FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT THE Portuguese Govern'. ment believes it has now got the guerrilla wars in Angola and Mozambique under control, but in Guinea the situation is more difficult owing to the swampy terrain which gives the rebels the advantage.
In an attempt to prove that his country has the upperhand, however, the Portuguese Presi• dent Americo Thomaz recently visited the country and went to Nova Lamego, less than 30 miles from Senegal and the Republic of Guinea (Conakry). where the rebels have their headquarters. He drove in an open car through the town of Bissau and more than 10,000 gaily dressed Africans turned out to greet him.
The visit was designed to show the world that Portugal
will not bow to the "wind of change" which has seen Britain, France and Belgium leave Africa. To guarantee this, the Portuguese have placed the territory under the military and is continuing its financial aid programme, which includes helping the country to narrow its balance of payments gap.
The Portuguese believe that Cuban doctors and instructors are helping the rebels. and a military source said Swedish and Norwegian nurses were also giving their services. The rebels, led by Amilcar Cabral, are members of the African Party for independence for Guinea and Cape Verde Islands.
Cabral claims that his 6,000-man army controls four fifths of the territory. This was why the President was determined to visit the area of Nova Lamego.
Portuguese military authorities deny that Cabral's men control any part of the territory. But they admit that there are some weak spots, such as in the large forest areas north of Mansoa, the south eastern region of Boe, near the border of the Republic of Guinea and the south west region. also bordering the republic.
Portuguese officers say the rebels have many modern weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, bazookas and Czech Soviet, Chinese and even U.S. arms.