The International Dimensions of Portuguese Colonial Crisis

  • Luís Nuno Rodrigues
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter deals with the international dimensions of the Portuguese colonial crisis, focusing on the beginning of the war in Angola in early 1961, and on the reaction of several countries to the problems Portugal was facing in that territory and, in the following years, in Portuguese Guinea and Mozambique. It begins with a general overview of Portuguese colonialism in the context of the Cold War and then analyses the positions taken by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1961 regarding Portuguese colonial crisis. The argument presented here is that Portugal was able to circumvent the difficulties felt in the United Nations (UN) and in the relationship with the United States by developing and strengthening its relations with the above mentioned European countries. Contrary to what Salazar, the leader of the Portuguese government, would claim in 1965, Portugal was not ‘proudly alone’ in its military efforts in Africa and diplomacy was playing a central role in the Portuguese strategy of resisting decolonization.


United Nations Security Council International Dimension North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Council Resolution 
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© Luís Nuno Rodrigues 2015

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