Sometimes Amilcar Cabral could not say openly most of what he thought for his vision was a forecast for the future in reality and actuality. Given the profound significance the symbol had for Cape Verde and Capeverdeans around the world, CaboVerdeOnline.com felt compelled to bring out the cultural ties the original flag
meant to mother Africa.
The physical aspects of Cabral's work was fragmented by the very nature of its subject - a national liberation struggle fought under the most trying conditions and motivated by the dual purpose of freeing a colonial people from foreign domination and of creating a social revolution. Cabral was the best read of all the African nationalists or revolutionaries. That is, at the two extremes of political discourse, in his capacity for abstract theorising and in his sensitivity to social process at the village level, Cabral was the most gifted member of his generation.
Today, we find ourselves asking, what was Cabral thinking when he designed the flag for Cape Verde long before his death. Sources tell CaboVerdeOnline.com that Cabral and comrade Abilio Duarte went deep into thought... They wanted to come up with a symbol that would serve as a pillar of Unity for the people of Cape Verde. In the mid 90's without much thought, new leaders of the country adopted a new flag that most people are yet to understand what it symbolizes other than it looks like the European Union flag.
The Classic Collection flag had a special meaning in the world African community and certainly symbolized struggle, independence and freedom - three words that best describes what it means to be African and constituted the following colors:
Red: for the blood that our freedom fighters shed in the jungles of Guinea. Thousands died for the freedom and independence of Cape Verde.
Green: for future life, vegetation and hope that comes from the struggle. It was Cabral's vision that some day Cape Verde would become self sufficient.
Yellow/Corn: symbolic of our children and our future which they embody. Also for the gathering and harvest of our hard work. Harvesting of Capeverdean people around the world. Cabral always emphasized that our Unity within ourselves and with Africa is as precious as Gold.
Sea Shell: stands for the food we collect from the ocean, from the fishing industry and emblem of Christ for salvation.
BlackStar: for Pan-Africanism and the 5 points is for man's five basic senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
The more you learn about the original flag, the more you understand that it was inspired by the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey in the 1930's as national colors for African people throughout the world.
Cabral loved his people and he understood the problems of the people - physically, mentally and psychologically. His mission on this earth was from above according to our source and for that he was punished, criticized and rejected severely by his enemies and at times by the same people that he set to liberate. Cabral's ideas and thoughts are still being rejected today as we enter 30 years after his death. The flag is the perfect example. Cabral's compassionate vision should be protected but it seems that the advocates of his vision have all been bought out and his people are still suffering - a different type of oppression.
Throughout all this, it is clear that there was at the time a clear leadership, a political will and a strategy. Something we ought to learn today if we are to go forward based on Cabral's vision of Unity and Prosperity for the people of Cabo Verde...
PAIGC eventually became the undisputed movement in Guinea-Bissau despite the Frente para Libertação e Independência da Guiné, Front for the Liberation and Independence of Guinea (FLING), Movimento de libertação da Guiné (MLG), and Movimento Democrático da Guiné, Democratic Movement of Guinea (MDG).
In Cape Verde, PAIGC operated under the Frente Ampla de Resistência Nacional, Broad Front of National Resistance (FARN).
On April 2, 1972, the United Nations issued Resolution A/AC.109/l.937 that dealt with the situation of Cape Verde. On March 29, 1974, the UN General Assembly Nine Hundred and Sixty-Sixth Meeting took place, which dealt with Cape Verde under Portuguese colonialism. It was in the United Nation's Special Committee of 24 that PAIGC delegations led by Abílio Monteiro Duarte, José Eduardo Araújo, and João da Silva presented the case for Cape Verde's independence.
FARN was quickly created in Praia by PAIGC activists that were released from Tarrafal prison on May 1, 1974. They also had a branch in São Vicente led by Jorge Alberto Brito. According to PAIGC news reports on May 1, 1974 in "Cape Verde, where a great number of people marched to Tarrafal Prison and removed all political prisoners was the killing of a Cape Verdean worker during the most recent demonstrations in which thousands of Cape Verdeans marched with PAIGC flags, banners, and comrades."
The prisoners were two Guineans, fourteen Cape Verdeans, and fifty Angolans. They were received with a huge demonstration in Praia: "The crowd marches to the Governor's Palace and demands immediate independence of the Cape Verde Islands."
According to PAIGC news reports in:
Praia, May 4, 1974, a large political meeting was convened by Engineer Jorge Querido, Lawyer David H. Almada, Engineer Manuel Rodrigues, Engineer Sérgio Centeio, poet António Dias, student Pedro Martins, and student Luís Aguiar. At the rear of the stage were a large PAIGC flag and pictures of Amílcar Cabral and Arístides Pereira. Immediate independence was demanded by every speaker and seconded unanimously.
Furthermore, on May 11, 1974 meetings demanding independence occurred in Praia and Mindelo. In Praia the meeting was convened at the Cine-Treatro Municipal. The principal organizers were Engineer Manuel Rodrigues, Lawyer David H. Almada, Engineer Sérgio Centeio, Professor José Fernandes, and Luís Fonseca: "Luís Fonseca brought a message from St. Vicente, demonstrating solidarity among Cape Verdeans regarding independence." "At a May 16th meeting, Dr. Aguinaldo Rocha, a Belgian resident, brought a message of support for PAIGC from Cape Verdeans living in Belgium."
In Mindelo, 20,000 strong demonstrators, in a city of 35,000 held a meeting to show support for PAIGC and independence. In Brazil, Cape Verdeans signed a manifesto showing support for PAIGC and independence, which was led by Luís Romano. In Lisbon, Cape Verdeans in the hundreds demonstrated against sending more troops to the colonies and demanded independence for Cape Verde. Additionally, the PAIGC continued to organize strikes and better working conditions which was met with violence by the colonial troops.
Notwithstanding, PAIGC had other political parties to deal with in Cape Verde that operated freely unlike in Guinea-Bissau. There was União do Povo das Ilhas de Cabo Verde, the Union of the Peoples of the Cape Verde Islands (UPICV) which was a "Maoist" or "Trotskyist" radical leftist student's organization. "UPICV was led by José Leitão de Graça and his wife Maria Querido, who was named its Secretary General." UPICV was actually formed in 1959 in the United States to counter PAIGC. Graça sent a letter to the UN warning that PAIGC was under Soviet control. UPICV sided more with the People's Republic of China. During the Cold War, these accusations were not taken lightly and Cabral had always tried not to label himself and PAIGC as ideologically committed to communism and Marxism. UPICV was also opposed to unification with Guinea-Bissau but favored independence for Cape Verde.