Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral
September 18, 2022 12:32 PM   Subscribe

"Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral was born September 12, 1924 in Bafatá, Guinea-Bissau, one of Portugal’s African colonies. On January 20, 1973–48 years ago today–Cabral was murdered by fascist Portuguese assassins just months before the national liberation movement in which he played a central role won the independence of Guinea-Bissau."
posted by kmt (10 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Amilcar Cabral, as one of more radical and intellectual anti-colonialists in the moment of African independence, is really someone who should be more well known. Some more links!

Here is a pdf of GUINEA-BISSAU: TOWARD FINAL VICTORY!, which is a selection of some of his speeches.

His speech, The Cancer of Betrayal, about the way collaborationists sold out independence movements, is on Youtube.

Inkani Books is also going to be publishing in October, Tell No Lies, Claim No Easy Victories: Selected Writings of Amílcar Cabral.
posted by johnasdf at 12:37 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


Amilcar Cabral, as one of more radical and intellectual anti-colonialists in the moment of African independence, is really someone who should be more well known.

I sure wish I'd heard about this exceptional life sooner....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:16 PM on September 18


Amazing life work, amazing life stolen.
posted by Oyéah at 2:20 PM on September 18


Cabral was murdered by fascist Portuguese assassins...
This is a deeply disputed claim - and, at least in a narrow sense, untrue. The actual gunmen were Guinean and disgruntled members of Cabral's own party. There have been many claims that Portuguese intelligence services were secretly behind the killing, but those claims remain unproven.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:22 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


"The colonialists usually say that it was they who brought us into history: today we show that this is not so. They made us leave our history, to follow them, right at the back, to follow the progress of their history. Today, in taking up arms to liberate ourselves, in following the examples of other peoples to liberate themselves, we want to return to our history, on our own feet, by our own means and through our own sacrifices.”
posted by clavdivs at 3:34 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


There have been many claims that Portuguese intelligence services were secretly behind the killing, but those claims remain unproven

It is only deeply disputed b y those who tend to support the colonial powers.
posted by anansi at 5:13 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


This article was one of the most informative pieces I have read in a while, and it set me straight on a number of basic issues with regard to colonialism. There was in the last 7 months an attempt to assassinate the current leader. Coming on the heels of the Haitian assassination and maybe a couple of others right at the time, I took a look at what's there, besides an incredibly lush ecosystem, I think there is major Bauxite, Chinese and Russian interests. In the fact book I see no Russian interests. The discussion about the economy via that source says it is weak, and I guess the Islands were liberated and their story is somewhat different.

This is the kind of place where colonials may be out, but the absolutely mercenary corporations will tear it apart like a Sunday chicken. The churn they create will just liberate what resources they want and everything else's task will be to survive them.
posted by Oyéah at 7:17 PM on September 18


There have been many claims that Portuguese intelligence services were secretly behind the killing, but those claims remain unproven

It is only deeply disputed b y those who tend to support the colonial powers.
posted by anansi at 8:13 PM on September 18 [+] [!]

I'm an absolute newcomer to the topic, but after some poking through JSTOR I get the sense that kickingtheground's summary is the one generally accepted in the history books. Without derailing the thread, if there's other accounts I should look at I'd be curious to learn more.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:04 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


I read O Fazedor de Utopias, a biography of Cabral written by Angolan anthropologist and journalist Antônio Tomás, a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. It's since been published in English as Amílcar Cabral: The Life of a Reluctant Nationalist.

I didn't recall the details of Cabral's assassination, so I picked the book back up last night. Based on Tomás' analysis of the event, "fascist Portuguese assassins" is a considerable oversimplification. There had been several conspiracies fomented against Cabral and the PAIGC by the PIDE, Portugal's secret police, and the Portuguese military launched an attack (Operação Mar Verde) in 1970 on the Republic of Guinea in an attempt to weaken the PAIGC and seize Cabral, but there were other factors involved in Cabral's death.

One of the main ones was the rift between the Guinea and Cape Verde elements of the PAIGC, wherein many of the former felt that the latter were using Guineans to fight the Portuguese in the field while Cape Verdeans ran things from afar. Cabral, born in Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) but raised in Cape Verde, was seen by some as more Cape Verdean than Guinean, and at the time of his death was living in Conakry, in the Republic of Guinea. Even there, the majority of non-Cape Verdean party members were, according to Tomás, aware of a conspiracy against Cabral.

Inocêncio Cani, who pulled the trigger on Cabral, was a PAIGC member and naval officer who'd trained in the Soviet Union. Tomás says that unlike some who'd conspired against Cabral, he had not been turned by the PIDE, but he had been court-martialed and demoted for selling naval parts on the black market. All but one of the assassins rounded up in the Republic of Guinea, tortured, and handed over to the PAIGC for execution denied that they were working on behalf of the Portuguese. Assuming that at least some of them were telling the truth, and taking into account existing tensions within the party, I think it's fair to say there was a lot more behind Cabral's assassination than the work of "fascist Portuguese assassins."
posted by heteronym at 6:45 AM on September 19 [5 favorites]


ok, so this is basically the one anti colonial leader independence leader who maybe wasn't killed by fascist [colonizer nation] assassins, but they, or their cat's paws, did try to kill him a whole bunch. got it.
posted by youthenrage at 12:18 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]


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