The story of Colonialism is one which is not pleasant to hear, as the period in which Colonialism became the norm of the day rained havoc and unimaginable pain on those who were affected.
And, just as other black countries, such as Nigeria and South Africa, had their fair share of calamity, Portugal did not escape it either; and, just as every other country had its own hero and public figure who was unwavering in the liberation movement, Portugal did not lag behind, with Amilcar Cabral being one who never gave up on the good fight. Let’ s see who he was, what he did, and why he is being referred to as the immortal lion.
Who Was Amilcar Cabral?
Born in Batafa, Guinea Bissau, into the family of Juvenial Antonio Lopes de Costa Cabral and Ivan Pinhel Évora on the 12th of September 1924, Amlcar Lopes da Costa Cabral was a Bissau- Guinean and Cape Verdean agricultural engineer, thinker, poet, theoretician, revolutionary, political organizer, nationalist, and diplomat.
He was famous for being a leading anti- colonial figure in Africa, as well as being the leader of the nationalist movement in Guinea- Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands, as well as the subsequent war of independence in Guinea- Bissau.
He was believed to have founded the African Party for Guinea and Cape Verde’ s Independence (PAIGC; Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde).
Amilcar received his early education in Cape Verde, but then moved to Lisbon, Portugal’ s capital, to pursue university studies. He assisted in the founding of the Centro de Estudos Africanos in Lisbon, a group of Lusophone African students that included future Angolan President Agostinho Neto.
They tackled colonialism with revolutionary principles rooted in Marxist theories. He was later hired as an agronomist by the Portuguese government, and his duties required him to travel widely throughout Portuguese Guinea. As a result, he was able to mingle with people from all cultures throughout the colony.
PAIGC was founded in 1956 with Amilcar Cabral at the helm, and the company was resolved to combat Portuguese domination with armaments. At its founding, the group’ s primary goal was to organize workers’ strikes, But when a group of striking workers were slaughtered by the Portuguese authorities in 1959, they concluded they needed to take a different approach, and not just any approach, but one that required them to fight back completely.
It was time to use guerrilla warfare to strike back. ” He preferred debate, but the Portuguese were adamant, ” author Peter Mendy noted. Violence was only employed as a last resort, and it was utilized selectively to avoid or minimize collateral damage.
Fight For Independence
Cabral, as the leader of PAIGC’ s guerrilla troops, led the war for independence from 1963 until 1973. Cabral is believed to have established a series of training camps in Ghana with the full agreement of Kwame Nkrumah in the zealous pursuit of independence for both Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde.
In the course of the training, mock dialogues were used to educate his men with good communication skills to enhance their efforts to gather Guinean tribal leaders to support the PAIGC. Guerrilla conflicts could only be prolonged if the guerrillas had food and the ability to live off the land of the greater population, and Cabral understood that his forces needed to be able to fend for themselves.
As an agronomist, Cabral instructed his troops to educate local crop growers about improving agricultural practices so that they could enhance productivity and feed their own families and tribes, as well as the PAIGC’ s military wing’ s soldiers. It was a wonderful plan that helped them win one of the most successful independence wars in history.
A Trade And Barter Bazaar System Is Setup
Cabral assisted in the establishment and the setting up of a trade- and- barter bazaar system with the help of PAIGC, which was, of course, critical in making staple products available to the countryside at prices cheaper than colonial shop owners.
He further established a roving hospital and triage center to care for injured PAIGC soldiers and provide quality- of- life treatment to the general public, using medical supplies acquired from the USSR and Sweden, and it was believed that the Portuguese forces assaulted these initiatives on a regular basis.
Cabral was indeed a man with a strong exposed and worldview that emphasized the value of culture in liberating the minds of the colonized. ” Africa’ s elite, long reliant on the colonizers for their education and employment, would re- embrace indigenous African culture and reintegrate themselves into mass popular culture, ” he proposed.
The goal was to create an independent state ” socially, culturally, and psychologically” and raise a nationalist spirit among the rural peasantry, whose lives had largely been unaffected by imperialism. In preparation for Guinea Bissau’ s independence from Cabral, also known as Abel Djassi, the People’ s Assembly convened in 1972.
And on January 20, 1973, Inocêncio Kani, a dissatisfied former PAIGC opponent, and another PAIGC member shot and killed Amilcar Cabral, just eight months before Guinea- Bissau declared independence unilaterally.
They were suspected of having been collaborating with Portuguese spies. Cabral had offered peaceful resistance, and they assassinated him right away. The plan had been to arrest him and then (quickly) judge him afterwards.
His ideas were an inspiration to revolutionary socialists and national independence movements all over the world. His ideas were a force to be reckoned with in obtaining independence from Portugal and eliminating the country’ s colonial empire in Africa, even though he was dead. His revolutionary position is still relevant today, and he will be remembered in Africa for the rest of his life, and his Pan- African will be remembered forever.
Thanks for reading.