Revolution into democracy, Portugal after the coup


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Revolution into democracy, Portugal after the coup
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Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Letter of transmittal
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    1. Portugal before the coup
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    2. Phases of the revolution
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
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        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    3. Portugal in context
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
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    Back Cover
        Page 113
        Page 114
Full Text
7% ~ -.

2d Session f





...11. ti II1, \

A .....

AUGUST 1976 "..*.. -..l

NOTE.-Sections of this committee print, originally classified secret,
have been deleted at the reiquiest of the Departments. of State and Defense.
Certain of these deletions are indicated by the notation "[Deleted]."

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

64-752 0 WASHINGTON : 1976

JOHN SPARKMAN, Alabama, Chairman

GALE W. McGEE, Wyoming
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware

HUGH SCOTT, Pennsylvania

PAT M. HOLT, Chief of Staff
ARTHUR M. KUHL, Chief Clerk


AIGt'ST 20, 1976.
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Portuguese revolution which was set into
motion by the military coup of April 25, 1974, is by all interpretations
an event of major historical consequence, not only for Portugal but
also for the world outside. Within Portugal herself, the rush of forces
loosed after decades of repression is now working a profound, if un-
predictable, transformation upon a society which for a half century
had experienced only the most gradual change. Outside Portugal, the
effects, though equally unpredictable, are also as unmistakable. For
the vast Portuguese empire in Africa, a domain of immense natural
wealth and potential, Portugal's revolution has brought a sudden in-
dependence the impact of which is now reverberating inexorably
through all of southern Africa. For Spain, Portugal's Iberian neigh-
bor and long her anachronistic twin, the Portuguese revolution has
shown the inevitability and probably the imminence of political
change. For the democracies of Europe, from whom Portugal was so
long isolated, the revolution has produced both hope and anxiety: a
strong collective aspiration for expanded contact with a new Portugal,
and simultaneously a disturbing uncertainty about Portugal's future
which has revived simmering ideological passions and domestic debate.
Finally, for the United States and the Soviet Union, each concerned
with the process of normalizing East-West relations, Portugal's revo-
lution has acquired a certain strategic significance-by raising funda-
mental questions about allegiance, interference, and the nature of
To learn more about Portugal's revolution and its effects, I visited
Europe in September 1975 and again in January 1976 under the aus-
pices of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In September, I
traveled first to England and France, where from the perspective of
those two countries I discussed Portugal with host government and
U.S. Embassy officials; I then proceeded to Lisbon for a schedule of
appointments which included a full spectrum of Portuguese military
and political leaders, journalists, and businessmen, as well as personnel
from the American Embassy. In January, en route to South Asia, I
returned to Lisbon so as to bring my earlier findings up to date.
Among those with whom I conversed in Portugal were President
Francisco da Costa Gomes and Foreign Minister Melo Antunes, both
military officers intimately involved in the revolution from its origins;
and Mario Soares, who as foreign minister and Socialist l)pa rty leader-
and now prime minister-has played a major role in events since the
April coup. My talks also included representatives from each of the

other major Portuguese political parties, from the Communists to
the Center Social Democrats. Accompanying me in these discussions
was John Ritch of the Foreign Relations Committee, with whom I
have worked in the preparation of this report.
Having followed events in Portugal for some time, I entered onto
my trave with two preconceptions: first, that the complexity of Portu-
gal's revolution defies neat description; second, that the proper posture
of the United States, as witness to this revolution, is that of concerned
and magnanimous observer-firm in the defense of legitimate Ameri-
can interests, free in the advocacy of American ideals, but scrupulously
respectful of Portuguese sovereignty. Nothing on my trips produced
evidence contrary to these assumptions. Indeed, my appreciation of the
complexity of events in Portugal was only enhanced, and my convic-
tion about America's proper role only strengthened.
Following travel on other occasions, I have normally confined my
report to a discussion of the current state of affairs, relating my con-
versations and any insights which my trip produced. In attempting to
report on Portugal, however, I soon concluded that a different ap-
proach was necessary. In analyzing other countries, it is often reason-
able to assume among readers a bedrock of familiarity with the coun-
tries' modern history and general circumstances. Regarding Portugal,
however, such an assumption is less valid. Even among practitioners of
American foreign policy, Portugal has traditionally received little
study. And though journalistic reportage on Portugal expanded dra-
matically following the coup of April 1974, it has generally produced
as much bewilderment as understanding. Further, a report confined to
the current state of affairs in Portugal at the time of my visits would
have been the equivalent of a snapshot of a swiftly moving event, with
the final truth dependent upon variables still unforeseeable. Because
there is much for us to learn from Portugal's revolution. I thought it
was essential to view it as a whole. I have therefore attempted in
this report, first, to describe as succinctly as possible the conditions
which shaped Portugal before the revolution, then to analyze in more
detail the complex events which began to unfold following the over-
throw of the old regime, and finally to discuss Portugal in its context
as a European nation and a NATO ally. This sequence seems to me
necessary, for it is only logical that understanding the event itself
should precede any appraisal of its implications for the world outside.
Today Portugal's revolution remains unfinished, her future un-
certain. For the United States, born in the oldest revolution of the
New World, this newest revolution in the Old World should be an oc-
casion for reflection and appraisal, and it is toward that end that I
submit this report.


