[It is, I believe, fitting that I speak to you on this occasion. I may well be the only person in Madison, who has ever been in Guinea - Bissau, …]
by Fred Brancel
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
May 7, 1974
The press release says Fred Brancel lived and worked for eight years in Angola, traveled in Mozambique, and resided in Portugal. Brancel says he know how oppressive the Portuguese dictatorship has been, denying basic freedoms to people in both Portugal and the colonies. Brancel says he witnessed the de-humanizing effects of forced labor in the colonies; men and youth being forced to work in the mines, on the plantations and railways, women and children being conscripted to work on the roads and in the coffee harvest. The Portuguese government policy of assimilation, presuming the superiority of Portuguese culture, was devasting to the African culture and any right to or sense of self-esteem. Brancel says it is sad and ironic for Americans, who have a heritage of freedom and democracy, to have enabled Portugal by massive U.S. military and economic aid to continue its domination and exploitation of African people. The U.S. needs to see beyond short-range national security interests and should no longer share with the Portuguese in denying freedom to the people of its African colonies. The U.S. should clearly align itself, Brancel says, with the freedom struggle of the oppressed peoples of Portugal's colonies.
Used by permission of David Wiley and William Minter, former members of Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root