On 25 April 1974 the Portuguese Armed Forces Movement (MFA) overthrew the right-wing dictatorship that had been in power in Portugal for almost half a century. This coup occurred 13 years after Portugal embarked upon a counterinsurgency war against African liberation movements in Angola. The movements were the FNLA, MPLA and UNITA. Inevitably, the coup in Lisbon had a major impact on the Angolan war, and those in other African countries occupied by Portuguese imperialism — Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Principe Islands. The new Portuguese government soon committed itself to the attainment of full independence by each of these states. Angola’s independence date — 11 November 1975 — was chosen during a conference between the MFA and members of the three Angolan independence movements which was held in Alvor, Portugal, in January 1975.


Transitional Government National Liberation Military Assistance Military Support Portuguese Colonialism 
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  1. 2.
    Cf. Arslan Humbaraci and Nicole Muchnik, Portugal’s African Wars: Angola, Guinea-Bissao, Mozambique (New York: The Third Press, 1974), p. 120.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cf. John Marcum, The Angolan Revolution: Vol. II — Exile Politics and Guerrilla Warfare (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1978), p. 9.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See Ernest Harsch and Tony Thomas, Angola: The Hidden History of Washington’s War (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1976), p. 32.Google Scholar
  4. 37.
    Mário de Andrade and Marc O11ivier, The War in Angola: A Socio-Economic Study (Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House, 1975), p. 79.Google Scholar
  5. 83.
    See Wilfred Burchett, Southern Africa Stands Up: The Revolutions in Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa (New York: Urizen Books, 1978), pp. 38–45.Google Scholar
  6. 85.
    See Jiri Valenta, ‘Soviet Decision-Making on the Intervention in Angola’, in David E. Albright (ed.), Africa and International Communism (London: Macmillan Press, 1980), p. 96.Google Scholar
  7. 129.
    Cf. Durch, op. cit., p. 71. See also Fidel Castro, Angola Giron africano (La Habana: Editorial De Ciencias Sociales, 1976).Google Scholar
  8. 131.
    Jeffrey M. Elliot and Mervyn M. Dymally, an interview, Fidel Castro: Nothing Can Stop the Course of History (London and New York: Pathfinder Press, 1986), p. 180.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
    • 1
  1. 1.Goldsmiths’ College and Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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