Letter of Transmittal--------------------------------------------- III
I. PORTUGAL BEFORE THE COUP------------------------------ 1
The Republican Years -------------------------------------- 2
Estado Novo: Salazar's "New State"--------------------------- 4
Origins of the Coup------------- --------------------------13
II. PHASES OF THE REVOLUTION------------------------------ 19
Spinola versus the MFA (April 25, 1974-September 28, 1974)--- 20
"Institutionalization" (September 28, 1974-April 1, 1975)------- 33
A Sort of Election (April 1, 1975-April 25, 1975)-------------- 40
What Kind of Revolution? (April 25, 1975-August 29, 1975) -- 43
A Question of Authority (August 29, 1975-February 26, 1976)- 51
The Timetable Complete (February 26, 1976-April 25, 1976) --- 59
Democratic Beginnings (April 25, 1976 Onward)-------------- 62
III. PORTUGAL IN CONTEXT------------------------------------- 65
Spain and "The Idea of Portugal"---------------------------- 66
The West European Response-------------------------------- 72
Soviet and East European Interests------------------------- 75
American Policy Before the Coup and After------------------ 82
Glossary ----------------------------------------------------- 91
The Program of the Armed Forces Movement--------------------- 92
Remarks by Senator George McGovern in Lisbon------------------- 96
U.S. Aid to Portugal from 1946-1974----------------------------- 99
Portuguese-American Base Agreements---------------------------- 100
U.S./NATO Strategic Interests in Portugal----------------------- 103
The Azorean Independence Movement----------------------------- 109

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Crushed in the wcs.tern strip of the Pen?'ns;sula, between powerful
neighbors and the ocean, our existence is necessarily one long drama:
but by the favor of Providrcnre we cen count eight centuries of toil and
suffering, struggle and liberty, and if the danger remains, the miracle
remains also .... It was in the twelfth and thirte,,nth centric.i that
Portugal assumed its present frontiers in the Iberian Peninsula, in the.
,fifteenth and sixteenth centum- that it iicqu;,',d vast dominions in
Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Ameri'ca, defending Romin and Christian
civilization against Islam and spr'eading civilization through new
worlds. And this victory, of ras(iicendental importance to humanity,
was won by us at a time when the other nations of Europe were im-
mersed in the strife of dynasties, scisms and heresies which steeped
them in blood... We are the sons and hc;rs of an ancient civilization
whose mission it has been to educate and train peoples to a higher idea
of life, to form real men through the subjection of matter to spirit, of
instinct to reason .... Here and afar we have right on our side, the
right of occupation, conquest, discovery and colonization, of the sub-
stance and blood of the Portuguer. watering the earth in all parts of
the world, culti',ating the soil, opeOig up w',',nf, trading, paci-
fying, teaching. It is the will of the people ....
-Antonio de Oliveiria Salazar
The regime which died in Portugal on April 25,1974, was the "New
State" of Antonio Salazar, a despotism shaped and rigidly preserved
by its creator through four decades and bequeathed in 1968 to his desig-
nated custodian, Marcello Caetano, who was fated by history to pre-
side over its demise. Influenced from the outset by Salazar's enduring
admiration for Mussolini, the Estado Novo was a calculated anach-
ronism, a closed world of linkages between Portugal and her posses-
sions which depended for its long existence not only upon the docility
of the colonies, but even more upon the economic backwardness and
political passivity of the Portuguese people tlhemselves-a condition
effectively sanctioned through the years by the Church and ruthlessly
enforced by Salazar's pervasive secret police. If, after the coup, the
language of Marxist ideology suddenly burst forth to suffuse the poli-
tics of revolutionary Portugal, it was largely because the old order
had so clearly embodied those basic concepts: fascism, colonialism,
imperialism, monopoly, and capitalist exploitation. It was. moreover,
a regime which had borne out the Marxist prediction-by disinte-
grating under the weight of its own contradictions.
Though Salazar did not survive to see the collapse of his structure,
its undoing may be traced to the early 1960's while he still ruled and,
more directly, to the inflexibility of vision which he personified. Until
then Portugal had been little affected by the European experience of

the. 20th century. The Second World War, revolutionizing the political
and economic life of most of Europe, had left Salazar's order un-
touched; and the colonial unrest which had dissolved other European
empires had not yet spread to Portugal's "overseas territories." A de-
ceptive peace prevailed throughout, dominated by the great family
monopolies which were the handmaidens of Salazar's rule. Within
metropolitan Portugal, much of the population remained rural, illiter-
ate. and poor. To the north, small landowners labored with traditional
methods to squeeze subsistence from unyielding soil; while to the
south, in the richlier Alentejo region, vast absentee estates were farmed
under a "special leasehold" system which consigned workers to virtual
serfdom. Centered in Lisbon and Oporto, a select grouping of giant
financial and industrial conglomerates, privately-owned but govern-
ment-supported, managed the lucrative colonial empire which chan-
neled lavish affluence to an extraordinarily privileged Portuguese elite.
Steady emigration by Portuguese workers to the territories, a sys-
tem of colonial "assimilation, and the appearance of universal calm
gave credence to the official axiom that Portugal and her possessions
were forever one.
What broke this calm, though only faintly at first, was the rise of
black nationalist movements, which emerged nearly simultaneously in
each of the three African colonies that together comprised the essence
of Portugal's overseas empire. Guerrilla resistance began in Angola in
1961, and not long thereafter in Guinea and Mozambique. Furtive and
militarily weak at the outset but steadily gaining in strength, these
movements-and the Portuguese effort to combat them-were eventu-
ally to produce the fall of the old order. And though the end did not
come until years after his death, it was Salazar himself who by then
had made the fateful decisions. Like the American counterinsurgency
effort in Vietnam which it paralleled and actively emulated, Portu-
gal's three-fronted colonial war would drag on for a decade, domi-
nating the nation's life and sapping its energy. But, as in Indochina,
when the collapse came finally in 1974. it was in truth no more than
the inexorable result of a futile course charted years before. For
Portugal. however, it was the end not simply of a policy, but of an
entire way of life.

