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colonialism in all its forms and manifestations in every corner of the earth."
133. Telegram From the Department of State to the Consulate in
Washington, November 2, 1975, 0020Z.
259582. Subject: Angolan Contingency Planning. Ref: Luanda 1720 Notal.? For Killoran from Mulcahy.
1. Department decided close ConGen prior Nov. 11, on date to be determined. We believe that advantage should be taken of the last scheduled refugee flight on Nov. 3 to reduce personnel and sensitive material to absolute minimum. You are authorized to depart. You should choose either Rodgers or Doubleday to remain and retain one State communicator and comtech. Agency will communicate directly with COS on their per. questions, etc.
2. In separate message DOD will authorize you to hold last relief flight until all is in readiness to depart. This will provide you with some flexibility for loading ConGen personnel, equipment and those American, British and Canadian citizens who decide to seize this last opportunity to depart on relief flight. You are authorized to discreetly inform these citizens of our plans to reduce staff to minimum, and you should strongly urge them to depart. ConGen equipment and HHE of staff will be given priority on baggage space ahead of refugee effects.
3. ConGen personnel should remain in Lisbon pending further instructions. Orders will be transmitted Lisbon.
4. All WATTS equipment should be loaded aboard Nov. 3 flight. Backup RTTY system should be retained.
5. For Lisbon and Luanda: Inform the GOP and the High Commissioner that in view of the sharp deterioration in security conditions in Luanda, we are reducing our official presence to a minimum and may decide to close the Consulate General before Nov. 11.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Niact Immediate. Drafted by Fugit; cleared in AF/EX, OC/T, SY, M, S, and EUR; and approved by Mulcahy. Repeated Immediate to Lisbon.
2 In telegram 1720 from Luanda, November 2, Killoran reported on the logistical problems associated with closing the Luanda post. (Ibid.)
6. For Luanda: Request that you ask High Commissioner if we could evacuate few remaining ConGen personnel and small amount of baggage and equipment aboard last Portuguese frigate we understand will depart Nov. 10. We would utilize this only as a contingency if air travel not feasible.
7. For Lisbon: Appreciate your help in assisting three or four ConGen personnel who would have to remain in Lisbon pending Department decision.
8. We all are well aware and proud of your efforts and those of the entire staff throughout the last grueling weeks. The reporting, airlift and protection of citizens has been superb.
Telegram From the Consulate in Luanda to the Department of State
1721. For Mulcahy from Killoran. Subj: Closing of Consulate. Ref: State 259582.2
1. I appreciate timeliness of Dept decision to reduce staff and we are proceeding to implement instructions contained reftel. However, I want to make one final effort to persuade Dept to close post temporarily at this point rather than allow it to remain open with reduced staff for several additional days. The question to be asked and answered, it seems to me, is what do we stand to gain and what price do we have to pay for keeping reduced staff here until Nov 10.[142 lines not declassified) I doubt very much that (less than 1 line not declassified) extra week here will significantly enhance our knowledge of state of play or future directions of MPLA or sources and extent and kind of outside assistance being given to MPLA.
2. [2 lines not declassified) only real value to USG of continued operation here would have to derive from post's ability to protect US citizens as well as those of UK and Canada. This is important but I frankly think that ability of remaining Consular officers to render protection
1 Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, Box 2, Angola (2). Secret; Niact Immediate; Nodis.
services is going to be sharply curtailed by circumstances. The price that we may have to pay for this limited value operation is in the very great exposure and vulnerability of those USG officials who remain behind. [3 lines not declassified] As the FNLA military challenge to the MPLA becomes even stronger, and we can expect that to happen between now and Nov 11, and since Portuguese authority here is almost non-existent now, I think we have to accept possibility that MPLA hotheads might well find it necessary or convenient to arrest or detain one or more members of Consulate staff. Even if this were not a real possibility, I would still recommend closing of post now on grounds that prospective military situation between now and Nov 11 will expose remaining USG personnel to unacceptable levels of personal danger and their ability to leave at the last minute will be severely curtailed by the lack of commercial transportation. I have not yet been able to locate the High Commissioner today, but I suspect the vessel in which he will leave is going to be fully loaded. He just may have to refuse to take our six remaining employees.
3. In the event the Department decides to keep the post open for additional period, both Rodgers and Doubleday have volunteered to stay. In light of Rodgers's greater experience, seniority and contacts, I have asked him to remain. CRO Casey will also stay.
