Amílcar Cabral was born in Guinea Bissau in 1924 and assassinated in Conakry in 1973. He was the leader of the Liberation Movement of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau and founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). He is regarded as an icon of African history.
Amilcar Cabral was murdered by Inocencio Kani a fellow PAICG naval commander at approximately 10:30 pm on January 20th 1973 in front of the PAIGC office in Conakry upon his return from a dinner at the Polish embassy accompanied by his then wife while unarmed and unprotected.
Due to declassified Portuguese archives and testimonials it is clear that the conspiracy behind Alimicar Cabral’s assassination was a plot involving the Portuguese secret police force PIDE-DGS (Policia Internacional De Defesa do Estado) similar to US C.I.A. and several Guineas PAIGC members led by Momo Toure & Aristides Barbosa who were both imprisoned in the 60s and later released by the Portuguese.
In fact shortly after Cabral’s death with the help of Guinea Conakry’s Sekou Toure , Kani and the rest of the plot leaders were captured and interrogated resulting in 43 guilty of participation in the plot and about 10 were executed including Kani.
According to eye witness testimonials, the original plot was not to kill Cabral but instead to kidnap him and deliver him to P.I.D.E. with the hope that it would gravely destabilize PAIGC and the perpetrators were promised protection from Portugal and even independence for Guinea only and not Cape Verde Islands. As the story goes Kani panicked upon Cabral’s refusal to comply at gunpoint and shot him and even while wounded Cabral kept insisting with Kani to give up on the plot in which Kani shot him a few more times ending his life and forever immortalizing him.
At the time PAIGC’s leadership was composed mostly of Capeverdeans while the great majority of the fighters were Guineas and some of them did not agree with Cabral’s philosophy of the Cape Verde-Guinea unity which created great resentment amongst some of the Guinea members. This fact then became the focus of the Portuguese plot which was to create a schism within PAICG therefore sabotaging PAIGC’s fight for independence of Guinea and Cape Verde.
However, the leadership of PAIGC was well aware of this plot from its inception and was able to remain united and arrested most if not all of the perpetrators and charged them with treason which was to be be carried out by execution. However, Cabral being the undisputed leader of the movement and PAIGC refused to follow through with this and instead he pardon several of them and placed the plot leaders under house arrest.
The sad reality was that Amilcar Cabral’s personality and principals made him an easy target for the simply fact that he did not believe in using violence and fear to assert authority. Instead, Cabral had incredible charisma and leadership skills which he was able to bring consensus in most if not all of the key issues involving the PAIGC and he personally trained most of the leaders of the party which is why the movement continued flawless after his demise.
The true genius of Amilcar Cabral was that as an outsider he was able to unite the 7 ethnic groups within Guinea (Balantes, Fulas, Manjacas, Mandingas, Papeis, Barmes & Bijagos) to fight their colonial oppressor (Portugal) but he was able to integrate a completely different people the Capeverdeans into this struggle and eventually influencing the Portuguese politics. This influence eventual resulted in the military overthrow of Caetano’s regime ending five decades of Fascist regime in Portugal making way for democracy.
Today, some politicians invoke Amilcar Cabral’s name for selfish reasons which to me tarnishes his true legacy being his genius in executing an arms struggle to end Portuguese colonialism and by convincing the rest of the world by invoking great speeches through out the world over a period of about two years from 1970-72