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After organising and winning the Glorious Armed Struggle (People's War), the African Party of Independence of Guinea and Cape-Verde (PAIGC) unilaterally and without any concessions proclaimed the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. It immediately thereafter served as a Base for Pan-Africanism and training for various Liberation Movements in Africa, and served as a hub for Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces and ammunitions en route to and from Angola. Guinea-Bissau also gave assistance to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN).

 

A history of imperialist coups

Since the formation of PAIGC in 1956, Imperialism has always made it a priority to destabilise the Party and the State through different methods including coup-d’états. The first coup against PAIGC was carried out on 14th November 1980. The coup was managed through informal agreements with coup-makers who were in control of the State apparatus, while the faithful militants struggled to control the Party. The Country was destabilised again through a coup in 1998/1999 which also led to a civil war. In 2004, the Party regained relative State power and reinforced it in 2008/2009 with control over the Presidency, Legislature, and Government. The party thereafter began making agreements with revolutionary and progressive regimes towards independent development, but unfortunately in 2012, the President died in office and within months the State power was once again violently snatched from the Party in another coup (in April 2012) that was organised by the hidden hands of imperialism in cahoots with their local puppets. The Party continued with the struggle within the masses and it heroically regained State power in 2014, but this again was followed by a palace coup in 2015. It relatively regained State power in 2019, but only to be overthrown through yet another coup in February 2020. Now, once again, the presidency and the illegitimate so-called “government” is controlled by anti-People’s forces. Those who won the elections are in the opposition, while those who lost are the ones who are ruling!

Throughout these coup d’états (against state power) the PAIGC has always and consistently wielded popular political power in the society.

The latest coup, which was orchestrated through the neo-colonialist President of Senegal, Macky Sall, (along with other neo-colonialist regimes in West Africa and other parts), saw the puppets of imperialism in Guinea-Bissau abuse the electoral process and dislodge the PAIGC’s democratically elected Government.

The Coup was preceded by elections which were marred by serious irregularities and which were challenged at the Supreme Court by the PAIGC Presidential candidate Domingos Simoes Pereira. The court ordered for a recount of the Presidential vote, and it further ordered the Electoral Commission to hand over the report to the National Assembly.

While the electoral petition was taking place, the Presidential Guard of the Armed Forces invaded the Supreme Court Building; the National Assembly (ANP); and other Governmental facilities so as to prevent the Court from making its verdict. The soldiers, who acted without the direction of the Army General Chief of Staff, also occupied the residences of the democratically elected Governmental officials.

While the National Assembly (ANP) was waiting for the Supreme Court to issue its verdict, one of the puppets, who served as the 1st Vice-President of the ANP, (subsequently illegally imposed as the “prime-minister”) usurped Constitutional powers of the ANP President and illegally convened a so-called “Special Session of the ANP” (without a quorum) at a hotel where he “symbolically” inaugurated presidential candidate, Umaro Sissoco Embalo as the President of Guinea-Bissau. The out-going President of the Republic, Jose Mario Vaz, a traitor, left the Presidential Palace on 27 February, and the ANP reacted the following day by convening a Parliamentary Session (with a quorum) and elected the ANP President Cipriano Cassamá as the Interim President as is required by the Constitution. It is important to note that this Parliamentary Session was witnessed by representatives of the UN, ECOWAS, AU, CPLP, and ambassadors from most of the embassies that reside in Bissau. In short, these countries recognised Cipriano Cassamá as the legitimate Interim President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. None of them, (except Senegal and The Gambia) sent representatives to the illegal, unconstitutional "symbolic" so-called "inauguration" of the presidential candidate, Umaro Sissoco Embalo at the hotel.

After his inauguration, the Interim President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Cipriano Cassamá was denied Presidential Guard protection. He was left with a handful of Guinea-Bissau soldiers and a less than 10 ECOWAS Interposition forces, called ECOMIG soldiers.

Within 48 hours of his swearing in, soldiers from the Presidential Guard invaded the ANP and the Supreme Court, and at the same time changed the security assigned to the Interim President and issued death threats to him and his family. As a result of coercion, he resigned two days later on 1 March. He kept repeating; “they’re going to kill me.”. All this while, the ECOWAS Interposition forces, ECOMIG, stood by idle.

Soon thereafter, the neo-colonialist president of Senegal, Macky Sall receive Umaro Sissoco Embalo as the “president” of Guinea-Bissau.

As the imperialist crisis unfolded, ECOWAS, on the initiative of the UN Security Council, issued a press release stating that a high-level Delegation would come to Guinea-Bissau to mediate over the matter. In response, the coup makers’ spokesperson issued a response declaring that the ECOWAS delegation was not welcome in Guinea-Bissau. To date, that delegation has never set foot in Guinea-Bissau. In addition to this, the ECOMOG forces stationed in Guinea-Bissau pack up their bags, and remain on stand-by in their barracks.

In the meantime, reliable reports show that tons of drugs have already been received by the military in Southern Guinea-Bissau. In short, we have a military regime in power that using Guinea-Bissau for transnational crimes.

Further, persecution, including that of journalists is ongoing. The Coronavirus Prevention Team and Contingency Plan was also dismantled at a time when the COVID-19 virus surrounded Guinea-Bissau. Now, it is out of control.

Although things look gloomy, truth crushed to the earth will rise again. While all the tactics that will be employed cannot be predicted, one thing is sure – the strategy is to use the PAIGC ideological and political power to organize the People to re-gain State power. This must be secured in the framework of political-military coordination on a Pan-African and anti-imperialist scale.

 

Imani Na Umoja

Central Committee Member of the PAIGC

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