Source: Amilcar Cabral, Revolution in Guinea, stage 1, London, 1974, pp20-40
Translated: Richard Handyside
Transcription/Markup: Steve Palmer
Copyleft: Copyright stage 1 .
Extracts front a statement made in Conakry In June 1962 to the United Nations Special Committee on territories under Portuguese Administration
After the resolution on decolonialisation—the 1961 'reforms'
An analysis has been made of the position of the people of Guinea as regards their relations with the metropolitan country, the basic laws governing their lives, the administrative structure and organisation, the political institutions and how they function, the right to vote and its exercise the organisation and administration of justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms. That analysis presents actual facts culled from legislation in force and day-to-day reality.
The analysis makes clear that the constitutional, political, legal, administrative and judicial status of Guinea, far from that of being a 'province of Portugal' is that of a non-self-governing country, conquered and occupied by force of arms, ruled and administered by a foreign power. The economic, political and social life of the people of Guinea is governed by laws and rules which differ from those applied to the people of Portugal; the people of Guinea have no political rights, they do not help to operate the country's institutions or to draft its laws, which, however, they must obey; they do not elect representatives and cannot invest political and administrative leaders with office or remove them from office; they do not enjoy the most rudimentary human rights or fundamental freedoms. Thus, far from having their own legal identity, the people of Guinea are a colonised and dependent people, whose dignity has been deeply wounded. Neither directly nor indirectly do they decide their present or future fate. Consequently there can be no doubt that the people of Guinea are being deprived of their right to self-determination, a right proclaimed and established for all peoples in the United Nations Charter.
Nevertheless those who are not familiar with the actual facts as regards the present position of the people of Guinea might ask whether the recent Portuguese 'reforms' of colonial legislation promulgated in 1961 have not significantly changed the constitutional and legal status of Guinea.
As is well known, these 'reforms' of Portuguese colonial legislation were instituted shortly after the United Nations General Assembly, at its fifteenth session, had adopted the resolution on decolonisation (14 December 1960). Before proceeding further, it is worth noting that the hasty promulgation of such 'reforms' after the United Nations adopted that historic and constructive resolution is in itself a striking indictment by Portugal of its own colonial system.
An analysis of the legal texts of these 'reforms' will demonstrate whether they actually did or could change the constitutional and legal status of Guinea to any significant degree. The following legislation was enacted:
a) Decree no. 43,730, which revised articles 489,511 and 516 of the Overseas Administrative Reform Act;
b) Decree no. 43,894, approving the regulation of the occupation and granting of land concessions in the colonies;
c) Decree no. 43,895, establishing provincial settlement boards in the colonies;
d) Decree no. 43,896, organising the cantons in the colonies;
e) Decree no. 43,897, recognising the usages and customs regulating relations in private law in the colonies;
f) Decree no. 43,893, repealing the Native Statute of May 1954.
(Except for the first, all these decrees are dated 6 September, 1961.) Thus the matters affected by the enactment of the reforms are: administrative organisation, land occupation, colonisation, justice and political status.
In actual fact, this legislation made no significant change in those matters, nor was the practice of the Portuguese rulers greatly changed, and from the constitutional and legal standpoint the subjection of the people of Guinea to Portuguese colonialism. For example,
a) although Decree no. 43,730 states in its preamble: "in accordance with our administrative tradition, both overseas and in the metropolitan country, the commune is the basic administrative unit ...", it still leaves local administration in the hands of the Portuguese authorities for it provides that the mairies, the municipal commissions and the local communities shall be presided over by persons appointed by the territorial or provincial governments.
b) Decree no. 43,894 deals with public property and with land concessions granted to settlers, administrative bodies and Catholic missions, and defines measures and establishes organs for the granting of such concessions. All in all, the law opens up to Portuguese settlers in Guinea opportunities for the occupation of land which either never existed before or were very limited.
c) Decree no. 43,895, which explicitly states in its preamble "..We have always regarded these as prerequisites for the desired progress in the overseas provinces, as one of the bases for the permanent establishment of European Portugal in the African territories ,..", is nothing more than a legal instrument for establishing effective organs and means for stimulating and achieving the long-desired permanent settlement of increased numbers of Europeans in Guinea.
d) Although Decree no 43,986 lays the basis for the organisation of the regedorias, it maintains the old system of replacing traditional chiefs by persons appointed by the colonial authorities.
e) Decree no. 43,897, while it recognises local usages and customs regulating relations to provide law, provides in its article 2 that such recognition shall be limited by the moral principles and basic rules of the Portuguese legal system. The scope of these limitations continues to be defined by article 138 of the political Constitution as "morality, the dictates of humanity and the free exercise of Portuguese sovereignty".
f) Decree no. 43,893, which repeals the Native Statute, is the only official text in all the new legislation which should imply a change, however academic, in the colony's constitutional and legal status. But in point of fact that is not the case. In the prefatory statement, the reasons for repealing the Statute are candidly stated. It is said that the Statute is being repealed "because this law was not always understood in a way which did justice to the motives and intentions underlying it ..." and because its existence "provided an opportunity for our enemies to assert that the Portuguese people are subject to two political laws and are consequently divided into two classes with no communication between them ..." Thus the lawmakers' purpose was not to alter the motives and intentions underlying the Statute, which they do not condemn--despite the fact that the Statute had the effect of placing the African in Guinea in the position of having no identity in law and of being an indigena. The purpose of the lawmakers as disclosed in the prefatory statement, was to deprive the enemies of Portuguese colonialism of an effective weapon in the struggle on behalf of the Africans of Guinea--Portuguese law itself. But they did not succeed, for the following reasons.
