Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Cape Verde Islands

Capital : Praia

Size: 16 00 sq m Popn: 384 000


Nine of these fifteen islands, 400 miles off Senegal, are inhabited. The were colonized in the C15th by the Portuguese as a slave-trading base and intermarriage between white settlers and black slaves from West Africa produced a distinct Cape Verdian nationality, speaking a Creole language.

In 1951, the colony became an overseas Protectorate linked with the mainland territory of Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau). Amílcar Cabral formed the African Party for the Independence of Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) in 1956. A relatively low-key war of liberation began in 1963 and intensified when the Portuguese dictator, Salazar, fell in 1974.

Independence was declared in 1975 with the PAIGC, renamed PAICV, as the only legal party. Its secretary general, Aristides Pereira, became President of Cape Verde. In 1981, hopes for a union with Guinea Bissau were ended when Joao Vieira took power and arrested Luiz Cabral (brother of Amílcar). President Aristides Pereira welcomed multi-party democracy and in 1991 Mascarenhas Monteiro of the Movement for Democracy became President.

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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