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Cabinda (Angola)

Last modified: 2021-01-02 by bruce berry
Keywords: cabinda | flec | kongo | enclave | portuguese congo |
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History of Cabinda

Unlike most other African territories colonized by European countries, Cabinda came into Portuguese possession peacefully, because it was a weak kingdom surrounded by stronger ones and its king asked for Portuguese protection (this is said by the people of Cabinda themselves and not only by Portuguese historians). Cabinda remained a territory under protection until the middle of the 20th century when the Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar decided to unite Cabinda and Angola to make one colony (he called it first 'Ultramarine'  Territories, and then 'Ultramarine'  provinces, like today's French policy). So, apart from oil-greed, Cabinda's fight for self-determination has some historical basis. As far as flags are concerned, I don't think there is (or was) one. Salazar's policy was 'one nation in Europe and outside Europe', so the flag used was the Portuguese national flag.
Jorge Candeias, 11 August 1997

Portugal first claimed sovereignty over Cabinda in February 1885 through the Treaty of Simbulambuco which gave Cabinda the status of a Portuguese protectorate.  Following the confirmation of the borders of Angola in the mid-1920s, Cabinda was treated as part of Portuguese West Africa (Angola).  In 1974-75, when Portugal gave independence to its African colonies, it was done in a colony by colony basis. According to the Treaty of Alvor between Portugal and the liberation movements in Angola, Cabinda was re-confirmed as being an integral part of Angola. There where never plans for a separate independence process for the enclave although the Treaty was rejected by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) and other local political movements which advocated independence for the territory.
Jorge Candeias, 04 March 1999

The Fischer Weltalmanach (1976) has a virtual independent Cabinda; Cabinda became important in the 1960's when the Golf Oil Co. discovered oil. The independence movements of Angola saw Cabinda always as an integral part of Angola, while Zaire and Congo (Brazzaville) assisted separatist movements; FLEC had its main seat in Kinshasa till 1975. In July 1975 a provisional revolutionary government (president: Luis Ranque Franque, president of FLEC, prime minister: Francisco Xavier Lubota) was proclaimed, which wanted elections, and independence on 11 Nov 1975, together with Angola.
The Fischer Weltalmanach (1978) mentions a new FLEC-provisional government under Henrique Thiago in Sanda-Massala.
After that it stayed Angolan, as far as I know.
Jarig Bakker, 04 March 1999

[Cabinda is now a province of Angola, the symbols of which can be seen here.]