First, the people of Guinea had no hand in drafting the new law, which is the result of a unilateral act, contrary to their legitimate aspirations. Secondly, Portuguese citizenship, fictitious as it is, is imposed on the African of Guinea without his consent. Although the Statute clearly defined the requirements for citizenship, there was never "any rush by the natives to secure the identity card which would make them citizens", as noted by Teixeira da Mota, a European investigator and official deputy in Guinea. The Africans of Guinea, from the time of the resistance in the colonial wars of conquest to the freedom struggle of today, never fought to acquire Portuguese citizenship. Thirdly, the law repealing the Native Statute was not followed by other legislation which would, in practice, regulate the participation of the people of Guinea in the management of their own affairs. Finally, the daily life of the people of Guinea (their economic, political, social and cultural life), with the exception of a few superficial alterations, particularly in the titles of laws, has changed not one iota. For example, although the 'indigenous' identity cards were and still are being hastily replaced by 'provisional' identity cards, the indigena tax and its 10 percent surtax were replaced by the annual personal income tax and the surtax, which not only amount to the same, but are still subject to the legislation governing the old taxes.
Consequently it is fair to say that far from changing the constitutional status of Guinea, the 1961 'reforms' merely made the situation worse, at least in the following respects.
a) By increasing the number of communes, creating additional local concentration of power and organising the cantons—which are always headed by persons appointed by the Governor—not only was Portuguese rule strengthened, but it was made easier for the colonial authorities to keep an eye on the Africans of Guinea and to carry out repressive measures against individuals and groups.
b) By defining procedures and establishing organs for the application and granting of land concessions to non-indigenous parties, more opportunities were provided for usurping and effectively occupying land which had until then belonged to the African communities.
c) By setting up the Provincial Settlement Boards, contrary to the spirit of the law itself, the way is being opened to European colonisation in Guinea to the detriment of the interests of the overwhelming majority of the people arid of all classes of Africans.
Moreover, the 1961 'reforms' are contrary to the spirit of the provisions of resolutions 1542 (XV) and 1514 (XV) of the United Nations General Assembly, because they effect no change in the Portuguese political Constitution which having been revised in 1961 with the clear intention of evading the obligations arising from the principles of the Charter, continues to state that Guinea is "an integral part of the Portuguese nation". Their purpose is to perpetuate the fiction of the 'overseas provinces' and they therefore constitute a flagrant violation of the right of the people of Guinea to self-determination and independence, while at the same time an attempt is made to baffle the vigilance of the forces fighting for freedom, particularly those of the United Nations.
But the Portuguese colonial government has never succeeded and never will succeed in attaining the objectives of the 1961 'reforms'. Despite all subterfuges, they fail to conceal the actual realities of the constitutional and legal status of the people of Guinea. These very 'reforms' show that, now as before, this status continues to be determined by:
a) the Portuguese political Constitution;
b) the Overseas Organic Law;
c) the administrative and Legal Statute of Guinea.
Moreover the organs of Portuguese sovereignty—the Head of the Portuguese State, the Portuguese National Assembly, the Portuguese Government and the Portuguese courts—still have the final say in the economic, political and social life of the colony. The National Assembly, the Council and the Portuguese Minister for Overseas Territories still hold special legislative powers with respect to Guinea. These metropolitan organs enjoy the co-operation of the Portuguese Corporative Chamber, the Conference of Overseas Governors, the Economic Conference of Overseas Portugal and other technical bodies. The Governor and the Government Council, the former exercising executive and legislative powers and the latter acting in an advisory capacity, are still the colony's organs of government. There has been no change either in the system of appointing the Governor or in the composition and the manner of appointment and election of the members of the Government Council.
Today, as yesterday, the Portuguese in Guinea are imbued with the same spirit in which, from the Middle Ages until our times, they practised the slave trade; the spirit in which they engaged in their cruel wars of conquest and occupation, in which they built up and organised, down to the smallest detail, the colonial exploitation of the country's human and natural resources, and which at present motivates the prevalent economic, police and military repression and furnishes the threat of a new colonial war which hangs over the people of Guinea. It is that spirit, which is a historical development of the Middle Ages, which determines and shapes Portugal's colonial legislation and methods.
Internal peace and security—repression
The laws and the daily realities of economic, political, social and cultural life to which' the people of Guinea are subjected reveal that the people are the target of one of the most violent and best-organised examples of oppression (national, social and cultural) and economic exploitation in the history of colonialism. This system of oppression and economic exploitation was introduced and built up in Guinea by force of arms. Its development and continued implementation could be achieved only by recourse to armed repression (by the army and the police) and by the systematic use of violence in all its forms against any attempt at insurrection made by the people of Guinea.
