To Resist is to Win


Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao has been hailed as the ‘poet warrior’. The leader of the National Council of Timorese Resistance endured incarceration in Cipinang Prison in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1992, but finally was able to return to his ravaged country in October 1999. Indonesia invaded his homeland of East Timor in 1975 and occupied the territory until 1999. Gusmão was appointed leader officially in 1981 and has commanded the armed guerrilla forces, Falintil, and the wider resistance movement since then. He has become an internationally recognised political leader very much in the limelight, especially since the downfall of the Suharto regime in Indonesia late in 1998, one result of which has been independence for the East Timorese people. This book features the first full publication in English of his autobiography, written in secret in gaol in 1994. With it is a select collection of his spoken and written work – speeches, interviews, essays, letters, political messages. This is a selection of the best, most interesting and most relevant words of this well-known though little-known-about political leader. The collection is organised chronologically, in sections that represent distinct periods of Gusmao’s leadership. It provides key insights into the philosophy and ideals behind the struggle of the East Timorese people for independence and documents the evolution of a significant world leader.