanitarian assistance to Africa
- Bilateral and multilateral agreements with African states
- The misconceptions about Castro and his involvement in Africa
- The influence of Eduardo Chibás and Ernesto “Che” Guevara on Fidel Castro
- The spoils of war: what did Cuba and Castro gain from Africa?
- Castro’s involvement in the war between South Africa and Namibia
- Fidel Castro and the conflict in Angola
- Successes and challenges: Cuban medical personnel in Africa
- Castro, Jerry Rawlings, and Thomas Sankara
Note: Please check with the editors to see if (a) any of the listed topics are still available; or (b) you are interested in a topic that is not listed but which may fit into the overall theme of this project.
- Please submit a 300-350-word abstract plus a 150-250-word biography along with your official contact information by 30 August 2018.
- You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of abstract by 30 September 2018.
- The completed chapter: 7500-8500 words (including notes and references) is due on 10 February 2019.
- Information regarding formatting/citation will be transmitted at a later date.
- Please send your abstract, brief biography, contact info, and inquiry about topics to: [email protected] and please Cc the co-editor: [email protected]
*Sabella Abidde and Charity Manyeruke
About the editors:
Doctor Abidde is an associate professor of political science and member of the graduate faculty at Alabama State University. He is the editor of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (Lexington Books, 2018); and the coeditor of Africans and the Exiled Life: Migration, Culture and Globalization (Lexington Books, 2017). He is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); African Studies and Research Forum (ASRF); and the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA).
Professor Charity Manyeruke is a noted scholar in the field of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Zimbabwe. She is also the Dean for the Faculty of Social Studies. She has published extensively on African politics and its relations with the global community. Professor Manyeruke is the editor of The Impact of Dollarisation on Zimbabwe (Harare: University of Zimbabwe Publications, 2017); and the sole author of Agricultural Subsidies: Hope for the Zimbabwean? (Newcastle upon Tyne: UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016).
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