Independence Day in Cape Verde Date in the current year: July 5, 2024

Independence Day in Cape Verde July 5 is Independence Day in Cape Verde. This public holiday commemorates the independence of Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975.

The Republic of Cabo Verde, commonly referred to as Cape Verde (“green cape”), is a small island country in the Atlantic Ocean located 570 km off the coast of Northwest Africa. The archipelago has no indigenous population; it was uninhabited until its discovery and colonization by the Portuguese in the 15th century.

The islands of Cape Verge were discovered between 1460 and 1462 by António de Noli, Diogo Gomes and Diogo Afonso. The first European settlement on the archipelago was founded on the island of Santiago. It was the town of Ribeira Grande, now known as Cidade Velha. The settlement quickly became a center of maritime trade between mainland Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Interestingly, among the first settlers were Portuguese Jews exiled from Europe.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought slaves from West Africa, and the archipelago began to prosper from the transatlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, its richness brought unwanted attention from pirates, including Francis Drake and Jacques Cassard. A combination of pirate attacks, droughts, famine, and the decline of the lucrative slave trade was a significant blow to Cape Verde’s economy. By the end of the 19th century the colony lost all its former prosperity.

During the 1940s, Cape Verde was struck by two of its worst ever drought-related famines, which killed an estimated 45,000 people. Several thousands of islanders emigrated to São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Europe.

After World War II, the world’s colonial system began to decline, but Portugal was intent to hold on to its colonies, which at some point were transformed into overseas provinces. In 1956, Cape Verdean and Guinean nationalists formed the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which would later participate in the Portuguese Colonial War of 1961–1974.

Although there was no armed conflict in Cape Verde, local nationalists participated in PAIGC guerrilla attacks in Portuguese Guinea (now known as Guinea-Bissau). By 1972, the PAICG controlled much of Portuguese Guinea.

In 1972, Portugal granted its oversees territories the right to hold elections. The first and only Legislative Assembly election in Portuguese Cape Verde took place in March 1973. All candidates, according to the requirements, were Portuguese citizens who had lived in Cape Verde for over three years.

Following the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal, former colonies were promised independence by the new Portuguese government. Cape Verde became fully independent from Portugal on July 5, 1975, when Prime Minister of Portugal Vasco Goncalves turned power to Abílio Duarte, the President of the National Assembly.

Independence Day is the national day of Cape Verde. It is marked with numerous festivities, such as political speeches, parades, and performances. As a public holiday, it is a day off for most of the population, and all schools and government offices are closed.

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Independence Day in Cape Verde, holidays in Cape Verde, national holiday, public holiday