Tag Archives: history

“El Negro,” The Cabo Verdean-Argentine Captain of Argentina’s National Soccer Team.

Those with ancestry in Cabo Verde are known as “Cabo Verdean Argentines” that live in Argentina. There were roughly 8,000 back in the 1980 census. Other sources put the number of descendants of Cabo Verdean immigrants in Argentina at between 12,000 and 15,000. Of this number, only about 300 are believed to be African-born.[i] Before Cabo Verde gained its independence in 1975, its immigrant population was counted among the Portuguese. In the late 19th century, a limited number of people from Cabo Verde arrived in Argentina. Between the 1920s and WWII, there was a sharp rise in the population. The most significant number of Cabo Verdean immigrants arrived between 1927 and 1933 and again after 1946. Famine, a lack of employment possibilities, and resource depletion forced them to leave Cabo Verde.[ii]

 El Gráfico magazine covers.

The majority came from the islands of São Vicente, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, with some also coming from Fogo and Brava. Buenos Aires Province is home to the largest concentration of Cabo Verdeans and people of Cabo Verdean descent in all of Argentina. Since the majority of them were skilled mariners and fishers, they were typically located near water and found work in ports. They anchored at places such as the South Dock, Ensenada, Rosario, Bahia Blanca, and San Nicolás de Los Arroyos. A large number of them found employment in the Argentine Navy’s Sea Fleet, Merchant Navy, and Fluvial Fleet at the YPF dockyards. [iii] In the largely European-Argentine society, there were many people who had to deal with discrimination. For more than sixty years, two groups have been dedicated to providing mutual support and fostering cultural interchange. The early 1930s saw the establishment of the Society of Mutual Aid, often known as The Cabo Verdean Union of South Dock. Around the same time, the Cabo Verdean Sport and Culture Club of Ensenada came into being.

It’s about time we took a moment to reflect on one of the few Afro-Argentines in soccer history. One of the best defenders in South American soccer history, José Manuel Ramos Delgado, passed away on December 3, 2010, in Buenos Aires.[iv] He was revered as a god by River Plate fans despite never having won a championship during his six years with the mighty club and drawing none other than Pelé’s Santos FC, where he was also magnificent when he was thirty-two years old. He was a calm leader and a pristine defender who captained the national team in sixteen of the twenty-five games he appeared in.[v] Quilmes, Argentina, is the place of origin for Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado. His father, born in São Vicente, Cabo Verde, gave him automatic membership in Argentina’s Cabo Verdean community. During the 1956 season, Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado made his professional debut with Lanús. Quickly, he was able to prove himself and transfer to River Plate, where he spent seven seasons and 172 appearances. Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado started working at Banfield in 1966. After a brief stint, he transferred to Santos FC in Brazil, where he played during the club’s glory years alongside legends like Pelé, Coutinho, and José Macia. He made 324 appearances for Santos and scored once in his career. In his final year as a professional, Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado suited up for Portuguesa Santista. When he was thirty-nine years old, he called it quits.[vi]

Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado managed to make his debut for the national squad in early 1958 and was summoned to the World Cup in Sweden despite having not participated in the qualifiers. He sat out of the Cup, sparing himself the humiliation of watching the “hermanos” get knocked out of the competition in the first round after a 6-1 loss to Czechoslovakia. Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado, also in 1962, traveled to the World Cup being hosted in Chile. His debut was a 3-1 loss to England, but coach Juan Carlos Lorenzo did not start using him until then. The defender did his part: Argentina didn’t concede goals from Hungary in the second game but didn’t score either. A new early elimination was confirmed when the score remained at 0-0. The turnaround occurred in 1964 and 1965, when Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado, or “El Negro,” became a regular in the starting lineup. He was the captain in the Albiceleste’s most major achievement until the 1978 Cup. Argentinian won the 1964 Nations Cup with a 3-0 victory over Brazil in São Paulo.[vii] Even though he played in every qualifying match for the 1966 World Cup, coach Juan Carlos Lorenzo, who took over the national team on the eve of the World Cup, ignored him and only used him in one of the final pre-World Cup tests, an unofficial friendly against Cagliari on June 1, 1966.

Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado accomplished all of his career highlights while wearing the white jersey of Santos FC. He took home the Paulista title four times (1967, 1968, 1969, and 1973) and the “Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa” trophy once (1968). Following his playing career’s conclusion, Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado served as the manager of Brazilian club Santos for a time before returning to Argentina, where he managed a number of different teams, including Belgrano, Deportivo Maip, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, Estudiantes de La Plata, River Plate, Talleres de Córdoba, Platense, All Boys, and his hometown club Quilmes. He also functioned as the manager of the Peruvian team Universitario. Soon after, he went back to Santos to work as a youth team coach, where he shaped the careers of future stars like Robinho and Diego. After completing training at the Circle of Sports Journalism in 1994, he began working as a sports pundit for a number of broadcast outlets.[viii]

Argentina National Team in 1964. Standing: Rattín, Varacka, Carrizo, Vieytez, Ramos Delgado, Simeone. Crouching: Onega, Rendo, Prospitti, Rojas and Mesiano. Credit: m.diariouno.com.ar.
Argentina national team in 1964. Standing: Rattín, Varacka, Carrizo, Vieytez, Ramos Delgado, Simeone. Crouching: Onega, Rendo, Prospitti, Rojas, and Mesiano. Credit: m.diariouno.com.ar.
Credit: Revista do Esporte number 447 – September 30, 1967.
Pelé and Jose Manuel Ramos Delgado “El Negro”

[i]  University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. “1995 Cape Verdean Diaspora Population Estimates.” Retrieved on December 8, 2022.

[ii] António Carreira, Migrações Nas Ilhas De Cabo Verde (Lisbon: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Ciências Humanas e Sociais, 1977).

[iii] Marta M. Maffia, “Migration and Identity of Cape Verdeans and Their Descendants in Argentina,” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 3, no. 2 (2010): pp. 169-180, https://doi.org/10.1080/17528631.2010.481954.

[iv] “ Murió El Negro Ramos Delgado,” La Nacion, December 3, 2010, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/futbol/murio-el-negro-ramos-delgado-nid1330490/.

[v] “Anécdotas Del Superclásico: José Ramos Delgado – Deportes – Taringa!,” accessed December 8, 2022, https://www.taringa.net/+deportes/anecdotas-del-superclasico-jose-ramos-delgado_134p7d.

[vi] “Murió El Negro Ramos Delgado,” La Nacion, December 3, 2010, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/futbol/murio-el-negro-ramos-delgado-nid1330490/.

[vii] “Murió El Negro Ramos Delgado,” La Nacion, December 3, 2010, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/futbol/murio-el-negro-ramos-delgado-nid1330490/.

[viii] “Murió El Negro Ramos Delgado,” La Nacion, December 3, 2010, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/futbol/murio-el-negro-ramos-delgado-nid1330490/.


Battle of Porto Praya 4.16.1781

Battle of Porto Praya

The connection between Cape Verde and the U.S goes back many years, but not many people know that the connection goes back to a time before what today are the United States of America existed.
One of the hundreds of battles that took place during the War for American independence, when 13 fledgling colonies were battling the mighty British empire for independence took place in the waters surrounding Cape Verde Islands.

On April 16th, 1781 a British Naval squadron under the command of Commodore George Johnstone stopped over in Porto Praya (now Praia), Cape Verde on the way to the Cape of Good hope to attack and take it away from under Dutch control came under attack by a French Naval squadron under command of the French Admiral Bailli de Suffren that was headed towards the Cape of Good Hope to assist the Dutch in the defense of the colony against the British.

The French surprised the British and they were able to come out victorious. The British had 183 casualties of which, 36 were killed and 147 wounded.

This naval encounter became known as the Battle of Porto Praya.

A Cape Verdean Slave Owner and Governor of Portuguese Guinea

Honório Pereira Barreto (1813–1859) was a governor of the Portuguese colony of Guinea (or ‘province’ as it was referred to during the time of his administration). Born in Portuguese Guinea of a Guinean mother and Cape Verdean father, he maintained Portuguese control of the area and even extended its influence. Prior to the independence of Guinea-Bissau, Barreto was sighted by the Portuguese as the most famous governor and an example of what the local population might achieve. At the age of twenty-four Barreto was appointed Governor of Bissau and Cacheu. However, Barreto also ran a family business with his mother from the settlement of Cacheu, where the principal products of their mercantile dealings were slaves.Image

Fogo’s Rebellion of 1581

On August 4, 1578, while in a battle in Morocco, King Sebastian dies in battle without an heir. His death and lack of an heir will lead to a crisis for the Portuguese monarchy, the late king’s elderly granduncle Cardinal Henry is crowned King of Portugal.

