At the economic level, the Cape Verde government had to face
the dramatic consequences of a drought that began in 1968,
leaving 80% of the country's population without financial
basis. Fortunately, the crisis did not have catastrophic
consequences, thanks to popular mobilization and
Since 1975, the forest land in Cape Verde has grown again
- from 3,000 to 45,000 hectares. The government planned that
over the next 10 years another 75,000 hectares would be
planted and that the islands would then be self-sufficient
with timber. At the beginning of the rainy season, women and
men leave their normal jobs to plant trees for a week.
the government had implemented land reform that gave
priority to the production of food for the population,
rather than stimulating the production of export products
that were characteristic of the colonial era, when the
country produced only 5% of the food consumed. The drastic
decline in agricultural production forced the government to
Cape Verde helped Angola in its "Second Liberation War"
as it allowed Cuban planes to stop in Cape Verde. They were
part of the air bridge that enabled the invasion of troops
from Zaire and South Africa to strike back. At the same
time, Cape Verde adopted an alliance-free policy,
guaranteeing that the country would not be used for the
installation of foreign military bases.
When PAIGC was in the discussion of a new constitution
for Guinea and Cape Verde in 1981, Guinea-Bissau President
Luis Cabral was ousted by a coup. João Bernardino Vieira
took over the government and expressed a hostile attitude
towards merging with Cape Verde.
In January 1981, PAIGC members in Cape Verde held an
urgent conference to analyze the political changes in
Guinea-Bissau. After confirming the unity principles
originally formulated by Amílcar Cabral as PAIGC's
foundation, Congress decided to change the party's name to:
The African Party of Cape Verde Independence (PAICV), thus
marking a distance to the sister party in Guinea.
Relations between both countries were tense, but thanks
to mediation from Angola and Mozambique, in 1982
reconciliation was achieved at a meeting between
Mozambique's president Samora Machel, Arístides Pereira and
João Bernardino Vieira.
Further conciliatory steps were taken in November 1982
during the Conference of Former Portuguese Colonies in
Africa held in Cape Verde. Guinea-Bissau's President,
Vieira, along with his colleagues from Angola, Mozambique,
Cape Verde and São Tomé attended the meeting in the city of
Praia. In the end, the diplomatic relations were resumed,
but the parties did not reconnect and the merger plans