"Africa became central to that foreign policy. For me, and people of my generation, Fidel Castro entered our consciousness as a hero of our liberation. He wasn’t just fighting for an abstract cause. He was fighting for us.
(...) Cuba sent troops but it also sent tens of thousands of Cuban doctors, dentists, nurses, health-care technicians, academics, teachers and engineers to the continent and elsewhere. That a significant proportion of Cubans trace their ancestries to west and central Africa (owing to slavery) contributes to this politics."