On January 31, 1580 the elder King Henry I [Cardinal Henry] also die. At this time Portugal becomes worried about be able to maintain their independence and they begin a search for a king. In the end there would be two competitors for the throne of Portugal. One was Philip II of Spain, who on his mother’s side was the grandson of King Manuel I [King of Portugal from 1495 to 1521] and on that basis claims the Portuguese crown. The other was António, Prior of Crato, the illegitimate son of one of the younger sons of Manuel I.

Manuel would be crowned King of Portugal but this would last for only 33 days, until the invasion of Portugal by Spain in 1580 thus making King Philip II of Spain the new king of Portugal. He would be known as King Philip I of Portugal. Portugal became an autonomous state under the rule of the Spanish from 1580 to 1640.

But what does this have to do with Cape Verde one might ask. The answer is an interesting one, in 1581 began a short-lived revolt against Spanish rule of Portugal on the Island of Fogo. The residents of Fogo refused to accept Philip’s authority.

During Fogo’s rebellion against King Philip II of Spain as a Portuguese king in 1580s, one of the ringleaders was Garcia Alvares Baraça. Another leading rebel in 1582 was Baraça brother, Alvaro Gonçalves. Two of the five ringleaders were positively identified as New Christians [Cristãos Novos or Jews forced to convert to Christianity], and therefore the rebellion led by this group may have been related to Philip II/I’s known patronage of the Inquisition.

In 1654, the Island of Fogo receives its reward for being loyal to the Portuguese monarchy. After Portugal regained its throne from Spain in 1640, the village of São Filipe was given the administrative status of city and would be known as Cidade de São Filipe [City of São Filipe].

By Gerson Sergio Monteiro


ImageDuring the War of the Spanish Succession [1701-1714] which was fought between the European powers, including a divided Spain, over who had the right to succeed Charles II as the King of Spain. The Portuguese had sided with the English during the War of Spanish Succession and in retaliation the French sent a Navy fleet to Cape Verde to attack and sack the islands.[1]

During this conflict, a sea voyage was taken by French Navy Captain Jacques Cassard in 1712 this would be known as the Cassard Expedition. Departing from the port of Toulon [France] with a fleet of eight ships, 3,000 seamen and 1,200 soldiers. This is the fleet that on the 4th of May of 1712 he disembarked his soldiers at Praia Negra, Vila da Praia, Santiago [located in the bay of the city of Praia]. The French arrested the Captain-General and spread throughout the island of Santiago pillaging and burning the homes and the farms of the citizens of the villages and the city of Ribeira Grande [Cidade Velha][2].

The French soldiers arrested women and children and used them as hostages to keep the male residents from retaliating, while they continued burning and pillaging the city of Ribeira Grande and stole everything from slaves, gold, silver and also church chalices and even church bells. After sacking and pillaging Praia and Ribeira Grande, the French turned their attention to Santo Antão [1712][3]; with these successful attacks the French briefly wrangled control of Cape Verde from the Portuguese.

This attack by the French Corsair Jacques Cassard on Ribeira Grande led to the decline of the city and prompted the residents to move the capital to the Praia Plateau, which was easier to defend.

In 1798, the French return and attack the island of Brava in their unsuccessful effort to dislodge the Portuguese influence there and on the coast.[4]Image

[1] Stanhope, Philip Henry, C. Walker, J. Walker, Saint James, John Murray, A. Spottiswoode, and R. Spottiswoode. History of the War of the Succession in Spain. London: John Murray …, 1832. Pg.36. Print.

[2] Carreira, António. Cabo Verde, Formaçao E Extinçao De Uma Sociedade Escravocrata. S.l.: Centro De Estudos Da Guiné Portuguesa, 1972. Pg. 337-338. Print.

[3] Carreira, António. Cabo Verde, Formaçao E Extinçao De Uma Sociedade Escravocrata. S.l.: Centro De Estudos Da Guiné Portuguesa, 1972. Pg. 338 Print.

[4] Lobban, Richard Andrew, and Marlene Lopes. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1995. Pg. XXX.  Print.