Cuito Cuanavale was the site of a military battle in Angola in 1988, which took place between March and September of that year, and is the largest conventional battle in Africa since the Second World War. This battle, fought by the Angolan army FAPLA and the Cubans on one side, and the Angolan rebels UNITA and South Africans SADF on the other, is widely believed to have been lost by UNITA and the SADF. Washington gave tacit consent to the Apartheid South African state to wage this geopolitical battle, and indeed the CIA were aiders and abettors of the creation and arming of UNITA. The Russians in turn supported the fledgling Angolan socialist state and the Angolan FAPLA military. During the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, the Cuban Air Force dominated the skies, outwitting the South African Air Force, and ensnaring the SADF armored division in a cauldron they were unable to escape—many of their armoured vehicles rusting away in the bush of the Tumpo Triangle to this day. Following the battle, in which the SADF suffered significant losses, South Africa’s politicians realized that their Generals had over-reached and they relented on South West Africa, paving the way for Namibian independence, the unbanning of South African liberation organizations and the release of political prisoners aligned with the ANC and other groupings. This led to a political settlement and the dawn of a transition to democracy in 1994.