The Republican Years
On August 30. 1898. Arthur (later, the Earl of) Balfour, tem-
porarily in charge of the British Foreign Office, concluded a secret
Anglo-German convention assigning spheres of influence in Portu-
gal's African colonies. With the declining Portuguese monarchy so
abysmally poor as to be incapable of the competent administration
of empire, such preparation for an orderly dismemberment by
stronger imperial powers seemed clearly to be indicated. Within
months, however, rivalry between Britain and Germany had pre-
vailed over mutual greed. Aiming to rebuff German interest in Portu-
gal's colonies, the British Prime Minister. Lord Salisbury, repudi-
ated Balfour's agreement, reasserting the historic Anglo-Portugulese
relationship. Two decades hence, as the colonial spoils of the Great
War were divided, it was thus to be Germany's empire that was

dismantled, while Portugal-still weak but on victory's side-re-
tained its empire intact. Yet whether, through these events, fortune
had truly been kind to Portugal was a question which history would
not forget.
By his fateful action, Salisbury had perpetuated a Portuguese em-
pire whose chronic weakness had, in an important sense, been pre-
destined by an earlier act of Anglo-Portuguese diplomacy. Under the
Metheun Treaty of 1703, Britain and Portugal had defined what
amounted to a special relationship. Britain, already far the stronger,
became the "protector"; Portugal, though a colonial power, a kind of
dependency. By the treaty's terms, Portugal would accept industrial
imports from England in exchange for exports of wines and agricul-
tural produce. Portugal's colonial holdings meanwhile would be pre-
served with British assistance. By thus compromising the future de-
velopment of Portugal's fledgling industries, the Afetheun Treaty had
a profound consequence. As other European nations gradually en-
tered full force into the industrial age, Portugal was to remain pre-
dominantly agricultural and commercial, her undeveloped economy
heavily dependent upon the exploitation of foreign land and labor.
And as technological advance slowly transformed the political as well
as the economic face of Europe, Portugal was to continue as an al-
most feudal society, largely rural and illiterate, her political life,
commerce, and colonies firmly in the hands of a small aristocracy.
Though Salisbury's diplomatic shift on the eve of the 20th century
delivered a new lease to the Portuguese empire, it could not do the
same for the Portuguese monarchy. In 1876, Portuguese intellectuals
had formed the Republican Party with the aim of ending not only
the monarchy, but the pervasive dominance of the Roman Catholic
Church as well. Now, lacking a sound economic base and under as-
sault by this rising republican movement, the monarchy was steadily
weakening. Finally, on February 1, 1908, King Carlos and his heir
were assassinated as they rode in an open carriage in Lisbon. King
Manuel II, succeeding Carlos, found no unity among monarchist
politicians; and within 2 years, the increasingly militant republicans
had overthrown the monarchy, proclaiming a new republic.
Portugal's first years under the new regime produced a great up-
heaval of institution and spirit, as the republicans set out to imple-
ment their secular and egalitarian principles. Republican goal, touched
on all aspects of Portuguese life: establishment of fundamental civil
rights, separation of church and state, development of education, in-
creased autonomy for the overseas territories, and greater industriali-
zation and trade. In a number of areas, the new regime acted with
unity and dispatch, quickly expanding the educational system, curb-
ing religious orders, and establishing freedom of the press and the right
to strike. But a true social transformation by democracy was not to
be. The struggle to break the tyranny of monarchy and church had
been the republicans' unifying bond. This accomplished, they now dis-
solved into a welter of contending factions; and almost from the
outset the new parliamentary republic was plagued by the steady inter-
party feuding and sporadic violence that were to characterize the
chaotic years ahead.
With the outbreak of World War I, Portugal affirmed its adhesion
to the English alliance and, in the wars course, Portugue.,e soldiers