The 'internal peace and security' imposed by Portuguese colonial domination in Guinea is not, and never has been, anything other than the fruit of a victory achieved by systematic repression, supported by an administrative framework which has engineered down to the most trifling detail its action against the long-standing desire for liberation and the active hatred of the people of Guinea for foreign domination. This situation has obtained from the times of the conquest and colonial occupation right up to the active struggle for national liberation which that people is waging today.
In the course of colonial wars lasting over half a century (1870-1936), hardly a year went by, as Teixeira da Mota admits, without some kind of military operations. These operations "had sometimes to be repeated over and over again against the same populations". The period from 1936 to 1959, after the , administrative machine had been put together and set in motion, was one of silent repression, of secret recourse to violence, of unsung victims, of disorganised, individual reaction, of assaults and crimes of all sorts taking place within the four walls of the administrative buildings. Since 1959, in the face of the great strides of the African peoples along the road to national independence and of the firm resolution of the people of Guinea to free themselves from the Portuguese colonial yoke, there has been a return to open and undisguised repression by the army and police, in the towns as in the countryside, in private homes as in the public services, in the massacre of the indigenous populations as in the murder of nationalist prisoners.
A detailed and concrete study of the practical realities of the life of the people of Guinea and of the practices of the Portuguese overlords reveals that despite all the precautionary and repressive measures taken by the Portuguese colonialists, they have never actually experienced a real `era of internal peace and security' in Guinea. One of the most interesting features of the Portuguese colonial laws is that despite all attempts at disguise, they disclose not only the intentions and actions of the Portuguese masters, but also the methods and means they resort to in order to preserve law and order and maintain their presence in peace and security.
Although the structure and organisation of Portuguese colonial domination display both in theory and in practice—down to the most insignificant details—a high degree of efficiency in exploiting the African population, the basic strength of Portuguese colonialism lies not in legal provisions nor in any original features of its political organisation. The basic strength of Portuguese colonialism, whether or not assisted by favourable historical circumstances, lies, and has always lain, in its moral and physical propensity for repressive practices, based on an absolute refusal to regard the African as a human being.
lie cannon and other firearms of the era of discovery and conquest, the palmatoria, the whip, the pistol, the modern rifle, the machine gun, the mortar, bombs of all kinds, including napalm bombs, and torture are the instruments of that strength. The navigators and mariners of former days, the mercenaries, the Captains General, the soldiers of the 'pacification', the sepoys, the chefes de posto, the Administrators, the Governors, the modern colonial troops (army, navy and air force) and the political police are its agents.
This is not the place for a recital of the crimes of Portuguese colonialism, of which world opinion is now well aware. It will suffice to recall that from the time of the slave hunts until the massacres of today, the people of Guinea have been the constant victims of these crimes.
a) More than a million Africans were carried off by the slave traders from the Guinea region.
b) Tens of thousands of Africans in Guinea were killed in the colonial wars of conquest and of occupation.
c) Few adult Africans—the so-called natives—have escaped the palmatoria or the whip.
d) On August 3rd 1959, fifty African workers who had gone on strike were massacred on the docks at Pijiguiti (Bissao).
e) A number of African nationalists, including Joao Rosa, accountant, Antonio Teixeira, mechanic, and Joao Araujo, farmer, died of the tortures to which they were subjected by the political police (PIDE), in whose prisons more than 1,000 African nationalists have been incarcerated since 1957.
f) Over 300 nationalists are still held in the prisons of the PIDE, including: Fernando Fortes, post office employee; Epifanio Amado, assistant pharmacist; Inacio Semédo, farmer; Quintino Nozolini, official; Mamadu Ture, barman; Bernardo Pereira, clerk; Malan Nanque, farmer; Eduardo Pinto, mechanic; Domingos Furtado, clerk; Renato Furtado, clerk.
g) Recently, hundreds of nationalist Africans have been sent to the concentration camp of the island of Galinhas.
h) Dozens of Africans have been killed in the bush by Portuguese troops, who burn down any villages thought to be rebellious.
i) Hardly a day passes, in town or countryside, without the rattle of machine-guns, the thud of mortars or the roar of aircraft engaged in the unceasing hunt for nationalists.
At the present time, as a means of repressing the nationalist forces, attempting to stifle the struggle for national liberation by the people of Guinea, and perpetuating their own domination, the Portuguese colonialists have available:
4,000 European soldiers
2,500 African soldiers
5 jet aircraft (fighters)
2 bomber aircraft
2 armed avisos (dispatch boats)
modern equipment including tanks and napalm bombs,
comprising 300 African men (including sepoys) commanded by European officers and sergeants
Political police (PIDE)
10 European special agents, and about 1,000 European and African intelligence agents, commanded by an inspector
The European population
most of whom act as unpaid intelligence agents for the PIDE
The government authorities
these supply information and serve the army as well as carrying out civil policy, in addition to engaging in repression on their own account.
