During 1976, South Africa erupted on the world scene as a major tension area, rivaling the Middle East. Few realize the real issues involved in this vital but potentially explosive region. South African officials were surprised and angered three months ago when the Soviet Union announced that President Nikolai Podgorny would soon make an unprecedented trip to Africa to visit three nations deeply involved in the Rhodesian fracas-Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. The Soviet Union, of course, backs the guerrilla forces fighting in Rhodesia. And Soviet arms, in the hands of Cuban proxy-warriors, secured a Marxist victory in Angola. Podgorny's "showing of the flag" in Southern Africa merely confirmed to Pretoria what South Africans had been warning of for some time-that the Soviet Union sees the chance for big political gains for itself in aiding "liberation movements" in that part of the world.
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