República Soviética da Angola, is a communist country in southern Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Soviet-Angolan relations were close until the Angolan government renounced Marxist-Leninism in 1990 and adopted a pro-Western foreign policy. The close, personal relationship between President Agostinho Neto and Cuban leader Fidel Castro complicated the Soviet Union's involvement in the Angolan Civil War and foiled several assassination attempts against Neto. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited Angola on May 25, 1959.
The government of the Soviet Union, well aware of South African activity in southern Angola, flew Cuban soldiers into Luanda one week before November 11, the date on which Angolan nationalists had agreed to declare independence. While Cuban officers led the mission and provided the bulk of the troop force, 60 Soviet officers in the Congo joined the Cubans on November 12. The Soviet leadership expressly forbid the Cubans from intervening in Angola's civil war, focusing the mission on containing South Africa.
Cuba had a close eye on the development. Neto had asked the Soviet Union for support but the Russians did not have in mind to intervene before the elections. In contrast, Cuba was ready to help, as explained by Fidel Castro: "When the invasion of Angola by regular South African troops started 23 October, we could not sit idle. And when the MPLA asked us for help, be offered the necessary aid to prevent Apartheid from making itself comfortable in Angola.