An air base in the Cabo Verde islands, an airfield at Bissao and several airstrips in the interior and in the islands of Guinea are used for purposes of repression by the air force. Since Guinea is eight hours' flying time from Lisbon, the Portuguese colonialists also rely on the possibility of rushing in emergency reinforcements from the home country if necessary.
As the struggle for national liberation takes shape, the number of African soldiers is being progressively decreased and that of European soldiers increased. The African soldiers are recruited by the government authorities and sent under duress to military camps. The European soldiers form part of special overseas contingents, detached to Guinea. The security police are recruited from among the sepoys and former soldiers. The intelligence agents of the political police are recruited among Africans who agree to betray their own people in order to protect their own positions or to obtain employment or a means of livelihood. The European agents are exclusively professionals, seasoned men from Portugal. Some of them attended the Nazi schools of repression.
Future prospects for the country
Although living under the threat of another colonial war—whose probable methods and atrocities are tragically and graphically illustrated in the action currently being undertaken by Portuguese colonialist forces against the people of Angola—the people of Guinea are determined to bring about an improvement in the situation of their country. They are resolved to live up to their tradition of resistance to foreign domination by putting a speedy end to Portuguese colonialism and laying down in freedom the groundwork for the progressive development of their African homeland.
The desire to throw off the colonial yoke and rid itself of foreign domination has always been one of the deepest aspirations of the people of Guinea. Wounded in their human dignity, deprived of any legal personality, they have never let slip any opportunity to manifest their non-acceptance of, aversion for and resistance to the 'Portuguese presence' in Guinea. The Africans of Guinea have had recourse to every means at their disposal, from individual opposition to collective action, from refusal to pay taxes to mass emigration, in order to defend their dignity and give proof of their love of freedom and hatred of foreign rule. Suffice it to recall that during the last forty years more than 50,000 Africans have left Guinea in order to settle in neighbouring territories; and also that to this very day, some groups, such as the inhabitants of the island of Canhabaque and of the Oio region (in the interior of the country) have not entirely submitted to Portuguese domination. A glance at the Portuguese colonial laws will show that they have been inspired by anxiety, by the need to remain vigilant and to repress the resistance of the African population of Guinea.
The people of Guinea love peace and freedom and wish to put an end to the misery, the suffering, the state of ignorance and the trepidation in which they live. Being aware of their rights in their own country, the people of Guinea aspire to freedom and wish to achieve progress and happiness in peace. But the Portuguese state has always evinced the utmost contempt for the legitimate aspirations of the people of Guinea. Moreover it has always replied to such demonstrations by resorting to the severest repressive measures.
In addition, the constitutional, legal, political and administrative situation of Guinea—the laws and practices of Portuguese colonialism—have never given the people of that country an opportunity of fulfilling their aspirations, or of making even gradual headway along the path of freedom and progress, 'within the framework of the Portuguese administration'. Thus there has never been more than one way in which the people of Guinea could attempt to fulfil their aspirations towards liberty and progress, namely, by a struggle for national liberation. Despite the particularly difficult conditions confronting them, the people of Guinea, guided by enlightened leaders who at an early stage foresaw the decline and end of the colonial era, roused themselves and in 1953, with courage and enthusiasm, plunged into the struggle for national liberation.
It was the actual internal conditions, the realities of their daily life, which decided the people of Guinea to undertake the struggle for national liberation and for the speedy and total liquidation of Portuguese colonialism. But the struggles and victories of other African peoples against foreign rule and the progress made by mankind in the realms of freedom, human dignity, social justice and international law have played no small part in influencing and strengthening that decision. That is why the fight of Guinea for national liberation is part and parcel of the struggle of the African peoples for the total abolition of foreign rule in Africa—for the final and irrevocable abolition of the colonial system—which is one of the outstanding features of contemporary history.
Starting in 1953, Africans of Guinea attempted to organise themselves in order to take up, in an orderly manner and by collective action, the defence of their rights and interests (economic, political, moral and cultural) against the injustice, discrimination and despotism of the Portuguese administration. Although they were concerned with the situation of the so-called 'indigenous' masses with which they had close links (principally in the urban areas), they were forced to confine these attempts at organisation, at least in appearance, to those Africans who at the time were called asimilados or civilizados. These attempts coincided with the return to Guinea of some Africans who, abroad and for the most part in Europe, had closely followed the evolution of colonial policy and the international situation after the Second World War. In Portugal, they had taken their first steps along the path of 're-africanisation' and development of national consciousness together with African students from other Portuguese colonies.
All these attempts failed in the face of opposition from the administrative authorities, who went so far as to forbid the establishment of a sports and recreational association for Africans. Sensing that something new was occurring that affected the 'tranquillity' of the population, especially in Bissao, the authorities decided to keep close watch on suspect Africans. However, the vanguard of this nationalist movement (composed primarily of Guinean and Cabo Verdian civil servants and business employees) began secretly to mobilise the workers of Bissao into an organisation called the Movement for the National Independence of Guinea (MING).
