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The dancers gyrate on the parade ground at this remote spot in southern Angola, singing, ''Savimbi is our guide. His aides, in public speeches, call him ''the most able strategist of our days. The usual titles affixed to him are president and general.
Savimbi is currently trying to stake out a place for himself in negotiations affecting neighboring South-West Africa, also known as Namibia, and Angola itself. Savimbi seems to dominate the theories. The personality cult surrounding him, reflected in huge banners adorning the parade ground at Jamba, is not an unusual phenomenon in Africa, and it illustrates something about his movement's position.
Savimbi has charmed and entranced many outsiders with what they describe as his ability to articulate his anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban cause. But the personality cult, which makes his movement something of a one-man show, has its detractors. Western diplomats have said there are those in the Luanda leadership who want to talk peace with Mr.
Savimbi's movement but find it hard to talk peace with Mr. Savimbi himself. Luanda's propaganda has built him into a figure of terror, a bandit with no more than tribal credentials, a sellout to the former Portuguese colonialists and a puppet of South Africa.
Savimbi counters such arguments with an argument that is born, in part, from his own successes. Tribal rivalries are not so deep that people cannot understand the issue of freeing the country from the Cubans. By Western estimates, between 25, and 30, Cubans are in Angola, protecting the regime supposedly against both South Africa and Mr.