“How is it that we, a people deprived of everything, living in dire straits, manage to wage our struggle and win successes? Our answer is: this is because Lenin existed, because he fulfilled his duty as a revolutionary and a patriot. Lenin was and continues to be, the greatest champion of the national liberation of the peoples.” -Amilcar Cabral
Amilcar Cabral (also known as Abel Djassi) was a revolutionary, engineer, and theorist from Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. He was born on September 12, 1924, and spent his entire secondary school career opposing Antonio Salazar’s repressive dictatorship in Portugal.
When he returned to his homeland, he worked tirelessly for their liberation. He established the PAIGC and assisted in the establishment of the MPLA in Angola, organizations that embraced the concepts of armed struggle and revolution in order to secure the national liberation of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde from Portuguese colonialism and exploitation.
Cabral recognized the importance and necessity of eradicating all traces of exploitation from post-independence countries and establishing a socialist order. Cabral did not want Black capitalists to simply replace Portuguese colonists. His revolutionary work was to improve the quality of life for all people, not just the privileged class that benefited from colonial education and favoritism.
As a guerrilla leader, he put his theory into action by organizing mobile field hospitals that served both civilians and guerrillas. He also used his agronomy training to teach the people better farming practices, allowing them to feed themselves and their communities more effectively.
On January 20, 1973, a traitor to the working people and peasants, Inocencio Kani, along with imperialist Portuguese agents operating within the PAIGC, shot and killed him in Conakry, Guinea. Despite his untimely death at the age of 48, his memory and work live on, and he is still regarded and remembered as a revolutionary fighter and true hero of the people he fought so long and hard to liberate.