In 1956, all attempts at lawful action having failed and because of the weakness of the MING, this same group of Africans, together with several craftsmen and manual workers, decided to create a clandestine organisation of the political party type to carry on the struggle for national liberation. Thus was born, in September of that year, the Partido Africano da Independencia da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC), the central organisation of the peoples of those colonies in the struggle for national liberation.
The PAIGC defined its fundamental objectives as follows (article 4 of the Statutes).
a) Immediate conquest of national independence in Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands.
b) Democratization and emancipation of the African populations of these countries, exploited for centuries by Portuguese colonialism.
c) Achievement of rapid economic progress and true social and cultural advancement for the peoples of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands.
To win national independence, the PAIGC set itself the task of mobilising, organising and directing the Guinean and Cabo Verde masses in the struggle for the total abolition of Portuguese colonial rule (article 5 of the Statutes). Having proclaimed, in its manifesto, its intention to create the means necessary to "build peace, happiness and progress" in Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands, the PAIGC defined a minor programme of "unity and struggle" and drew up a major programme* along the following general lines: immediate and total independence; national unification of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands; African unification; a democratic and anti-colonialist regime; economic independence, building up the economy and developing production; justice and progress for all; strong national defence with the participation of the people; an independent international policy, in the interests of the nation, Africa, peace and progress of mankind.
With regard to international policy, the PAIGC declared itself for "peaceful co-operation with al/ the peoples of the world" and expressed its acceptance of and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and those of the Bandung Conference.
Starting in 1958, after overcoming not only the difficulties of building up a clandestine military organisation while exposed to the dangers of Portuguese repression, by then reinforced (since 1957) by the active presence of the political police, but also the resistance to be expected in a society in which political organisations had always been forbidden, the PAIGC undertook to broaden the struggle for liberation both in Guinea and in the Cabo Verde Islands, limiting itself primarily, however, to the working masses and employees in the urban areas. This development was greatly accelerated after 1958, following the national independence of the Republic of Guinea, which opened up new prospects for the historical evolution of the African peoples.
The strikes of July-August 1959, suppressed by the massacre at the Pijiguiti dock, showed that the course followed until then had been a mistaken one. The urban centres proved to be the stronghold of colonialism, and mass demonstrations and representations were found to be not only ineffectual but also an easy target for the repressive and destructive operations of the colonialist forces.
Meeting clandestinely in Bissao in September 1959, the PAIGC adopted the following plan.
a) To reinforce the organisation in the urban areas, but to maintain it clandestinely and avoid all public demonstrations.
b) Urgently to mobilise and organise the rural masses, shown by experience to be the principal force in the struggle for national liberation.
c) To induce Africans of all ethnic groups, of all origins and of all social strata to unite around the Party.
d) To train the greatest possible number of persons, both at home and abroad, for the political leadership, the organisation and the development of the struggle.
e) To strengthen co-operation with the nationalist organisations of other Portuguese colonies, with the African countries, in particular the independent countries, and, further, with the democratic and progressive forces of the world, including those of Portugal. To develop effective action at the international level.
f) To organise or encourage the organisation of nationalist movements abroad, in particular among the émigrés residing in territories neighbouring on Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands, to work for liberation and for the future of their people.
g) To increasingly strengthen and broaden the organisation, to train cadres in increasing numbers and to endeavour to obtain the necessary means for successfully pursuing the struggle. To expect the best, but to be prepared for the worst.
h) To train technical personnel at all levels, and, as far as possible, to study and plan the groundwork for and means of promoting rapid economic progress in Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands.
In order to ensure the safety of some of its leaders and to develop the struggle abroad, the Party decided to transfer its general secretariat to Conakry. It was able to do so thanks to the fraternal support of the Parti Democratique of the Republic of Guinea.
Although the colonialist forces soon launched the campaign of repression to which the country is still subjected (the first arrests of nationalists by the PIDE took place in April 1960), and although the colonial army and its equipment were greatly strengthened, within a little over two years the PAIGC succeeded in carrying out its plan and thus ensuring the successful continuation of the struggle it is directing. Thus
a) The Party organisation in the urban areas is today stronger than ever and remains clandestine, in the interests of the struggle, which has just entered a more active phase. This was recently proved most strikingly, at the time of the arrest of the Party's Chairman, Rafael Barbosa, who for eighteen months lived in hiding in Bissao. The organisation and discipline of the Party were such that it was able to contain the rebellious masses, and thus avoid the massacres which the colonialist forces expected to perpetrate.**
b) The peasant masses are, in the main, mobilised and organised throughout the country. Today, together with the workers and employees of the urban areas, they constitute the principal strength of the Party, to which they have given many of its best leaders.
c) Inside the country, all ethnic groups, all social strata, Africans of all origins, men and women, the young and the old, are solidly united around the Party. This is borne out by the non-existence in the country of any other organisation, by the fact that the people as a whole carry out the Party's instructions, and even by the presence within its leadership of nationalists from all social strata, all beliefs and most of the ethnic groups, men as well as women.
d) Hundreds of cadres (in politics, the trade union movement and the intensification of the struggle), most of them young people, have received their training from the Party and are now in the forefront of the continual mobilisation, organisation and education of the masses of the people, for the achievement of national independence, its consolidation, and the political, economic, social and cultural building up of the country.
e) Co-operation with other nationalist organisations in the Portuguese colonies has been strengthened and organised. After the dissolution of the African Revolutionary Front for the National Independence of the Portuguese Colonies (FRAI N) set up in Tunis in January 1960 by the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the PAIGC, these same organisations, together with those of Mozambique, Sao Tome and Goa, created the Conference of Nationalist Organisations of the Portuguese Colonies (CONCP) at Casablanca in April 1961, with general secretariat headquarters at Rabat. The role of the CONCP is fundamentally that of co-ordinating the struggle of the peoples of the Portuguese colonies and ensuring unity, solidarity and co-operation.