fought limited engagements against German forces both in Africa
and France. Even war, however, could not temper the political an-
tagonisms that had now emerged. Both in 1915 and 1917, attempts
were made by the military to reestablish dictatorship. In each case, the
republicans eventually prevailed, but without gain in unity or effective
Underlying and in large measure causing this political turmoil was
a fundamental economic fact: whether monarchy or republic, Portu-
gal remained a poor agricultural country so backward as to fall short
of self-sufficiency even in the production of food. Domestic industry
remained embryonic. And as for the empire which had so narrowly
survived, such was the neglect and stagnation that it was for the most
part liability rather than asset, much of its production having long
since passed into the hands of chartered companies under foreign, par-
ticularly British, control. That Portugal might be better off if divested
of this burden of empire-indeed that Portugal had been trapped
by an empire which now constituted the major obstacle to Portu-
gal's own economic modernization-were ideas whose time had not
yet come. Rather, accepting the empire as an unquestionable fact, a
aleidoscopic succession of governments endeavored with consistent
failure to reverse the nation's deteriorating financial plight, a decline
only accelerated by the continuing agitation of the workers' organiza-
tions and unions which the republican regime itself had made legal.
In Portugal, as elsewhere in Europe, fascism was to be built on a
foundation of failed democracy.
The New State
The military dictatorship which took control to restore order in
1926 was initially without program or doctrine. But into that gov-
ernment came the self-effacing university professor who was to shape
a new national ideology and, almost singlehandedly, to control the
destiny of Portugal and her colonies for over 40 years. Although
chaotic, the years of the republic had at least produced certain demo-
cratic freedoms, as well as the separation of church and state. But for
Antonio Salazar, and a generation of Portuguese traditionalists and
Catholics, life under the anticlerical republic had been a torment.
Blaming their country's plight upon democratic libertarianism and
cherishing an exalted view of her golden past, they envisioned Por-
tugal as a small but gallant nation, still the possessor of a vast empire
and a future of possible glory-if only a new order could be estab-
lished. After years of ferment and decline, it was a vision of Portugal
with broad appeal to traditionalist and republican alike, and it
was to the pursuit of that vision that Salazar now summoned his
count rymen.
First as finance minister from 1928, then as prime minister from
1932 on, Salazar set out to build a regime free of the political and
economic chaos of the past. Guiding him were two considerations, one
inspirational and the other practical: an unbridled admiration for
Italian fascism, and an obsessive desire to insulate Portugal against
the dangers of foreign influence, whether political or economic. With
the new constitution of 1933, Salazar formally established his design:


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the New State would be a republic, but one organized on corporate
principles so as to centralize effective control. In the economy, na-
tional trade unions-sindicatos-would represent all workers, while
employers' guild s-gre iios-represented management. Between sindi-
catos and gremdos, government would arbitrate, having first approved
their leaders. Strikes would be illegal. Within the government itself,
a single approved civic association, the National Union, would provide
all members to the elected national assembly. As prime minister,
Salazar, though technically appointed by a popularly elected presi-
dent, would ordain on all important questions, ruling through a Coun-
cil of Ministers. When necessary, the constitution would be bypassed
through the use of decree-orders which, being of an administrative
character, would fall outside effective judicial control.
To secure the corporate state against its critics, Salazar called upon
three institutions. The first was already well established: the Roman
Catholic Church, which had suffered during the republican years and
now welcomed Salazar's ascendancy. The second was a new organiza-
tion: the Policia Internacwional e de Defesa do Estado (PIDE), secret
police who were given virtually unlimited powers to prevent crimes
of a political and social nature. The third institution was at the outset
a government process but soon a state of mind: censorship, to prevent
the dissemination of matter corrupting to the state or the people.
To this system of corporate structures and controls, Salazar then
added a unique law by which, over the years, he was to shape and
build the New State's economy. Prohibiting the creation or even ex-
pansion of any enterprise without government permission, the law
in itself was neutral in effect, a tool adaptable to almost any economic
aim. As applied by Salazar, the goal was concentration. During de-
cades when many other governments endeavored, however falteringly,
to resist the consolidation of economic power, Salazar's regime actively
encouraged the process. In those industries where monopolies already
existed, they were protected. In others, monopolies and oligopolies
were fashioned by use of the law. The result over time was inevitable:
extraordinary economic power gravitated into the hands of a few
dozen very rich and powerful Portuguese families. Not surprisingly,
the plutocracy which he nurtured gave Salazar its unwavering loyalty
in return.
By the time World War II erupted in Europe, Salazar's regime was
well established. Opposition had been eliminated, often ruthlessly, and
the great edifice of conglomerate monopolies had been erected, closely
linked to the government and protected against competition either

from small business or abroad. Yet even with its consolidation, the
empire was far from strong, and the war now placed Portugal in a
precarious position. By b)asic sympathy, Salaza r's ruling establishment
favored the Axis powers. But like Franco, who was a constant source
of frustration to Hilter, Salazar could see little advantage in active
alliance. What mattered most was preserving the empire; and Salazar
recognized that whatever Portugal's posture, the Nazis in victory
would probably take over not only Britain's colonies, but Portugal's
as well. Moreover, close collaboration or alliance with the Nazis could
result in a British takeover of Portugal's colonies immediately.
Salazar therefore engaged in the delicate politics of neutrality, ex-
tracting economic advantage wherever he could. Wolfram, a vital
strategic mineral from the colonies, was sold to the Axis-but also in
lesser amounts, to the Allies.1 In the colonies, the Germans were al-
lowed to maintain centers for spying on shipping movements-but
Lisbon was also open as a major transit point for Jews fleeing Hilter.
By 1943, however, it was possible to foresee Nazi defeat, and Salazar
granted the Allies base rights in the Azores. For those Portuguese
who opposed Salazar, and the Nazis as well, it was gratifying that at
least Salazar's real politik had brought Portugal onto the right side.
Following the war and having observed the Nazis' fate, Salazar
tempered the overt signs of fascism in Portugal. The basic instruments
of political repression, however, were retained and indeed employed
all the more harshly, to insure that Portugal's new alignment with the
democracies did not register itself in effective domestic dissent. Along
with Spain, Portugal was denied entry into the United Nations. But
as the turn of world events produced a mounting confrontation be-
tween the Soviet Union and the West, Salazar found his international
position improving-so much so that in 1949, mainly due to British
and American influence, Portugal became a founding member of
NATO. In joining, Salazar was explicit that Portuguese participa-
tion by no means signified adherence to the liberal democratic prin-
ciples invoked in the NATO charter. Such ideas, Salazar maintained,
were irrelevant to Portugal. This difference between allies, however,
was overlooked. For in the sharing of a fervent anticommunism,
Salazar's Portugal and the Western democracies had found common
His international position secured, Salazar was able during the
1950's to preside comfortably over the New State he had related. To
SIndeed, British debts incurred during the war were used to buy out much of British
ownership that had accumulated in Portuguese Africa.

