The Cabinda Struggle for Self-Rule and Independence

Cabinda is a small country in West Equatorial Africa, lying just above the mouth of the mighty Kongo River.

cabindaBefore 1885, Cabinda was an independent nation formed by the structure of three old Kingdoms: to the north of Cabinda the Kingdom of Loango; in the center and middle the Kingdom of Kakongo; and in the south the Kingdom of Ngoyo.

Between 1884 and 1885 the captain of a Portuguese Navy ship successfully approached these three Kingdom States and convinced the local rulers, under false pretenses that they would need to have Portuguese protection for the French not to invade their territories.

But as we all know the real reason was to secure a written treaty with the Cabinda locals to claim the territory of Cabinda as a protectorate of Portugal.

Thus it began the ill fortune of Cabinda under the Portuguese status of a supposed protectorate. It was not long after that the Portuguese defaulted on their premisses and started administering Cabinda as a colonial post and not as a protectorate. Only four years latter did the first Portuguese administrator arrived in Cabinda.

During the years of Portugal’s presence in Cabinda, many people and families who had opposed the signing of the treaties with the Portuguese and instead advocated the signing of the treaties with the English were sidelined, and those included the most critical of the Portuguese administration of Cabinda.

The Portuguese also refused to build and allow the establishment of a secondary school in Cabinda. Therefore Cabinda nationals who wished to continue their education would need to travel to Brazzaville or Kinshasa.

The discovery of Oil Fields in Cabinda 1967

Soon after the discovery of vast oil fields in Cabinda in 1967, the United States Government started to apply pressure on the Portuguese Government to give independence to their colony Angola. A deal was struck from the Gulf Oil and the MPLA Communist Party who were in essence 15,000 Black Cubans sent to Angola. The MPLA Party was finished over night and it was an implementation of the Cuban regime.

Thus Cabinda became the first casualty of the Cuban Marxist revolution.

Since 1974 with the military occupation of Cabinda by the MPLA and their Cuban backed forces, the unlikely matrimony between Gulf Oil and the MPLA Regime began. Rapes, murders, disappearances, widespread poverty, etc… all became a daily reality in Cabinda under MPLA military occupation.

The oil fields of Cabinda provide 7% of the oil consumed by the United States every year. Cabinda will gain its independence when oil runs out. The dominant oil company Chevron will eventually leave Cabinda, with nothing to show for its plunder of oil since 1967. Chevron will leave behind pollution, misery and will not be missed.

Mangovo Ngoyo is The Right Honorable Member of the Government of Cabinda in Exile. He is also Secretary-General of the Federation of Free States of Africa, an organization representing new emerging states of Africa, also known as the African League for Peace and Prosperity. The Federation is an alliance of sovereign and emerging African States, whose aims and purpose are to promote democracy, freedom and long-lasting peace in Africa.