At the African and Afro-Asian level, the PAIGC has now developed fruitful relations with the governments and parties of the independent countries and with the nationalist organisations of the countries as yet dependent. As an active member of the Conference of African Peoples and the Council of Solidarity of Afro-Asian Peoples, the P A1GC has participated in all international meetings concerned with the liberation of the colonial peoples. Similarly, it has visited several countries and secured the natural support of African countries (in particular the Republics of Guinea, Ghana, Senegal and Mali, and the Kingdom of Morocco), as well as the active solidarity of Asian countries.
At the international level, after the Secretary-General of the Party had revealed the crimes of Portuguese colonialism to world opinion, something done for the first time by an African from the Portuguese colonies, intensified and persistent action was taken to make known the true situation of the peoples under Portuguese domination and to obtain support and aid for their liberation. Thus the PAIGC enlisted not only the sympathy but also the active support, political in the main, of peace and freedom-loving peoples and governments, and also of democratic and progressive organisations, in the fight waged by the peoples of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands.
At the United Nations, the PAIGC has always expressed the legitimate aspirations of its people to national liberation and independence, and its confidence in the Organisation. Clearly emphasising the desire for peace and liberty which motivates its action, the PAIGC sent to the United Nations, among other documents, a memorandum addressed to the sixteenth session of the General Assembly, dated 26 September 1961, in which it proposed specific measures for the peaceful abolition of Portuguese rule.
Moreover, on the principle that the struggle it is directing is neither aimed against the Portuguese people nor contrary to their true interests, the PAIGC has established and developed contacts with Portuguese democratic elements, not only for the purpose of organically strengthening the struggle against Portugal's colonial-fascist regime, but also with a view to preserving the possibility of co-operation between the people of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands and the Portuguese people, on the basis of independence and of reciprocity of rights and duties.
f) Following suggestions and proposals made by the PAIGC either from within its home country or locally, the émigrés from Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands residing in the neighbouring countries have created liberation 'movements.' In the Republic of Guinea, the Movement for the Liberation of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands (ML G CV, Conakry), organised with the help of the general secretariat of the PAIGC, groups all émigrés truly interested in the liberation of their people and works in close co-operation with that secretariat.
In July 1961, following an appeal for unity launched by the PAIGC in April 1961, the Conference of Nationalist Organisations of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands was held in Dakar. It was presided over by a leader of the Party, and several official bodies were represented. Following a proposal by the PAIGC, the Conference, by means of several resolutions, among them one creating the United Liberation Front of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands (FUL) which comprises the Party (the organisation inside the country) and the movements abroad (in the Republics of Guinea and Senegal), assumed the task of co-ordinating joint action in the struggle against Portuguese colonialism (articles I and II of the charter of the FUL).
The 'movements' in Senegal, paralysed by parochialism and by internal and inter-party conflicts and contradictions, were unable to consolidate their organisations (which broke up into a number of sub-groups), and failed to respect the commitments made at the Dakar Conference concerning the creation of the FUL, which they disavowed. These 'movements' have been unable thus far to co-operate usefully in the liberation struggle in which they propose to take part and, in addition, some of them have made difficulties for that struggle, principally by assuming negative attitudes and even attitudes contrary to the interests of the Republic of Senegal itself (we may cite as an example the attacks directed from that country's territory in July 1961, which were halted in time by the Senegalese Government).
At the present time, the PAIGC, which has the support of a large number of the émigrés from Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands living in Senegal, is sparing no efforts to ensure that, as in the Republic of Guinea, the émigrés who are really interested in the liberation of their people cooperate to the best effect with those carrying on the fight inside the country. In this endeavour has the fraternal sympathy of the Senegalese people and their Government.
Continually strengthening and expanding its organisation, the Party now covers all parts of the country. Its membership is constantly growing, particularly among the popular masses who are definitively committed to the struggle. Furthermore, the Party has never spared any effort to secure the ways and means for carrying on the fight to victory in the face of the Portuguese administration's systematic disregard for the aspirations of the people of Guinea. In pursuing those efforts, it has acted on the principle that liberation should be the work of the people themselves, who should rely primarily on their own resources to attain this goal.
