It is from this group that emerged those who were to form the MPLA, who were to give it shape, its discourse and ideology (Messiant, 1983; 1989; 1994; 1995).
The MPLA's traditional elites have nurtured the sense (useful to their power ambition) that their centuries-old idiosyncrasy with a strong western trait, embodies modern nationalism, progressivism, universalism and humanism through cosmopolitanism.
The MPLA's notion of Angola is not "first and foremost [...] the historical product of Portuguese imperialism" (Oliveira, 2015, p.
The sociological-historical post-independence dynamics allowed the MPLA to acquire a national footprint-- strongly backed by its manipulative but effective use of a modern developmental international discourse over the years.
We had the MPLA and FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola) created in late 1950s/early 1960s and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) founded in 1966.
Confronted with the polarization between the FNLA and the MPLA, most of the new educated nationalists, outside the historical areas of Portuguese influence, chose the FNLA in the early 1960s, in spite of its ethnic nationalism.
Thus, for Cubans and their MPLA comrades, the possibility that Angola could revert to racist pre-independence social and political structures was categorically precluded.
How indeed is it possible to make clear that the MPLA victory that Cuban soldiers facilitated was as much against native Angolans as it was in defiance of foreign incursion?
For Cuba, sociocultural resilience operates through tropes that portray the internationalist mission as a self-sacrificing act based on a historical allegiance with a vulnerable sister nation and is rarely articulated as the politico-military collaboration with the MPLA that, in reality, it constituted.
The cultural fault lines that marked the terrain between the MPLA, the FNLA, and UNITA are brought into surprisingly sharp relief in Independencia de Angola, Parte II, the elegant yet neglected documentary made by white Angolan filmmaker Antonio Escudeiro, who was commissioned by the interim Processo Revolucionario em Curso (PREC) (51) government to record for posterity the transition from colony to independent nation, beginning with the Alvor agreements signed in January 1975.
Given that UNITA, with its connections to Washington and Pretoria, was the principal wartime adversary of the Cuban- and Soviet-backed MPLA and that it was only with the death of Savimbi that the brutal conflict came to a shuddering and definitive end, my analysis will focus on key differences between the cultural identities of these two parties as seen in the film.
Even more important is that our concept of resilience can be connected to a certain (unwitting, yet perhaps unavoidable) historical point of contact between the detribalized African under Portuguese colonialism and the anti-tribal African the MPLA espoused.