DIS NIGGA OVERTHREW DA WHITE MAN
Guinea-Bissau is an impoverished former Portuguese colony in West Africa.
During Black History Month 2018, we’ve looked at Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Central African Republic which were French colonies. Ghana, The Gambia and South Sudan (formerly part of Sudan) were British colonies. Guinea-Bissau is part of a set of former Portuguese colonies in sub-Saharan Africa that includes Cape Verde*, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Mozambique.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa and the last to leave. They left on very different terms than the British and French. The French put up a fight to hold on to their colonies in Vietnam and Algeria. In order to avoid a repeat of that scenario, the French installed friendly elites in power, granted African countries their independence and tended to remain on good terms with most of their former colonies in Francophone Africa. After the British lost control over their more important colonies in Egypt and India, they had little incentive to fight back bloody guerrilla wars to hang on to the backwaters of the British Empire in Black Africa. The British saw their black African colonies as “trusteeships” and were relieved to be rid of the White Man’s Burden.
In Portuguese Africa, the bloody guerrilla wars for independence that the British, French and Belgians had feared and which prompted them to grant independence to their negroes without a fight came true. The Portuguese were determined to hang on to their African colonies and became embroiled in Marxist-Leninist guerrilla wars in Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique. Thus began Portugal’s own Vietnam which dragged on from 1961 and ended in the Carnation Revolution in 1974.
The Portuguese were largely successful in beating back the Marxist-Leninist guerrillas in Angola and Mozambique which were the Portuguese equivalent of Algeria where a significant number of overseas colonists had settled. In Guinea-Bissau, the Marxist-Leninist guerrillas led by Amílcar Cabral with Cuban and Soviet support were successful in taking over large swathes of the country. Ultimately, it didn’t matter because the Portuguese Empire in Africa abruptly collapsed after a leftwing military coup in Portugal in 1974. Dubbed the Carnation Revolution, Portugal’s African colonies were swiftly granted their independence and promptly fell into the Soviet-Cuban orbit.
THE CHE OF AFRICA
Amílcar Cabral didn’t live to see it. He was assassinated in neighboring Guinea in 1973, but Guinea-Bissau fell like an apple into the hands of Afrocentric Marxism. Unlike neighboring countries such as Senegal or Ivory Coast where French administrators stayed behind to assist with the transition, the administrative state was decapitated in Guinea-Bissau which was launched into independence under the leadership of Amílcar Cabral’s half brother Luís Cabral. Guinea-Bissau’s rough transition to independence more closely resembled the communist takeover in Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
“African socialism” in some form or another was implemented in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, Mali and Tanzania. Modibo Keïta, the first president of Mali, described it as “a system where there will be no unemployed, and there will be no multimillionaires … a system where there will be no beggars, and where each will eat if hungry.” In Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute defined Nkrumahism as “the ideology for the New Africa, independent and absolutely free from imperialism, organised on a continental scale, founded upon the conception of One and United Africa, drawing its strength from modern science and technology and from the traditional African belief that the free development of each is conditioned by the free development of all.”
Fastforward to 2018: Guinea-Bissau is rated #178 out of 188 nations in the UN Human Development Index. Just as The Gambia is still dependent upon peanut exports, Guinea-Bissau’s cash crop is cashews … and cocaine, which is smuggled from South America into Europe. Once called the “Slave Coast,” Guinea-Bissau has now rebranded for the 21st century as the “Cocaine Coast.”
* When the Portuguese arrived in West Africa, they found the Cape Verde islands and São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited. Even though Black Africans failed to colonize the islands off their own coast, Afrocentrists claim that an ancient black seafaring civilization colonized Central America.