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Cablegate: Fnla Founder Holden Roberto Dies at Age 83

VZCZCXRO0426
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0796 2151048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031048Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4212
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS LUANDA 000796

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV AO
SUBJECT: FNLA FOUNDER HOLDEN ROBERTO DIES AT AGE 83


1. (U) FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola)
founder and Angolan nationalist Holden Roberto passed away on
the evening of August 2, 2007, after a long illness. He was
83 years old. Unlike many fellow leaders of the Angolan
independence movement, including Agostinho Neto and Jonas
Savambi, Roberto died at home, surrounded by family and party
leaders. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced, but
are expected for Monday, August 6th.

2. (SBU) By coincidence, major opposition party leaders and
representatives were attending a reception for the outgoing
P/E Chief when news of Roberto's death arrived. They soon
departed as a group to pay their respects to Roberto's
family. MPLA representatives attending the event remained.
The MPLA's personal sentiments towards its old enemy aside,
the state media has highlighted his key role as a nationalist
during colonial days. Roberto will be remembered as a leader
of Angola's fight for independence from the Portuguese and
his role as the voice of the Angola independence movement,
rather than the FNLA's role in launching the country into its
bloody post-independence civil war.

3. (SBU) Roberto had long discussed publishing his memoirs,
which he made clear would name names and dish dirt, but no
word has been released on a publication date.
FERNANDEZ

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