Luís de Almeida Cabral (born 10 April 1931- ), the first President of Guinea-Bissau, served from 1974 to 1980, when a military coup deposed him.
In the early 1960s, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGCV) began a war that eventually expelled Portuguese colonialists. Luís Cabral's rise to leadership began in 1973, after the assassination in Conakry, in the neighbouring country of Guinea, of his half-brother Amílcar Cabral, the noted Pan-African intellectual and founder of the PAIGCV. Leadership of the party, then engaged in fighting for independence from Portuguese rule for both Guinea-Bissau (then known as Portuguese Guinea) and for Cape Verde, fell to Aristides Pereira, who later became the president of Cape Verde. The Guinea-Bissau branch of the party, however, followed Luís Cabral.
Following Portugal's revolution in April 1974, it granted independence to Guinea-Bissau on September 10 that same year, although PAIGCV had already unilaterally proclamed the country's independence one year before, even managing to be recognized by more than 80 countries in the UN. Luís Cabral became President of Guinea-Bissau. A program of national reconstruction and development, of socialist inspiration (with the support of USSR, China, but also nordic countries), began. But some suspicion and instability was present in the party since Amílcar Cabral's death and the independence. Some sections of the party accused Luís Cabral and the other members with Cape-Verdian origins of dominating the party. So, alleging this, Cabral's minister and former armed forces commander João Bernardo Vieira led to his overthrow in late 1980 in a military coup.
Luís Cabral was then arrested for 13 months. Afterwards, he was sent to exile, in Cuba, which offered to receive him. Finally, in 1984, he moved to Portugal, where the Government received him and gave him conditions to live with his family, until today. In 1999, after almost 20 years, he managed to visit his homeland again, after João Bernardo Vieira himself was overthrown from power.