Saturday, February 15, 2014

Black History Month: Amilcar Cabral

September 12, 1924 - January 20, 1973

“Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories...”

Amílcar Cabral was born in 1921 in Bafatá, Portuguese Guinea. Cabral later moved to Cabo Verde where he got his early schooling. He was an agronomist and nationalist leader. In September 1956 he and five associates—including a brother, Luís, and Aristides Pereira—formed the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde, PAIGC, and in December of that year he co-founded a liberation movement in Angola with Neto.

Cabral’s efforts in the guerrilla war against the Portuguese military was found to be overpowering and caused the military to retreat from the region giving power to PAIGC. Moreover his military expertise was matched by his contributions to the literature of national liberation. He was a great speaker and many of his speeches were transcribed into literary works. Cabral’s main contribution was his study of colonized identity and leadership in the context of national liberation, class consciousness, and Marxian theory. For Cabral, culture was key to national liberation. On Jan. 20, 1973, Cabral was assassinated outside his home in Conakry, where his party had established its headquarters. Through the weakening and subsequent withdrawal of Portuguese rule in Guinea-Bissau they were able to claim their independence on September 24, 1973. Likewise, the influence of  PAIGC in Cabo Verde led to their independence on July 5, 1975.

"One of the most lucid and brilliant leaders in Africa, Comrade Amílcar Cabral, who instilled in us tremendous confidence in the future and the success of his struggle for liberation." -Fidel Castro

Written by: E. Rey


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