outside observers who saw Portugal as a place of backwardness and
repression, Salazar might have answered as he once wrote: "true lib-
erty can only exist in the spirit of man .. there can be no absolute
freedom; there can only be absolute authority; order has always been
the true condition of beauty." The colonies by now were profitable. And
outside influence had been kept to a minimum.
Though Salazar as prime minister ruled absolutely, the pretense of
political freedom was maintained. Every 7 years, elections were held
for the National Assembly and also for Portugal's president, the latter
being theoretically empowered to choose the prime minister. The suf-
frage, however, was highly restricted and opposition candidates were
carefully watched to insure that no real assault was mounted against
the status quo. From Salazar's perspective, such activity was but a
harmless pressure valve as well as a useful means for the PIDE
(secret police) to identify his opposition.
Only in 1958 did the pretense of freedom threaten to become real.
Surprising everyone, Portugal's delegate to NATO, General Humberto
Delgado, returned to oppose Salazar's official candidate, Admiral
Thomaz. A prestigious and cosmopolitan figure whose duties had in-
cluded service in America, Delgado now called for a "constitutional
coup d'etat." If elected, he boldly proclaimed, Salazar would be dis-
missed. In a nation growing slightly restless under Salazar's heavy
hand, Delgado's move had a dazzling effect, and thousands were soon
rallying publicly in his support. The voting system, however, was
Salazar's, and in an election that was obviously fixed, Delgado was
credited with only a third of the vote. Unwilling to accept his loss,
Delgado continued to agitate, first seeking unsuccessfully to persuade
his senior military colleagues to resist Salazar's fraud, and then form-
ing a movement by which he hoped to mobilize resistance to the regime.
Two figures associated with this activity were a young army officer,
Capt. Vasco Goncalves, and a lawyer, Mario Soares-both of whom
were to figure prominently in events many years later. Ultimately,
Delgado's effort proved unavailing, and following a pathetic coup at-
tempt in 1962, he fled Portugal, dying 6 years later in Spain, reportedly
at the hands of Salazar's secret police.
The years after World War II had seen colonial nations far stronger
than Portugal relinquish empires, sometimes peacefully, sometimes
only when driven by force. Portugal's empire had meanwhile remained
tranquil. In the early 1960's, however, there occurred an event which
might have signaled to Salazar the new reality of Portugal's overseas
position. For over four centuries, the tiny enclave of Goa on the west-
ern coast of the Indian subcontinent had been a Portuguese colony.
Following the British withdrawal from India in 1947, although pres-
sure had grown for the Portugese to follow, Salazar had remained
steadfast, unmoved by Nehru's repeated invitation to negotiate Goa's
decolonization. Portugal. the New State's leader hliad announced,
would nev-er abandon her "epic achievements in the Orient." But Goa
was not to be retained forever by moral force alone, and when in 1961
India, finally invaded, it took only hours for current facts to overcome
the appeal to history. The small Portuguese garrison was routed, and
Portugal's smallest colony simply disappeared with little protest from
the world community.

The incident, though revealing of Portugal's real strength, did not
prove instructive to S;lazair. Refusing to acknowledge defeat, he con-
tinued for years to regard Goa as "occupied territory." It wils, more-
over, the same attitude that he now diirt.ed at the far lar'r.r colonies
in Africa, where the appearance of guerrilla liberation movements,
supported from neighboring African count lies, ted an ominous
threat to the heart of Portugal's empire.
Significantly, the alternative to a war of counterinwilrgency was
broached to Salazar in 1961, a time when alternatives may still have
been possible. With the first signs of unrest in Angola, Portuguese offi-
cers in Africa had begun sending back their warnings to a colonel on
the army general staff in Lisbon, by the name of Francisco da Costa
Gomes. Their collective view was that in the event of widespread guer-
rilla fighting in the colonies-territories iniiny times the size of metro-
politan Portugal-no satisfactory military outcome was conceivable;
timely negotiation was therefore a nce,-sity. A formal paper to this
effect, prepared by Costa Gomes, soon gra:vitated upward to Salazar.
But to Portugal's leader, who himself had never been to the colonies
and was virtually innocent of any travel farther than Franco's Spain,
such ideas were apostacy. Preservation of the empire was a cultural,
almost religious imperative, as well as an economic need. Rejecting
the analysis out of hand and reassigning its proponents including
Costa Gomes, Salazar prei-ented himself on television to affirm Por-
tugal's unbending determination to remain in Africa to defend
Western and Christian civilization. By the end of 1961, following an
armed African rising, Portugese troop strength in Angola had
swollen from 3,000 to 50,000. Thereafter, and as fighting spread to
Guinea and Mozambique, potential military dissent on policy was sub-
ordinated to the growing commitment in battle. Not until 13 years
later, with the policy by then an abject failure and the empire a sham-
bles, was Costa Gomes once again to serve as a vehicle for the army's
view-this time by assuming the nation's Presidency.
Until the wars began, Portugal's economy operated largely as a
closed system, the colonies providing raw materials and markets for the
industrial monopolies of Lisbon and Oporto as they pro-pered com-
fortably behind a high protectionist wall which denied both foreign
investment and competition. By the early sixties, however, Portugue-e
businessmen had begun to turn an eye toward Europe. In 1lW;i), Portu-
gal had joined the European Free Trade Association (benefitting from
a special agreement which allowed a continuance of many Portugut,-e
tariffs), and increasing links now seemed promising.
But if any impetus were needed for a new policy on investment and
trade, the wars themselves soon provided it. As the fighting c.-calated
and the army grew to a force exceeding 200,000, support for a farflung
war effort placed an onerous and growing burden on the limited re-
sources of the Portuguese economy. Soon the old objections to foreign
capital were paling against the urgent need for new sour(-s of income,
and traditional barriers were being not only lowered but replaced by
incentives for foreign capital. In many ca-(e,. the new investment which
resulted took the form of links between multinational corporate ions and
the Portuguese conglomerates; in other cas,:. multinationals simply
bought into Portugue.-e indu-try or created it. The result was a re-