Seeking a peaceful solution of its conflict with the Portuguese colonialists, the PAIGC took specific steps to try to persuade the Portuguese government to recognise the right of the people of Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands to self-determination and national independence and by so doing to enhance the possibilities of co-operation between them and the Portuguese people. These steps which at the same time promoted the interests of international peace and security, included the dispatch of a 'memorandum' and an 'open letter' to the Portuguese government, dated 1 December 1960 and 13 October 1961 respectively. In this way specific proposals were submitted to the Portuguese government for the peaceful elimination of colonial rule in Guinea and the Cabo Verde Islands.
But the Portuguese government ignored these efforts, its only response being to reinforce its colonial troops and intensify its repression.
Confronted with the reactionary attitude of that Government and in particular its blatant contempt for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its fifteenth session, the PAIGC, acting in accordance with the will of the people of Guinea and recognising the urgent need to give practical aid to the people of Angola as a new colonial war of genocide was unleashed against them, proclaimed on 3 August 1961, the anniversary of the massacre of Pijiguiti quay, that the fight for liberation had passed from the purely political phase to the phase of direct action.
In accordance with the specific conditions of that fight and the plans for its development, direct action was limited to sabotage of the bases of colonial exploitation in Guinea. That decision was and continues to be applied in all parts of Guinea, and the action taken has proved to be an effective means of disrupting and disorganising colonialist exploitation.
Interpreting the peaceful attitude of the people of Guinea, the PAIGC still is and always has been desirous of reaching a peaceful solution of the conflict between them and the government of Portugal. Such a solution must not, however, be long in coming, for the people of Guinea, revolted by the crimes and outrages of Portuguese colonialist practice, mobilised, organised and prepared for the task of shaking off the colonial yoke, are willing to make any sacrifice to put an end to foreign rule. What is more, they are now capable of doing so.
If the United Nations itself and all the forces which are really in a position to influence the Portuguese government, with a view to making it respect international legality, prove unable to persuade that government to abandon its reactionary and criminal position, nothing will be able to stop the people of Guinea from resorting to all available means of eliminating once and for all the bases and agents of Portuguese rule. In such an event, the Portuguese government itself would obviously bear sole responsibility for whatever happened in Guinea.
In order to further the important task of consolidating independence and ensuring progress, the PAIGC is organising an extensive programme for the training of cadres (administration, production, health, tourism, etc.) and is putting it into effect as far as circumstances permit. It is eager to avail itself of every possible opportunity of proceeding as rapidly as possible with the training of a large body of personnel, particularly at the intermediate level, so that there will be African civil servants ready to go into action immediately following liberation.
These, then, if only in broad outline, are some of the specific aspects of the development of the fight for national liberation being waged by the people of Guinea. As far as the actual conduct of the struggle is concerned, its development, both within the country and abroad, has been determined fundamentally by the activities of the Party, which has its headquarters and the great majority of its active members and leaders inside the country.
Accordingly, it may be stated that national liberation offers the only prospect for' Guinea's development. In other words, the necessary and indispensable condition for its development, in terms both of what the Guineans want and of cold fact, is today national liberation.
Although it is still in full process of development, the fight for liberation of the people of Guinea has already had certain positive results which, having strengthened it considerably, may be regarded as victories.
For example, it has increased the political awareness of the African masses, who had never before been permitted to exercise those essential functions of man—political thought and action.
It has intensified the feeling of unity of all Africans without distinction and is continuing to do so to an ever greater extent each day. In this connection, two facts are especially noteworthy. Firstly, the fight has erased the differences—many of which are carefully cultivated by the colonialists—between certain ethnic groups in Guinea, which are now united in the pursuit of national liberation and progress. Secondly, it has destroyed an important weapon on which the Portuguese colonialists were relying in their effort to `resist' the overwhelming desire of the people of Guinea for freedom: the conflict, often superficial and always based on material considerations, between the Cabo Verde minority, deliberately favoured by the colonialists in the matter of public service employment, and the asimilados among the native majority. Today, the people of Guinea and the people of Cabo Verde, whether behind prison walls or in hiding in the bush, are increasingly strengthening their unity, sharing a common ideal and acting together for the cause of national liberation and progress.
It has developed and is increasingly strengthening the national consciousness of a free and just fatherland for which all ethnic groups, all religious communities, all men and women are fighting.
Gradually overcoming the complexes engendered by colonial exploitation, it has enabled the 'marginal' human beings who are the product of colonialism to recover their personality as Africans. It has reawakened among the Africans of Guinea in general a feeling of confidence in the future.
It has made the personality of Guinea as an African nation known to the rest of the world, has given its people prestige and has won them the sympathy and friendship of other peoples.
It has influenced and is continuing strongly to influence the development of the fight for liberation in the Cabo Verde Islands, whose people are indissolubly linked with those of Guinea by ties of history and of blood.
It has encouraged the fight for liberation of the peoples of the other Portuguese colonies, has materially assisted the people of Angola in their struggle by making it necessary for the Portuguese colonialists to divert some of their troops from that country, and in general has served the cause of Africa's liberation from foreign rule,
In addition to these results, however, the fight of the people of Guinea has begun to have a significant effect on the actions of the Portuguese colonialists themselves. For example it has helped to bring about a gradual deterioration in the economy of Portugal as a nation oppressing other nations, for in carrying out its repressive policies Portugal is obliged to spend more and more money and is meeting with increasingly stubborn resistance from those nations.
