Winning hearts and minds in Portuguese Guinea. Luis Rodrigues. Introduction In the late s Portugal was facing three colonial wars in its African territories of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea.
The regime, led since by Oliveira Salazar, believed it was essential that the country maintained its presence in Africa and was not prepared to decolonize or to find a political solution for the colonial conumdrum. Several attempts had been made in the early years of the decade, either by internal forces or by international pressure, but Salazar and the Portuguese political and military elite adamantly refused. One of the most serious problems was the situation in Portuguese Guinea.
A small territory of 37, square kilometres situated between Senegal and the Republic of Guine, the Portuguese colony was at war since The PAIGC military successes were rapid and in the following months the nationalists conducted several military operations including ambushes and the laying of mines. Faced with a deteriorating situation, in May the Portuguese government decided to appoint Brigadier Arnaldo Schultz as Commander-in-Chief in Guinea.
Commanding a Cavalry Batallion, he had gained reputation as a brave and corageous commander who frequently dared to enter into the jungle in front of his soldiers. His hopes lay in the belief the new prime minister would be able to put a different colonial policy in place. This proposal then had to wait until August before it passed into law.
They never had any practical results. This area of operations now extended to include more than half of the province.
On the one hand was the PAIGC, whose military forces were better organized, wholly suited to the demands of an insurgency and equipped with weapons whose technical characteristics were also suited to the type of conflict. His dramatic speech had worked out and he received favourable responses to his requests.
Since the early s the situation in Portuguese Africa had become one of the most debated issues in the United Nations and other international organizations. Several resolutions had been approved condemning Portuguese policies and calling for self-determination and independence in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea and other Portuguese colonies. The Portuguese regime defended itself using several arguments. Besides this public rethoric, Portuguese diplomacy had other arguments that were used in the corridors of international diplomacy.
When President Kennedy tried to implement a new African policy, favoring self-determination and independence for Portuguese colonies, Salazar used the American military base, at the Azores, as a trumph card. He was able, by late , to moderate the discourse of the Americans regarding Portuguese colonialism and even to reverse the votes of US mission at the UN, who had been voring favorably General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on Portuguese colonial policy. Another argument frequently used by Portuguese diplomacy was the strategic importance of the Portuguese colonies in West Africa for the control of the South Atlantic in the general context of the Cold War.
Some NATO military commanders even considered 18 the possibility of establishing bases and facilities in those territories. The following decade, as the support from Cuba and the Soviet bloc to the nationalist movements in Portuguese Africa became evident, Portugal used the reversed argument. The triumph of the liberation movements would mean the implementation of communist and pro- Soviet regimes in the former Portuguese colonies and, consequently, a military presence of the Soviets in the area. In early , the information available to the United States did not confirm the idea of an eventual establishment of a Soviet military base in case of a Portuguese military defeat in Guinea.
It was important to find out if the Muslim clergy was interested in the subject and if it would support the Portuguese initiatives.
The settlements were normally an expansion of an existing village, and consisted of simple houses constructed using locally available material—namely wood and clay—with zinc roofs. While in there were only 60 kilometres of metalled road in Guinea, five years later there were kilometres. If we leave them on both the antibiotics they'll die of kidney failure. Which drug's causing the kidney failure? Especially that winter it was 70 below and I had dual kidney failure. Joey Williams didn't die of kidney failure.
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