Social Organization. Traditional patterns of cooperative labor, juntamao, have given way to cooperative associations for production. Divisions of social organization based on slavery and race have blended with class divisions. Miscegenation was an important historical factor and remains the rule. Mulattoes in Cape Verde make up specialized strata within racially and class-stratified society. Skin color and other physical characteristics remain a central organizing principle in society. The hegemony of machismo defines gender relations.
Political Organization. The Republic of Cape Verde constitution defines the state as democratic and revolutionary nationalist. Its objectives include "the construction of a Society free from the exploitation of man by man." By definition, the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (the PAICV) is the "leading political force in the society and in the state." The PAICV is the successor political party to the PAIGC, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (discussed earlier in this essay). In 1974, after armed struggle against Portugal, the new Republic of Guinea-Bissau gained independence. On 5 July 1975, the Cape Verde Islands won their independence as the Republic of Cape Verde. The two republics of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde were united for five years, until their separation in November 1980. With the liberation of Cape Verde from Portuguese colonialism, the legitimacy of the state has increased. The state continues to penetrate further into the lives of even the most remote communities. The Cape Verdean People's National Assembly (ANP) is made up of elected deputies from around the country. Party membership is not necessary. A list of deputies is generated through a consultative process at the level of villages and workplace meetings. The ANP has the power to legislate in its meetings twice each year. In practice, however, the ANP is primarily a ratifying body. The president and the prime minister have the formal powers of government in their hands. Nonetheless, the ANP represents an important democratic element in the formal political structure of Cape Verde society. It is the focus of popular elections and debate regarding legislation.
Social Control. Local social structures, based on class and race, maintain social conformity. Self-government has been difficult at times because of passive political participation, which is a legacy of centuries of authoritarian political regimes. In recent times, youth have mobilized politically through the JAAC—CV (Juventude Africana Amilcar Cabral—Cabo Verde, or Amilcar Cabral's African Youth of Cape Verde). Women are organized through the OMCV (Organização das Mulheres de Cabo Verde, or Cape Verdean Women's Organization). Both organizations reflect the democratic centralism of PAICV. Another mass organization is the UNTC—CS (União Nacional dos Trabalhadores de Cabo Verde—Central Sindical or National Union of Cape Verdean Workers—Central Union), the federation of trade unions. Organizations for mass mobilization, such as JAAC—CV and OMCV, are expanding the ability for people to obtain greater justice at the local level.