4. (272 lines not declassified]
5. After we close, we will keep as many locals on the payroll as are willing to remain in Luanda. A number of them have long years of service and we cannot in good conscience lay them off. Too, they will be needed for maintenance work and other services and we will want qualified people to be on board when we come back in.
6. I understand that ONA aircraft making final refugee flight is scheduled now to make ferry trip to Los Angeles following delivery of passengers to Lisbon and brief stop in Rome. If this schedule holds, I and staff and TDY personnel (except those assigned elsewhere in Africa) will remain on plane and ask to be dropped off at Dulles Airport rather than holding over in Lisbon. I would appreciate if the Department could ensure ONA is directed to carry us as passengers Lisbon/ Washington. I am doing this on the assumption that my immediate availability to Dept would be useful in these final days before Angola independence and that it would be more economic in terms of dollars and manpower to move other staff members to Dept in this way rather than holding over in Lisbon for later commercial flight.
135. Telegram From the Department of State to All Diplomatic
Washington, November 8, 1975, 1700Z.
265503. Subject: Angolan Recognition.
1. Portugal will grant independence to Angola on Nov. 11 and, it appears, without transferring power to any one of the three major liberation movements. In this event it seems certain that Soviet-backed Popular Movement for Liberation of Angola (MPLA), based in Luanda, the capital, will proclaim itself sole govt of Angola. USSR intends to recognize MPLA regime immediately. Most Communist powers and some "progressive" countries in Africa and elsewhere are likely to follow suit fairly quickly.
2. It is probable the two rival movements, National Front for Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) will also proclaim jointly their own regime.
3. MPLA likely to base its claim to legitimacy on purported control of capital, of 12 of the 16 district capitals, and of two-thirds of Angolan territory and population. It will presumably also repeat its current charges that other two movements are "tools of the imperialists" (meaning Zaire, South Africa, US and France) which have lost any right to represent Angolan people.
4. MPLA control is actually limited to six district capitals and only one entire district. It controls about one-third of Angola's territory and people. It also controls Luanda and the administrative structure remaining there after MPLA ejected FNLA and UNITA elements from Luanda last July ending transitional coalition govt composed of all three movements. On the other hand, FNLA and UNITA together control majority of territory and population and, since July reverses, have continued to make military comeback. FNLA and UNITA forces have recently advanced close to Luanda in north and have recaptured key centers of Lobito and Benguela in south.
5. (FYI) On Nov. 3 we temporarily closed our Consulate General in Luanda and withdrew its staff to Lisbon. A Dept spokesman stated that the decision to close the Consulate was made for security and political reasons (End FYI).
6. OAU, which recognizes all three movements, is currently engaged in last ditch effort to restore peace and to insure orderly transfer
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Fugit, Andrew, and Cutler; cleared in EUR, P, L, 10, S/P, NEA, EA, ARA, S/S, and S; and approved by Mulcahy. Repeated to Lourenco Marques.
of sovereignty by Portugal. It is our hope that this effort will succeed, or at least provide opportunity for further negotiations among Angolans. Present indications are that MPLA will probably not be deterred from unilaterally declaring independence and seeking widest possible international recognition as sole govt of Angola. FNLA/UNITA have reportedly told OAU representatives in Kampala that they are prepared to join a government composed of all three movements, but will establish a rival government of their own if MPLA does declare itself Angola's sole government.
7. US position is to favor true independence for the state of Angola and its rule by a government that, through a peaceful, negotiated solution, attracts the support of the great bulk of the population of Angola. We would view a claim by the MPLA that it is the government of Angola, and that it merits recognition as such, as unfounded, because in fact it controls a minority of the population and territory of Angola and consequently is not in a position to represent the interests of the state of Angola internationally. Recognition by the international community of the MPLA regime as the Angolan government could only serve as further obstacle to search for a peaceful, negotiated solution and to validation of principle of self-determination. The claim of FNLA/UNITA would, in our view, deserve to be taken into account by the international community in weighing possibilities and timing of recognition of the state of Angola and of the government which actually exercises effective control of that state.
8. Action requested: Unless you have objection or believe it would be counterproductive, action addressees should immediately seek to discuss current developments in Angola with host governments, drawing on information and guidance above. Purpose of discussion is 1) to seek host governments' assessment of situation; 2) to insure they are aware of actual situation with respect to territorial/population control; and 3) to express our hope that they, too, would refrain from making any hasty move toward recognizing MPLA as government of Angola at time of independence.
9. Report results soonest. If during course of discussion it becomes apparent that host governments have in fact decided to recognize MPLA, you should include in your response recommendations on the next step in our dialogue with your host government on this issue.