As you know, Salazar sought at all costs to keep the overseas colonies under Portuguese rule, knowing full well that without them, Portugal would turn into a small country, deprived of serious economic resources and no one would reckon with it. Therefore, the Portuguese dictator fully supported the concept of lusotropicism. Its author, the Brazilian philosopher Gilberto Freire, believed that the Portuguese were most adapted to communication with the tropical peoples of Africa, Asia and South America, and the Portuguese civilization was multicultural, uniting representatives of different races. In accordance with this concept, the Portuguese authorities sought to form in the colonies an indigenous elite that would become a reliable support for Lisbon and assist in the management of the indigenous population. Representatives of the Asimilados, as the Africans were called in Portugal, who adopted Catholicism, knew Portuguese, and learned the Portuguese way of life, had the opportunity to study in the metropolis. Actually, this was the beginning of a new phase in the national liberation movement of the African colonies of Portugal. The natives of the colonies, studying in Portugal, got acquainted with the local socialists and communists, got access to the revolutionary literature and became more and more convinced of the injustice of the existing colonial system. Almost all the leaders of the national liberation movements of the Portuguese colonies were educated in the metropolis. At the medical faculty of the famous University of Coimbra, Agostinho Neto studied - the future leader of the MPLA of Angola. In Lisbon, he studied medicine another famous Angolan - Jonas Savimbi, then created UNITA. Eduardo Mondlane, one of the founders of the Mozambique National Liberation Front (FRELIMO), and Joaquín Chissano, the future President of Mozambique, studied in Lisbon. Amilcar Cabral, who led the national liberation struggle of the peoples of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, was among African students in Lisbon.
In 1446, a Portuguese expedition led by navigator and slave trader Nuno Tristan landed on the west coast of Africa, near the Cape Verde Islands. The Portuguese discovered the land they called Guinea. However, Tristan himself and some of his companions were killed by local residents. Only twenty years later, the king of Portugal granted the Portuguese colonists of Cape Verde the right to develop Guinean lands. Since 1471, the Portuguese have begun to colonize coastal lands. A number of settlements were created, the largest of which were Cacheu and Bissau. The basis of the economy for many centuries was the export to Brazil - to work on sugar and tobacco plantations - slaves bought from local leaders. Guinean territories were under the control of the Governor of the Cape Verde Islands and only in 1879 was a separate colony of Portuguese Guinea established. However, compared with Angola and Mozambique, Guinea was a much less significant Portuguese colony. However, in 1951, she, among other former colonies, received the status of an “overseas province”.
The asimilados living in Guinea, who can write Portuguese, lead the European way of life and profess Catholicism, received Portuguese citizenship. One of them was Amilcar Cabral (1924-1973) - a native of the city of Bafata, who came from a wealthy Asimilados family from the Cape Verde Islands. In Portuguese Guinea, people from Cape Verde have always occupied a privileged position, since they have learned Portuguese culture to a greater degree, and Portuguese was a native language for them. Amilcar Cabral was educated in Lisbon - at the Higher Agronomical Institute, after which in 1952 he returned to Guinea and got a job as an agronomist at the Pessube farm. Cabral returned to his homeland as a staunch supporter of the national liberation movement — while still in 1948, while studying in Portugal, he made connections with other African students who held left-wing political views. In 1951, together with Angolans Agostinho Neto and Mario de Andrade, San Francisco Jose Tenreiro, Amilcar Cabral created the Center for African Studies.
Returning to Guinea, in 1953, the city of Cabral founded the Guinea National Independence Movement, which was joined mainly by Asimilados - intellectuals and skilled workers. In 1955, the governor of Guinea sent Cabral to Angola, with the right to visit his family in Guinea no more than once a year. But that was enough for Amilcar. 19 September 1956 in Bissau, Amilcar Cabral, who came for a “leave”, his half-brother Luis Cabral, Fernando Fortes, Aristides Pereira, Julio Almeida and Elise Turpin founded a new political organization called the African Independence Party. From 1960, it became known as the "African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde" (Portuguese abbreviation - PAIGC). The headquarters of the new national liberation organization is located in the city of Conakry - the capital of the neighboring Republic of Guinea, the former French colony, which has already gained political independence. The President of Guinea, Ahmed Sekou Toure, advocated the complete decolonization of Africa, the development of friendly relations with the Soviet Union, and supported national liberation movements on the continent, including in Portuguese Guinea.
Initially, the African Party’s independence of Guinea and Cape Verde set itself the goal of proclaiming a single independent state with a democratic political system and a socialist economy. Gradually, the PAIGC managed to create an extensive network of its groups and cells in both Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde Islands. Much of the leadership of the party were mulattoes and "asimiladush" - people from the Cape Verde Islands, and the lower composition - representatives of the people balante, one of the largest in Portuguese Guinea. In August, the leadership of PAIGC 1961 announced the need for a transition to armed struggle against Portuguese rule. At the same time, party leaders began to look for channels of access to the Soviet leadership in order to receive assistance from the Soviet Union. This task was greatly facilitated by the relocation of the headquarters in Conakry (Guinea), since the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sekou Touré, followed the pro-Soviet line. At the end of 1961, Moscow received a message from the Soviet Embassy in Guinea, according to which PAIGC General Secretary Amilcar Cabral asked permission to come to the Soviet Union to meet with representatives of the Soviet leadership. In Moscow, they decided to go for a meeting with Cabral. The Soviet Union, interested in strengthening its political influence in Africa, has established links with the PAIGC.
