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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Amílcar Cabral in Moscow 1971: Speech at the 24th Congress of the CPSU

Cabral, on the left, with another delegate to the Congress in Moscow, 1971

The immortal and unique genius of Lenin and his teachings are a powerful force that supports all true fighters against imperialism, providing them with an inexhaustible source of inspiration. - Amílcar Cabral, Bissau-Guinean and Cape Verdean revolutionary, theoretician and independence leader. From his speech at the 24th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) held in Moscow in March and April, 1971. He was assassinated in January, 1973, only eight months before Guinea-Bissau became independent.

In his speech he also highlights the key role that the USSR played in the anti-colonial struggle in his country and across Africa and the world.

Full text of speech:

Speech by Comrade AMILCAR CABRAL (General Secretary of the African Party for Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands)

Dear comrades and friends,

Our Party's delegation is attending the 24th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the great Party of Lenin, with legitimate pride and renewed hope for the future of our people and of all mankind. The immortal and unique genius of Lenin and his teachings are a powerful force that supports all true fighters against imperialism, providing them with an inexhaustible source of inspiration. We consider it an honor to be together with you and to have the opportunity to convey militant greetings and brotherly wishes from our Party to the Congress delegates, who represent 14 million Communists—the revolutionary vanguard of the friendly Soviet people, the loyal allies of our people in their difficult struggle against Portuguese colonialism and imperialist domination.

Since we are striving to liberate our country from a foreign yoke, we are here to represent not only our Party. We are the lawful representatives of the African people of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands, the oldest Portuguese colonies in Africa —a people who have been compelled to take up arms for their liberation in the face of criminal violence on the part of the Portuguese fascist colonialists, who are trampling on inter-national law and elementary human rights. In the eight years of struggle we have succeeded not only in liberating more than two-thirds of our national territory. We have even begun to build a new life in the free area. We are doing this work in the political, administrative, economic, social and cultural fields despite the genocide, the criminal colonial war being waged by the Portuguese Government against our people.

We have placed the hordes of Portuguese colonialists in such a situation in our land that even the Portuguese Head of State has had to admit that "only a miracle can save this situation." But, as the Soviet people know from their own experience, miracles in history-making activity can be accomplished only by those who strive for justice. The latest, and probably the most convincing, proof of the desperation of the Portuguese colonialists is their criminal aggression against the Republic of Guinea, our neighbor. As a result of the swift and courageous rebuff given by the fraternal people of that country under the leadership of President Ahmed Sekou Toure, the aggressors suffered an ignominious defeat, which has helped our fight as well as the common African struggle against imperialist domination.

Our confidence in victory is all the greater since your Party's Central Committee, through its General Secretary, has once again reaffirmed the CPSU's determination to go on giving moral, political and material assistance to the liberation move-ments. For us this means that the Soviet Union will, as in the past, stand steadfastly by our people, exposing the heinous war of the Portuguese colonialists and their accomplices and help-ing our Party to bring its struggle to victory. We are not in any way belittling the importance of African solidarity and the solidarity of the other anti-colonial forces when we frankly say that it is from the Soviet Union that we receive the bulk of the aid in our struggle.

We have come here in order to convey to you, internationalist fighters, the fraternal gratitude of our people. We are confident that the expression of our gratitude is, among other things, testi-mony of our own strength, for our Party retains its independence of thought and action in all its relations with other parties. We are certain that our struggle is, besides everything else, an act of solidarity with all anti-imperialist forces.

Allow us, dear comrades, from this rostrum to greet, through their worthy representatives present here, the peoples of the socialist countries, the progressive and anti-colonial forces of the West, the peoples of Africa, the Arab world, Latin America and Asia, especially the valiant fighters of Indo-China, whose heroic example is an inspiration to us. Through the Portuguese representatives we want to send our sincere greetings to the anti-fascists and anti-colonialists of Portugal, who, by defending the interests of their own people and ours, are effectively op-posing the colonialist military machine, thereby furthering the common struggle and strengthening the bonds of solidarity which unite our peoples.

Long live the friendship and solidarity between our peoples and those of the Soviet Union!


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