SEVEN MONTHS AGO, Angola applied for admission to the United Nations, but the U.S. vetoed the move, arguing that there were still Cuban troops in that southern African state. Last week, the U.S. modified its position--at the request of a majority of African nations--and simply abstained from the 1.16 to 0 vote that made Angola the 146th member of the U.N.
No one suggests there are no Cuban representatives in Angola, but their role is still unclear. The Angolan government asserts they are no more than friendly advisors, and there is no evidence to prove otherwise. The United States recognized the lack of such evidence when it changed its stance to abstention, but it should have gone further and moved for admission. If the U.N. is to be a viable force in international relations, it must include every independent nation, regardless of political alliances. The U.S. refusal to recognize Angola's sovereignty must be construed as an insult to President Neto and the members of the Popular Movement who fought for Angola's freedom, and is unlikely to improve relations between the U.S. and the third world nations.