markable and indeed dramatic change: in the space of a single decade,
from 1960 to 1970, foreign ownership rose from 11i percent to 27 per-
cent of all Portuguese industry.
The early effect of this capital influx was a pleasing illusion: not
only d(lid in'estinent subsidize the war effort, but Portuguese living
:taidaids actually registered an impressive gain. Indeed for a time.

except for the little-publicized deaths of Portuigueri soldiers, the Afri-
can policy seemed to have few costs attached, a burden well worth the
benefit. The phenomenon, however, was not sustainable-Portugal
could only be sold once-and by the late 1960's the cotk began to be
felt. Foreign investment tapered off, and as the multinationals began
to extract profit from their earlier invew-tments, the net capital flow
turned negative, only compounding the drain on the economy which
continued with the wars. Ironically, it was for such reasons that Sala-
zar had always resisted foreign intrusions. Now, in financing his war
to preserve empire, he had permitted a kind of colon ization of Portugal
The rise in industrial wages drew many Portuguese from the poor
agrarian countryside into the cities to meet the new demand for labor.
Others continued on to France and Germany, where the European
boom provided still higher wages. even for unskilled workers, and
also, for those who needed it, a haven from conscription into the war. It
was indeed an astonishing phenomenon that during the old order's
final decade over 1 million people-a 10th of the population-chose to
emigrate, many of them doing so illegally. The regime, which might
earlier have sought to halt such a pro'esQ, now quietly abetted it. For
the remittances of Portuguese workers abroad provided a lucrative
source of foreign exchange-accounting, by the end of the decade, for
a full third of Portugal's foreign earnings. Still another new and siza-
ble source of invisible (nontrade) earnings was the Portuguc-e tourist
industry, which in the sixties virtually exploded with the help of for-
eign investment and the spur of European prosperity.
Yet even as they financed and fortified the older order, tourism and
emigration were also having a profound subversive effect, gradually
eroding the domestic passivity upon which the status quo had long
depended. European travelers were arriving in Portugal with opinions
as well as foreign currency; and Portuguese laborers-whose extraor-
dinary migration had suddenly made Paris the second largest Portu-
guese city in the world-were sending back not only remittances but
also fresh ideas born of their new experience. Fostered by such eye-
opening contact with the outside world, a mounting discontent with
fascist repression was inevitable. And indeed, as the sixtie- pro-
gressed, it was clear to careful observers of Portugal that interaction
with Europe and the burden of war were spawning an unro-t among
Portuguese workers and students that would soon sorely test Salazar's
powers of dominance and control.
Coping with the legacy of his own policy, however, was a task which
Salazar now left behind. In September 1968, at the age of 79, the
Estado Novo's creator and embodiment suffered a serious fall and
lapsed into a coma, never to recover. His suceeor as planned was
Marcello Caetano, like Salazar a university professor and a trusted
supporter of the New State from its earliest days.
Recognizing the tensions that were developing in Portugal, Caetano
set out to strengthen the old regime, although by methods which Sala-
zar would surely have condemned. Within weeks, the new prime min-
ister was advocating agricultural reform, sympathizing with the
"understandable impatience" of university students, and moving to
permit greater freedom of expression. Soon he had allowed Socialist
leader Mario Soares back from exile, released a number of political