It has shaken the morale and upset the material life of the families of the colonialists, who have had to send most of the European women and children back to Portugal with the consent of the authorities, because of growing insecurity.
It has obliged the colonial authorities to spend considerable amounts on bribing certain Africans and has caused them to lose confidence in the indigenous troops, in whom they formerly had great trust, and even in some of their own collaborators.
It has obliged the Portuguese state for the first time in history to nominate certain Africans to posts of responsibility, including that of deputy in Guinea.
It has helped to bring about a decline in the income of colonialist commercial and financial enterprises and to aggravate considerably the colony's unfavourable balance of trade during the past three years, thereby worsening Portugal's economic situation.
It has provoked and deepened differences of opinion among Europeans living in Guinea, particularly in the Portuguese army, from whose ranks there have been a considerable number of desertions.
It has obliged the administrative authorities to abandon certain repressive measures, such as those applied in connection with the collection of taxes, and has been one of the causes, together with the United Nations resolution on decolonisation, of the promulgation of the 'reforms' of 1961 and the repeal, if only in theory, of the Estatuto dos Indigenas.
Accession to independence
The people of Guinea are fighting for their right to self-determination and national independence. They wish to decide their future for themselves, free from any kind of foreign intervention in affairs which are their exclusive concern. They wish to shake off the colonial yoke completely so that they may form a free and sovereign nation in a new and independent Africa.
The people of Guinea know very well that the procedures and methods to be adopted for the prompt restoration of their right to self-determination, for the immediate elimination of Portuguese colonial rule and for the attainment of national independence do not depend on their wishes alone. If that were true, Guinea would already be an independent country and accordingly the situation of its people would not be an international problem.
The people of Guinea consider that the re-establishment of international legality in their country with respect for the right to self-determination, the elimination of colonialism and the attainment of national independence—depend essentially on the following factors:
a) their own desire and determination to free themselves from the colonial yoke, as manifested in the means and the human and material resources which are available to them for the attainment of this goal;
b) the attitude and conduct (moral, political and legal) of the Portuguese government as a party directly concerned in the matter;
c) international politics, that is, the result of internal and external factors which determine at the international level the specific action (positive or negative) both of governments (considered individually or as members of international assemblies) and of the United Nations itself;
d) the time required for the contradictions inherent in each of the above factors, which are constantly in a state of flux, to be defined, to develop and to straighten themselves out, whether by peaceful or non-peaceful means.
Where the United Nations is concerned, the problem of this people's national independence may be summarised in the following two alternatives: (1) either the United Nations, duly supported by the democratic forces of the world, will succeed in planning and putting into effect practical measures compelling the Portuguese government to respect the Charter and the resolution on decolonialisation, to abide by international legality, to renounce a position which is contrary to civilised interests and to desist from a crime against humanity, or (2) the United Nations, through lack of support, methods and practical measures, or some or all of these factors, will not succeed in persuading the Portuguese government to abandon its stubborn and absurd attitude.
In the former case—which may be called 'effective recognition by the Portuguese government of the respect it owes to the United Nations'—we would have the hypothesis of that government accepting the peaceful elimination of Portuguese colonial domination by negotiation. The attitude of the people of Guinea, as interpreted by its legitimate representatives, would obviously be the one already defined for such a hypothesis. Not only would the prestige of the United Nations be maintained (it would show that the resolution on decolonialisation can indeed be put into effect), but it would also be possible to take into account Portuguese interests in that country, while stubbornly defending the rights of the people of Guinea. Thus it would still be possible to provide for the possibility of studying and defining the participation and assistance of the United Nations in the practical solution of the problem at issue, through its representatives who are most versed in these matters.
In the second case, the hypothesis that peaceful means can be used to eliminate Portuguese colonialism in Guinea would cease to have any meaning, perhaps even less meaning than in the case of a refusal by the Portuguese government without United Nations intervention. The prestige of the United Nations would be seriously jeopardised, the resolution on decolonialisation would run the risk of being regarded as an academic exercise in international law and the people of Guinea would be obliged to use all means within their power to put an end to the crime perpetrated by the Portuguese government against itself and against mankind.
It is therefore justifiable to conclude that the United Nations' opportunity of contributing to the peaceful solution of the dispute between the people of Guinea and the Portuguese government does not depend on that people, which is seeking national independence and fighting for it, but on the nature and dynamic of the relations, whether peaceful or not, between that international Organisation and the Portuguese state. Hence, the measures which will have to be taken to secure the accession of the people of Guinea to national independence will also not depend—at least not immediately—on the people of Guinea, but above all on the United Nations, since that Organisation, as the guardian and trustee of international law, is the only body which can compel the Portuguese government to agree to the negotiations in which those measures would be defined.
The people of Guinea, reaffirming its confidence in the United Nations, hopes that the Organisation will not fail urgently to adopt specific and effective measures to oblige the Portuguese government to respect international law, and thus fulfil the weighty responsibilities incumbent upon it for the final elimination of colonialism in Guinea.