Journal of Cape Verdean Studies


In this paper, I argue that anti-colonial politics in the late colonial period of Cape Verde had an important diasporic content. During the 1960s, Cabo Verde began a long, increasingly violent effort to attain independence from Portugal (finally achieved in 1975). Diasporic Cabo Verdeans in the US responded in surprisingly variable ways to the political resistance claiming their national homeland. In this paper, I focus on responses by two political groups that emerged as central in the Cabo Verdean diaspora: the PAIGC-USA Support Committee and the Juridical Congress of World Cape Verdean Communities. I argue that these two groups constituted a political reification of important socio-ideological cleavages that emerged within the global Cabo Verdean community from the 1960s. The fall of Portugal’s fascist regime (Estado Novo) in 1974, and the subsequent independence agreement with the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde (PAIGC), crystalized these political differences. The zenith of intra-community, politico-ideological conflict corresponded to the Juridical Congress’ declaration of independence of Cabo Verde--in reaction to what many viewed as a grab for power by the PAIGC. In short, at a key moment in Cabo Verdean history, diasporic citizens exercised critical agency in seeking to influence, and even shape, the volatile political landscape in their homeland.

Note on the Author

Dr. Abel Djassi Amado joined the Simmons University Department of Political Science and International Relations in 2016. He holds a PhD in Political Science/African Studies from Boston University. Prior to joining Simmons University, Amado had taught in other universities and colleges in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dr. Amado is an active board member of the West African Research Association (WARA), a US-based non-profit scholarly organization that promotes investigation and study of West African issues and encourages academic linkages between scholars on the two sides of Atlantic.

Dr. Abel Djassi Amado

Professor of Political Science

Simmons University