During the final fifteen years of the Cold War, southern Africa underwent a period of upheaval, with dramatic twists and turns in relations between the superpowers. Americans, Cubans, Soviets and Africans fought over the future of Angola, where tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers were stationed, ready to decolonize Namibia, Africa's last colony. Beyond lay the great prize: South Africa. Piero Gleijeses uses archival sources, particularly from the United States, South Africa, and the closed Cuban archive, to provide an unprecedented international history of this important theatre of the late Cold War. These sources all point to one conclusion: by humiliating the United States and defying the Soviet Union, Fidel Castro changed the course of history in southern Africa. It was Cuba's victory in Angola in 1988 that forced Pretoria to give Namibia its independence and helped break the back of apartheid South Africa. In the words of Nelson Mandela, the Cubans destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor ...[and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa. Visions of Freedom tells a remarkable and sweeping history of Cuba's role in assisting the so-called Third World from the clutches of white domination. Written with intrigue and insight, it will appeal to scholars of international politics, historians and the general reader interested in Southern African history.