64-752 0 76 2

prisoners, and renamed the PIDE, hoping to bury its reputation for
brutality and terror (while rather inattentatively failing to note that
the new title, Direccado General de Securance, DGS, was the same as
that of Franco's secret police). Sensing a liberalization, some enthu-
siasts went so far as to label Caetano's first months "the Lisbon
Yet. for all his efforts to reform and thereby preserve the old re-
gime, the new leader of Portugal shared the fatal weakness of his
predecessor-an unshakable attachment to the Portuguese role in
Africa. Like Salazar, Caetano saw Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique
as no less than extensions of Portugal herself. Accordingly, the so-
called "liberation" movements, despite their growing strength, could
be viewed as no more than a form of domestic unrest, to be defeated
at whatever cost necessary.
By 1970, however, whether the Portuguese economy could continue
to bear the load was a mounting question. In Salazar's Portugal, in-
flation had been considered an ultimate evil, and prices and wages
had been strictly controlled. Yet in edging more and more into the
world economy, the New State had become increasingly vulnerable to
international pressures; and now, just as the negative consequences of
foreign investment were starting to tell, world inflation began to ac-
celerate rapidly from the mild level of the sixties. The effect was devas-
tating. With alarming suddenness, Portuguese prices began to climb
at a rate far beyond precedent, quickly cracking the stable structure
of costs to which both workers and companies were accustomed and
upon which the economy had long been based.
Meanwhile, another, even more ominous fissure was appearing, as
union elections in 1970 began to return antigovernmnent majorities to
the executives of a surprising number of the old Salazarist sindica.tos,
which remained vital to to the regime's system of worker control. This
threat from inside the system was, moreover, soon matched by a threat
from without, when for the first time workers in sizable numbers began
to form into unsanctioned factory committees to organize their discon-
tent. By the fall, the trend was pronounced. Not only had these new
non-government unions appeared all across the industrial scene, they
had allied themselves through a national umbrella organization named
At first. Caetano allowed Intersindical to operate legally, believing
he could contain it. But the new organization soon showed that its
ambitions were more than modest, that indeed it wanted to operate
as a free trade union, with full freedom of association, regular elec-
tions, and the right to strike. Briefly Caetano marked time, hoping that
Intersindical could be undercut by wage increases arranged quietly
by the government; but within months his limit was reached. In mid-
1971, after the new group had boldly sought recognition in the Inter-
national Labor Organization, Caetano acted, outlawing Intersindical
and purging each of the unions associated with it.
By this time, however, Caetano's decision could do no more than
mark a new phase in the struggle. Having already gained wide sup-
port, Intersindical now simply moved underground, continuing to
SThe tone of the liberalization was perhaps captured best in Caetann's formal decree
extending the franchise to all literate women, which stated reassuringly that "it has been
verified that women are more conservative than men and much more afraid of adventure
and chance."

organize and plan. For Portugal's small clande-t iiie Communist Party,
its leadership regularly impr'i-oned and hounded by the -c'ret police,
Intersindical became a perfect velhicle. Indeed the clo-,-knit clanil.:-
tine organization now forged around Intersindical wais to be a major
source of Communist strength in the years ahead.
Intersindical's method was to encoura -re "unity committees" in fac-
tories where worker dissati-faction might be converted into -trike ac-
tion. The regime, for its part, responded in accord with its oldest tra-
ditions, frequently losing riot police and the PII)E-DI)GS to break up
disputes and arrest strike leaders. Each brutal incident, however,
served only to incite additional workers. Inexorably strike- grnw big-
ger and more determined. Adding to the growing chao- was the marked
tendency of foreign- and domestic-owned colIiIIaliM's to rv-pond dif-
ferently to wage demands: the foreign companies being more inclined
to reach a deal, the dome,-tic companies to re-i-t all negotiation. The
glaring deficiencies in pay which' resulted simply fueled worker dis-
satisfaction. By 1973, industrial unrest had overcome the regime's best
efforts at repression; and at least 40 major strikes crippled the economy.
The wars in Africa were now bleeding Portugal of rvc-o,-ree: which
were no longer being generated by economic growth at home. Not only
had foreign investment dwindled, but Portiiuries- companies.' were
starting to lose money on their African intere-ts, as well as failing to
come to terms with inflation and worker (ldi-content inside Portul ,,1.
France and Germany meanwhile, faced with an end to the boom con-
ditions of the late sixties and early seventie-. had begun to tighten up
on "guest workers," thereby curbing remittances while also blocking
the release valve that emigration had provided for surpli.- Portuguese
labor. European recession, moreover, had produced a sharp drop in the
tourist trade upon which Portugal's war economy had come to depend.
By late 1973, when the world energy crisis -truck, it was only the last
straw. In the early months of 1974. Portuguese inflation soared to an
annual rate of over 60 percent, while unemployment ro-, alarm llinily.
To the clande-,tine unions, bent upon intensifying the t iiigrgle,
these problems were only grist for the mill. Month by month, as the
economic plight of industrial workers worsened, new recruits had
joined those who were prepared to act. -,cretly and then openly, what-
ever the risk. In March 1974. Intersindical reached a new level of
sophistication, raising enough money to support a 3-week strike at the
great Leiria engineering work- in Lisbon. And in the buildup to May
Day, industrial unre-t was expected, not least by the government itself,
to rise to a climax. But it was not only in the ranks of workers th:it dis-
content was now nearing a pitch.

Origins of the Coup
To counter the African insurgencies. Salazar had turned in the early
sixties to a Portuguese military which had not seefn combat since the
First World War and had in the intervening dilecades languished into
the ritualized amateur existence typical of peacetime arniie-. Bt1 ii-
ning in 1949. NATO memiibership had afforded Portugu'.:r force- li-
aison with more experienced allied militaries, but had imposed little
responsibility on Portugzial other than -rlf-defen-,. Reflt'tin the
nation's traditional class stratification, the Portuguese military

