Amilcar Cabral

New Year's message, January 1969

First Published:1969
Source: Amilcar Cabral, Revolution in Guinea, stage 1, London, 1974, pp
Translated: Richard Handyside
Transcription/Markup: Steve Palmer
Copyleft: Copyright stage 1 .

Extracts from message recorded in the studios of Radio Libertacao and broadcast on January 1 1969

To the people of Guinea and Cabo Verde

To the cadres, militants and combatants of our Party

Compatriots and comrades

At the beginning of this new year of 1969, in which our armed struggle for national liberation ends its sixth year, I have great pleasure in addressing to you this message of greetings, of felicitations and of certainty of final victory for our glorious fight against the criminal Portuguese colonialists.

Our people, the cadres, militants and combatants of our great Party have good reason to celebrate the new year and the anniversary of our struggle with strengthened hope and with greater certainty of the final victory of our struggle for the independence, freedom, peace and progress of our people in Guinea and Cabo Verde.

As you all know, we started virtually from nothing. In the face of the repression and the crimes of the Portuguese colonialists we managed to organise and consolidate our Party and, step by step, to develop the armed struggle in Guinea, and we have now freed from colonial domination more than two thirds of our country and more than half our population. We are preparing for a new phase of the struggle in Cabo Verde. We are developing production, education, health facilities and trade in our liberated areas. We have made the name of our people well known in Africa and in the world. We have created and are creating hundreds of political, military, technical and scientific cadres. We guarantee, with complete certainty, the continuation of our struggle until final victory.

For six years the criminal Portuguese colonialists, with the help of their allies, have used every available means of des­truction against us and have increased the strength of their troops sevenfold; they have changed their governor and commanders as we would change shirts; they have tried every sort of propaganda, lies and political intrigues to demobilise our people and our combatants; they have committed acts of aggression against neighbouring countries and have done everything possible to halt our struggle-but they have not succeeded.

On the contrary, our people is becoming more aware of its strength and our Party is growing stronger each day, our armed forces are more powerful than ever, with more combatants and cadres, with greater experience and more power­ful weapons. This, compatriots and comrades, is the greatest victory of our people and our great Party in these six years: the successful continuation of our struggle, the constant improvement of our political and military organisation, the ever-growing certainty that no power on earth can halt the advance of our people towards national independence. This is also the greatest defeat for the Portuguese colonialists who have done everything to stop our struggle but today are forced to recognise that this is impossible.

Compatriots and comrades: those of you who have heard or read the speech of the new head of the Portuguese government to the National Assembly of his country will be proud of the outstanding place given to our struggle in that speech. In fact the new head of the criminal Portuguese colonialists could not conceal the desperate situation of the colonial war in our country and in his speech he had to make propaganda for the successes and importance of our struggle.

You will also have heard the speech made in Bissao a few days ago by the military governor of the criminal Portuguese colonialists. This speech too was good propaganda for our struggle because it clearly showed the desperate situation of the Portuguese military governor here in our country and because it once again showed to our people and our com­batants that our struggle is a just one and that we have a right to the progress for which we are fighting. Money to buy more traditional chiefs, salary increases for officials, wage increases for workers, schools, hospitals, surfaced roads, various agricultural improvements, electricity and water for all houses, ventilator fans and refrigerators for families, etc, etc-all this was promised by the military governor of Bissao. Our people, whether they be in the towns or in the countryside, know what the promises of the criminal Portuguese colonialists are worth, but they know above all that our dignity as an African people, our struggle, the in­dependence we have already won in the greater part of Guinea, cannot be bought. They know too that without our struggle, without the great victories won by our Party, the Portuguese military governor would not have needed to make all these promises in order to try to deceive us and re­main in our country. This is why on hearing promises of so many good things our people in town and country will cer­tainly have said as usual: "Djarama PAIGC-thanks to the Party!"

At the beginning of this new year of struggle we must tell the criminal Portuguese colonialists, loudly and clearly, that if this is the way they want things they are going to pay dearly, very dearly, not to remain here but to be driven out of our country! Whatever works they hastily carry out on Bissao island or in some urban centres, whatever last-minute efforts they may make, they are surely going to be run out of our country, because our people is going to free itself completely from the odious Portuguese colonial domination and build for itself, through work in dignity and independ­ence, a life of liberty, justice and progress for all, the main objective in the programme of our great Party.

We are going to make the year 1969-which marks the 10th anniversary of the Pijiguiti massacre-a year of decisive enlargement of the struggle, a year of even greater victories than those won previously, a year in which we will prove to the criminal Portuguese colonialists that our people does not need their consent to be a free and independent nation with its own personality in the international field.

We must mete out just punishment to the traitors among our people, those who continue to serve the criminal Portu­guese colonialists against the interests of our people. We are going to show these traitors clearly that it is now time to decide: either they must cease being the servants of the Portuguese colonialists or they must be totally destroyed.

We must intensify our struggle, our political work and our military action, and bring armed struggle to every corner of our country in which there are still colonialist troops. In our political work, we are going to create more comites de base for the Party, increase production, improve education, health services and all the other services of our developing state. In the armed struggle we are going to use more weapons, and more powerful weapons, reinforcing the initiative and ease of movement and fire for our Popular Army, to inflict new and more crushing defeats on the criminal Portuguese colonialists.

Until the total liberation of our people in Guinea and Cabo Verde.

Forward, compatriots and comrades, in our glorious struggle for national liberation!

Long live the courageous combatants, cadres and militants of our Party!

Long live the PAIGC, strength, guide and light of our heroic people!

Death to the criminal Portuguese colonialists!