During centuries of Portuguese rule the islands were gradually peopled with Portuguese, slaves from Africa, and people of mixed African-European descent who became the majority. While retaining some African culture, the Cape Verdians spoke Portuguese or the Portuguese-derived Crioulo (Creole) language and became Catholics. In 1956 nationalists from Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea formed the Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC). In the 1960s the PAIGC waged a successful guerrilla war. On 5 July 1975 Cape Verde became independent, ruled by the PAIGC, which was already the ruling party in the former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau. But resentment at Cape Verdians’ privileged position in Guinea-Bissau led to the end of the ties between the two countries’ ruling parties. Although the PAIGC retained its name in Guinea-Bissau, in Jan. 1981 it was renamed the Partido Africano da Independência do Cabo Verde (PAICV) in Cape Verde. The Constitution of 1981 made the PAICV the sole legal party but in Sept. 1990 the National Assembly abolished its monopoly and free elections were permitted.
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