NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

By Robert Shanab Elias Abu; Donald C. Hodges | Go to book overview

tary bases on the islands of Assab, Holbe, and Fatimah. The importance of such bases to Israel lies in their geographical location at the southern mouth of the Red Sea which Israel could close to all Arab shipping. Israel has trained Ethiopians in counterguerrilla tactics, trained some five thousand antiguerrilla commandos plus the Ethiopian marine commando forces to fight ELF along the coast and to prevent arms from entering into Eritrea via the Red Sea. To many the Eritrean situation might spark a new fire in the Arab- Israeli conflict.


CHAPTER ONE
Interview with Amilcar Cabral* General Secretary of the African Party of Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC)

What is the state of the struggle in the cities of so-called Portuguese Guinea, particularly in the capital, Bissau, and in Cape Verde?

We have had a great deal of experience in the struggle in the cities and the urban centers of our country, where the struggle first began. At first we organized mass demonstrations, strikes, etc., to demand that the Portuguese change their position in regard to the legitimate rights of our people to self-determination and national independence. We found out that in the cities and urban centers the concentration of the Portuguese repressive forces--military, police, etc.--was causing us serious losses. For example, in August, 1959, during the Bissau dock workers' and merchant seamen's strike, in just twenty minutes the Portuguese shot to death fifty African workers and wounded more than one hundred on the Pidjiguiti docks. At that time our Party decided to hold a secret conference in Bissau, and it was then that we changed direction. That is, we began to mobilize the countryside, and we decided to prepare ourselves actively for armed struggle against the Portuguese colonialist forces.

____________________
*
From Tricontinental, Havana, No. 8, September, 1968.

-156-

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