Cape Verde Recent History

Before these islands were discovered, they were uninhabited. Then, in 1461, the first settlers who arrived here left the Portuguese province of the Algarve. These settlers occupied the islands of Santiago and Fogo and also brought in many Negro slaves from Guinea.

According to Abbreviationfinder, the Venetian navigator Alvise Cadamosto took credit for this discovery, which took place in his second voyage of 1456 to West Africa, but more reliable historical elements attribute it to the Genoese Antonio da Noli, that is Antoniotto Usodimare who, at the service of the Infante Enrico del Portugal, was sailing together with his brother Bartolomeo and his nephew Raphael, right around the coasts of West Africa.

The day on which the discovery took place was 1st May 1460, the feast of San Filippo and San Giacomo, and referred to only two islands. The other eight were found the following year by the Portuguese Diego Gomez. And since then the islands have always been under Portugal’s rule.

In the 16th century they were mainly used as a penal bath and the Europeans who stayed there, mixing with the black slaves, were the creators of a mixed race that still has the characteristics that constituted it. In 1915 the population of the moment was defined as lazy and indolent and barely able to understand the Portuguese language. Later on another census was even more scarce.

And the results of colonization were equally scarce; agriculture, given the volcanic constitution of the land, was quite lavish, from the early years, on corn, potatoes, cassava, sugar cane, coffee, oil plants and export bananas. Fishing and salt production are fairly good, but the industry is underdeveloped.

In 1968 a long drought negatively affected the entire economy of the country, bringing the balance of payments deficit to a disastrous level in 1971.

Already declared “overseas territory” by Portugal, the country in 1972 obtained from Portugal a statute favorable to a limited autonomy, the establishment of a legislative assembly and an advisory board, all organs able to assist the Portuguese governor.

Cape Verde Recent History

Some unrest from the African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde (already established in 1956 by Amilcar Cabral), also in 1972, brought an improvement in the field of education and health.

After the assassination of Cabral, which occurred in January 1973, and after the revolution in Portugal in 1974, the Lisbon government began negotiations with Cape Verde and on July 5, 1975 the country gained independence. The Republic was proclaimed and A. Pereira was elected President.

With the coup d’état of November 14, 1980 in Guinea-Bissau, there was a serious crisis in the two countries since Vieira, then president of Guinea, eliminated all the mestizos originating in Cape Verde from the conduct of the single “Party” of the two populations. Following this, the leaders of Cape Verde disassociated themselves by founding their “African Independence Party of Cape Verde, ending the partnership in February 1981.

The following year, relations improved and with the mediation of the President of Mozambique, Samora Machel, a summit was held in Maputo which led to the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Capoverde enjoyed a certain period of stability in domestic politics and in 1986 Pereira was re-elected president of the National Assembly for another 5 years. But the economy was not so stable, both in the food and industrial fields. The country was always able to survive thanks to the emigrants, especially in Senegal, Portugal, the United States and Brazil, from which new capitals continually flowed, which in 1987 covered 15% of the national product.

In 1990 an amendment to the Constitution was made, approved by the National Assembly, with which the multi-party system was introduced. In fact, the 1991 elections awarded the victory to a newly formed party which was the “Movement for Democracy”, whose candidate A. Mascarenhas Monteiro won the presidential election.

The government just formed and led by C. Veiga, immediately began its work by introducing cuts in public spending and privatization of state-owned enterprises, being unable to continue to rely mainly on international aid and on remittances from emigrants.

In September 1992 a new constitution entered into force whereby the government took parliamentary form and the head of state was the president of the republic, elected by universal suffrage with a 5-year term.

There were many changes within the government and the Movement for Democracy suffered a split that decreed the birth of another party, the “Democratic Convergence Party”. And despite this, the Movement won the legislative elections of December 1995 and the administrative elections of January 1996, followed the following month by the presidential elections which confirmed Mascarenhas Monteiro.

In foreign policy, diplomatic ties began with Israel, the Persian Gulf countries, popular China, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Sweden.

In July 1996, together with Brazil and Portugal, Capoverde formed a “Community of Portuguese-speaking countries”, in order to be able to count on an ever better collaboration not only cultural but also economic and technological.