|Angola Table of Contents
During the transition period, foreign powers were becoming increasingly involved as the situation in Angola rapidly expanded into an East-West power struggle. In late January, a high-level United States government policy-making body authorized a grant of US$300,000 to the pro-Western FNLA, which at the time seemed to be the strongest of the three movements. In March the Soviet Union countered by increasing arms deliveries to the MPLA, and by midJuly that group had become appreciably stronger militarily. Alarmed, the United States increased funding to the FNLA and, for the first time, funded UNITA. Cuba, which had been aiding the MPLA since the mid-1960s, sent military instructors in the late spring of 1975. By early October, more Cuban military personnel had arrived, this time primarily combat troops; their total then probably reached between 1,100 and 1,500.
In April the presidents of Zambia, Tanzania, and Botswana decided to support Savimbi as leader of an Angolan government of national unity, believing that UNITA attracted the widest popular support in Angola. Savimbi also had the support of some francophone states and of Nigeria and Ghana. Some of these countries later withdrew that support when the OAU pleaded for reconciliation and adherence to the Alvor Agreement.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress