We are not issuing this alert as some charity organization or some group of African people in the diaspora (outside of Africa) who just have an interest and/or concern about Africa. We are acting as an international, revolutionary, Pan-African, political party based in Africa with many cadres on the ground working to build Pan-Africanism in Guinea-Bissau and all throughout the African world.
We find that understanding this in the proper context is very difficult for many people in the U.S., even people who do work with the A-APRP, including many of our newer members. This is because in the U.S., most people are trained in a very deliberate way to see the U.S. as the complete center and absolute finality of the entire world. This propaganda extends well beyond U.S. borders as even people in most other countries around the world are subjected to this extremely distorted and inaccurate view. As revolutionary Pan-Africanists, we are consistently faced with this problem from people on the so-called revolutionary white left, African/Black nationalists, as well as from reactionary elements. So, hopefully, this brief piece can give you some context in which to understand who/what we are in the A-APRP and the current crisis so that you can hopefully act. By acting, we mean simply making a phone call on behalf of our comrades who are under seige currently.
Some brief history is that Guinea-Bissau (GB) is an extremely small country of just less than 2 million people that borders Guinea, Senegal, and Gambia, in West Africa. Its an extremely vibrant country that was once a part of the famed Mali Empire which in its height in the 17th century was one of the most advanced civilizations on the planet. The Portuguese came to colonize GB in the mid 1400s. By the 1800s, they had consolidated their control of the area. They came because of the availability of gold, diamonds, bauxite (aluminum products), limestone, and other valuable minerals. Portugal ruled over GB for centuries and because Portugal was and remains one of the poorest countries in all of Europe, its no accident that it took armed insurrection to remove Portugal's hold over all of its colonies in Africa e.g. Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique.
Of course, just as is the case with all oppressed people, the people of Guinea-Bissau never accepted colonialism and oppression. In 1957, Amilcar Cabral and his brother Luis Cabral formed the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (Islands off the coast of GB) or the PAIGC-CV. From 1957 through the 60s, the PAIGC-CV fought the Portuguese in a brutal war for liberation. As the people of GB moved towards victory, the last critical years of this struggle saw the PAIGC-CV based in neighboring Guinea at the invitation of the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) and President Sekou Ture. In fact, Guinea sustained a murderous invasion by Portugal in November of 1970 as punishment for supporting the PAIGC-CV as well as the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (founded by Amilcar Cabral and Agostino Neto), and the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO - founded by Eduardo Mondlane). It should be noted that Amilcar Cabral, being based in Guinea, was also one of the original members of the A-APRP along with Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael). In 1973, Amilcar Cabral was assassinated by agents working on behalf of Portuguese imperialism. Nine months later, Guinea-Bissau won it's independence from Portugal.
Since independence, the PAIGC-CV has struggled to develop and consolidate itself as the democratic governing party inside of Guinea-Bissau. This is not unusual. Like all people, we reserve the right to go through our growing pains as we develop our independence. This is especially true since we are constantly subjected to sabotage by neo-colonialist elements working on behalf of international capitalism. Consequently, the PAIGC-CV since independence has had to battle multiple military coups and takeovers as well as a period of separation from the Cape Verde Islands. Possibly, the most intense struggle has been the ideological struggle to consolidate the revolutionary Pan-Africanist ideology of Amilcar Cabral within the entire country. Since the early 70s, the A-APRP has been working to strengthen this process of ideological development within the PAIGC and this work has evolved into several significant victories. Today, the PAIGC is the dominant political party within GB and A-APRP cadre play central roles as ranking officials within the PAIGC. These roles include being directors/administrators of national programs like Amilcar Cabral African Youth (JAAC) which is the organizing wing for youth within GB. Note that this integration is the strategy the A-APRP employs in our work to build Pan-African capacity for the All African Committee for Political Coordination (A-ACPC) which is our strategic objective for Pan-Africanism as called for by Kwame Nkrumah in the "Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare." Another example is when Kwame Ture was alive, he served as the Political Director for the PDG in neighboring Guinea as well as being a Central Committee member for the A-APRP. There are a number of similar examples in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, etc.
A-APRP cadre serve as the militant element in all political formations we function in throughout Africa. Our objective is of course to bring these formations to the Nkrumahist/Tureist notion of the A-ACPC and the All African People's Revolutionary Army (A-APRA) leading to building the actual A-APRP in its finished version - the fusion of all revolutionary Pan-Africanist political formations within the African world.
Today, our militant cadre on the ground within the PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau are fighting to prevent the takeover of the country by reactionary elements who wish to keep the country imbued in neo-colonialism or a reliance on capital and international capitalism. The PAIGC has held government in Guinea Bissau this latest round since 2014. They won a majority in that national election which all international observers gave high marks for integrity. These past few days, the crisis has resulted from the president - Jose Mario Vaz dismantling the entire government (an act outside the constraints of his authority) while also firing the democratically elected prime minister Carlos Correia, also in violation of the country's constitutional requirements. Vaz is calling for a select group of government officials loyal to his actions to create a new government. The masses of militants within the PAIGC are calling for the masses of people in Guinea-Bissau to resist this attempted coup. Remember that African political parties are not organized the way European parties are organized. We have mass political parties, not vanguard. So, everyone in GB is a member of the PAIGC so decisions and democracy require actions the president has violated. As a result, A-APRP/PAIGC cadre went to the governmental palace and decided to stay there, demanding that constitutionality and democracy be respected and restored to Guinea-Bissau. The presidential staff ordered the paramilitary to remove the protestors and were it not for the masses of people who showed up to support the protest, and your calls and emails, our comrades could have been hurt and/or killed.
The latest update is that the funeral of Carmen Pereira, long standing militant comrade within the PAIGC and it's women's wing UDEMA, was held yesterday and the remains of our immortal comrade were driven intentionally to the government palace where our comrades are held without food and water as an act of defiance to this military/neo-colonialist hegemony. The reports are that some number of militia people have deserted the scene, being unwilling to be accomplices to this immorality. Of course the struggle is a long hard one and we must continue to apply pressure.
In the last couple of years, there has been a heightened degree of protest in various parts of the world, including the U.S. around police terrorism. These are wonderful developments, in spite of the fact there is often much confusion as to the objective of these protests e.g. concrete developments. In the case of the crisis in Guinea-Bissau, our objectives are very clear. We want to preserve and consolidate the PAIGC in power in the country so that we can continue to radicalize and implement the revolutionary Pan-Africanist, socialist program of Amilcar Cabral, Sekou Ture, Carmen Pereira, Teodora Gomes, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, etc. If you truly support international solidarity, African self determination, and do not see these things strictly within a context of what you already understand and accept within the U.S., we encourage you to continue to make calls to the forces leading this immoral coup calling upon them to desist from their illegality. By doing so, you are not pleading with the enemy, you are demonstrating that international solidarity you say you support. The PAIGC/A-APRP in Guinea-Bissau is quite capable of organizing for self determination and Pan-Africanism. We just need support as we build capacity to be stronger and more self reliant. So, if you can make a call, we ask you to call the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ask for Social Order Director Marcelino Simões Lopes Cabral aka “Djoy” +245 96 668 2722. Tell him you are dismayed at the illegal events in Guinea-Bissau and that only the people of the PAIGC can decide who they want to govern them. Tell them to dismiss the paramilitary and let democracy take its course!! You can email ECOWAS on their international website if you do not possess international calling capabilities. We thank you for your strong support!