- Amilcar Cabral and the PAIGC Partisans
In the meantime, armed guerrilla warfare began in 1963 in Portuguese Guinea. Under the PAIGC, an armed wing was created - Revolutionary armed forces of the people - FARP, which copied the organizational structure of the Angolan FNLA. Since the Portuguese forces were much smaller in number in the colony than in Angola or Mozambique, the guerrillas managed to establish control over large areas in the south and in the center of Portuguese Guinea for a short time. The war in Portuguese Guinea was even nicknamed “Portuguese Vietnam”, since the guerrillas of the PAIGC operated in the jungle of Guinea and successfully attacked the Portuguese colonial forces. The erroneous tactics chosen by the Portuguese military command contributed to the success of the partisans - the forces of the colonial troops (Portuguese armed forces abroad) were scattered between separate settlements, farms and plantations to protect them, making the small units of the Portuguese troops a suitable target for partisan attacks. At the same time, in Cape Verde, where the majority of the population was mulatto and asimiladush, the guerrilla war against the Portuguese authorities did not start. Most of the population of Cape Verde had Portuguese passports and was not eager to weapons in the hands of seeking independence. This factor subsequently played a major role in the further delimitation of the PAIGC of Guinea-Bissau and the PAIGC of Cape Verde.
The development of guerrilla warfare in Portuguese Guinea was facilitated by large-scale assistance from the Soviet Union. Moscow gave African comrades full support. As you know, in the Crimea, in the village of Perevalnoe, then the secret 165-th Training Center for training foreign troops of the USSR Ministry of Defense was located. Fighters from revolutionary and national liberation organizations from around the world were trained there. In 1965, the first group of PAIGC fighters in 75 was trained at this training center. At the beginning of 1966, the first group of fighters left the USSR for Guinea. In total, according to some data, around 12 Guinean partisans passed through the training center in Perevalno during the 1500 years of the war in Portuguese Guinea (although some authors are convinced that this figure is somewhat overestimated).
As a result of the guerrilla war, already by 1967 the city of PAIGC controlled two thirds of the territory of Portuguese Guinea. Gradually, the actions of the PAIGC gained support not only from the Soviet Union, Cuba, other countries of socialist orientation and African states, but also from the entire world community. So, in November 1972, the UN Security Council officially recognized the PAIGC as the sole representative of the peoples of Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde. However, the Portuguese leadership took all possible steps to keep Guinea as part of the colonial empire. Since 1968, the post of Governor of Portuguese Guinea was held by Brigadier General António de Spinola - one of the most talented Portuguese military leaders, in 1967-1968. served as deputy commander of the National Republican Guard, and before that he had experience serving in Angola, where he commanded a mechanized cavalry group. Spinola pursued a policy of "Africanization" of the colonial troops, hoping to fight against the Africans with the hands of the Africans themselves. Two combat units — the commando battalion and the marine infantry battalion — were fully staffed by Africans born in Portuguese Guinea, and the Africans also served in officer positions, which was nonsense for the early colonial forces.
In 1970, the Portuguese Air Force began to use the scorched earth tactics, repeating the American experience of the Vietnam War and burning the Guinean jungle napalm in which PAIGK bases were hiding. On November 22, 1970, Portugal organized an attempted armed invasion of Conakry, the capital of Guinea, to overthrow President Ahmed Secu Toure, who provided basic assistance to the PAIGC rebels. A squad of 220 Portuguese paratroopers, reinforced by local opponents Sekou Toure, attacked the city. But the attacks of the Portuguese were repulsed. Naval ships were sent to help Guinea fleet THE USSR. The United Nations condemned the actions of Portugal. On January 20, 1973, Amilkar Cabral, returning from a reception at the Polish Embassy in Conakry, was stopped by a group of armed men - his supporters, who later turned out to work for Portuguese intelligence. The PAIGC leader was shot in the back of the head. After the assassination of Amilkar Cabral, the leader of PAIGC was taken by his half-brother Luis Cabral (1931-2009), an accountant by profession.
- Amilcar Cabral and Fidel Castro
April 25 The Portugal Carnation Revolution began on April 1974, resulting in the successor of Salazar Marcel Caetan. One of the reasons for the revolution of the carnations was precisely the protracted and bloody colonial wars that were waged by Portugal in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea. The new Portuguese government understood the need for a radical change in the paradigm of Portuguese politics in Africa. Even General Spinola emphasized that insisting only on a military solution to the problem is equal to acknowledging the defeat of Portuguese politics on the continent. However, all attempts to preserve the colonial empire through concessions to the national liberation movements failed: after decades of resistance, the leaders of the national liberation organizations no longer wanted to hear about being part of Portugal. 26 August 1974 As a result of negotiations in Algeria, Portugal pledged to ensure the withdrawal of all Portuguese troops from the territory of Guinea-Bissau by the end of October 1974 and officially recognize the independence and government of the country. 10 September 1974 was officially recognized the political independence of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. 1973 to 1980 Luis Cabral served as chairman of the State Council of the Republic. However, 14 November 1980 was a bloodless coup in the country. All the "mulatto" leadership of the PAIGC, headed by Luis Cabral, was removed from power, and Juan Bernardo Vieira, nicknamed "Comandante Nino", became the new head of the country. Under his leadership, the PAIGC in 1981 finally abandoned the idea of uniting Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.