Amilcar Cabral

The Liberation Fighter



  • Born on September 12, 1924, at Bafata in what was then the Portuguese West African colony of Guinea, he spent part of his youth in Bissau, the capital.

  • Journey

  • He was able because of his family`s relatively comfortable position, to go to secondary school and then to the University of Lisbon, where he qualified as an agricultural engineer in 1951.

  • Returning to his country he served for two years in the colonial administration as an agronomist which provided him with ample opportunity to learn at first hand of the dire poverty and intense suffering of his people, especially in the countryside.

  • His experiences made him more determined than ever to find ways and means of working for the freedom of his country and delivering his people from the yoke of colonial bondage. This inevitably led him into bitter conflicts with the governor of the colony and he transferred himself to Angola.

  • Revolution

  • In 1956, he helped to form what is now the most important national organisation of Angola, the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola). In the same year he also became one of the founders of the African Party of Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands. Leading in the next years the national-liberation war against the Portuguese colonialists.

  • Cabral knew and understood his enemy well, and every phase of the struggle was carefully planned and action meticulously organised. The cadres of the PAIGC were given political education as well as military training and he stressed always "that we are armed militants and not militarists."

  • Liberation

  • Cabral saw the task of the national liberation movements as not merely to usher in Black rule replacing white faces with black ones; it was not only to raise a different flag and sing a new anthem but to remove all forms of exploitation from the country.

  • "Bearing in mind the essential characteristics of the present world economy, as well as experience already gained in the field of anti-imperialist struggle, the principal aspect of national liberation struggle is the struggle against neo-colonialism."

  • Cabral was careful to distinguish the colour of men's skins from exploitation and repeatedly emphasised that the struggle was against Portuguese colonialism and not against the Portuguese people.

  • He was an internationalist and saw his people's struggle as merely one front of a common international struggle against imperialism which "is trying simultaneously to dominate the working class in all advanced countries and smother the national liberation movements in all the under-developed countries."

  • Death

  • On Jan 20 of 1973, the assassin's bullets struck down this great African leader at the age of 48, just as preparations were going ahead for the convening of the National Assembly in the early part of this year for the adoption of the Constitution and the official declaration of the new independent sovereign State of Guinea. This foul deed was engineered by the Portuguese colonialists with the nefarious aim of sowing confusion and disruption among the ranks of the PAIGC and of causing disunity among the national liberation movements of Southern Africa.

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