manned its ranks routinely with peasants and colonial natives, draw-
ing for officers upon the aristocracy and an emerging wealthy bour-
geoisie. Displaying the comfortable intertwining of the Portuguese
establishment, officers of senior grade often doubled as board members
in industry and finance. In the defense ministries, as in other bureauc-
racies in Salazar's Lisbon, lax administration provided a quiet haven
for incompetence and corruption. Abroad, in the peaceful remoteness
of the colonies, the army's small officer cadres enjoyed a garrison life
of casual work, horseback riding, and sociality-customarily filing
false reports to Lisbon so as to supplement poor logistical support with
the wages of nonexistent troops.
The escalation of the African wars not only brought an abrupt end
to this leisurely style of life but also soon worked a profound change
upon the very composition of the officer corps itself. By expanding the
need for young officers just as the prospect of actual war service was
blunting traditional recruitment, the war created a void which could
be filled only by opening wide the doors of access to the previously
elite military academies. The result was that an entirely different
breed of young men now came forward to man the junior ranks of the
officer corps. Most were from the provinces of metropolitan Portugal
or the sons of Portuguese emigrants to the colonies. Poor, accepting
the need for war, and faced with the alternative of conscription, they
chose the new opportunity for a university education and duty as
officers. Upon graduation, it was they who became the first genera-
tion of Portuguese officers to experience combat. While establishment
politicians and generals directed the war from Lisbon, it was they
who took command of the small units which braved the prolonged
hardship of guerrilla fighting in the swamps, jungles, and savannas
of Africa. It was they who faced the enemy; and with officers steadily
in short supply and the wars continuing, it was they who remained
on duty for years at a time, receiving only occasional respite and per-
haps a transfer from one war to another. Finally, too, after years of
fighting, it would be they-men who had passed through the military
academies as the wars began-who were to shape the extraordinary
conspiracy which was to bring the wars to such a surprising and sud-
den end.
The escalation of Portugal's colonial wars coincided with the in-
creasing involvement in Indochina of her closest NATO ally, the
United States. As the American officer corps focused itself upon the
philosophy and strategy of counterguerrilla warfare, so too did Por-
tugal's officers, many of them traveling to America for periods of study
at U.S. Army counterinsurgency schools. Among Portuguese officers,
as in the U.S. officers corps, two general tactics vied for ascendency:
"search and destroy" and "hearts and minds." Reflecting these con-
trasting approaches were two Portuguese officers, each of whom
achieved celebrity while in command of a colonial war theater: Gen.
Kaulza de Arriaga in Mozambique and Gen. Antonio de Spinola in
Embodying the "search and destroy" philosophy, Arriaga was con-
vinced that the insurgents could with sufficient determination be beaten
into submission. A friend and admirer of U.S. Gen. William West-
moreland, Arriaga gained a hero's reputation for his exploits in the
forests and bush of Mozambique. At the same time, however, the

FRELIMO insuMrgnts .,ntinued to ,mike Liins : and in 1973 the con-o-
quences of the Arriaga strateLry gi]ined Awiild attention v. hen Portu-
guese massacre- were IvVI-Viletd to have ll rr., in Mi/ai biqlI's
northern province-. In smaller (Guinea. meanwhile. Spi nol:i had
adopted the oppo-,ite tack. Taking command in 1968 and immediately
recognizing the battle as militarily unwinnablv. If- iiid reoriented Por-
tuguese operations to a highly politi, :il "h., rts .1 id milnl I" appr ;1ch.1.
The aim for Spinola \w;i not to accede to ti, guer il1iad liberation
goals, but to undercut their alql .a1. U-*iu- hli- trool.- to perform public
services, he achieved remarkable siu..s-, gratly slowing guerrilla
gains. A dashing hors-iaiiin. Spminola returned to Lisb,,n in 197'2
to become the army's deputy chief of staff, a hern to his fellow soldiers
and his nation.
Like their American counterparts who worn posted to Vietnam.
Portugal's young officers -ought knowledge of their in til-e ]-v-
olutionary writings of Mao. Che, and Io( Chi Minh.. A- th,-,, bo,,k-
became standard texts at W-,-t Point ail Fort Bi-a.-. -, ti ,) wen-, they
incorporated into basic officer training in Portugal. For the Portu-
guese officer, however, there was in practice far gi .r ter oI.portunity to
learn how these revolutionary idea- acti.lly removed men to fight and
die. Separated from his enenmyv by lanunaire and ciiltii ,. ai American
officer in Vietnam could spend his relatively brief tour without truly
contacting or comprehending his adver-ary. In Afri';a. however. Por-
tugal's young officers were shielded(l by no 1 i;rrier of 1.nuiua_!e and
served far longer tours. Inevitably, as they operated in native villages
and sought to understand lt.h enemy's appeal, and a- they captured
and interrogated the enemy himself, they, tiji, to know the guerrilla
as the Ameri'can never did. With tili- knowledge n'me irlersta iding.
and from there it was not a long step to a growing ..ense that tlio guer-
rilla was right and that Portugue-t, soldier and guerrilla a]ik, were
victims of a worthless war.
What crystallized tli-s growing di-illusion was. as it happened. a
detail of military administration. In the -iiiiiner of 1973. the Portu-
guese Minister of Defen-e. endeavoring, to overco,-e the chroii'' short-
age of officers, made a decision dr,-irned to attract tlio rerntry of
university-graduate officer conscripts wlho had already done their -crv-
ice. The decree provided that returning conscript officers could count
former service toward promotion in the n'gular corp-. the effect being
to enable a returninig officer to bypa-- iwiianv _,-rular officers. For officers
of the regular corps, many of whom liad entered the armv beecraise
their familie- could afford no other form of education, this decision
was not only a professional -etback but a personal humiliation-an
obvious example of tlie privilegred status of tfi,,e wealtlhyv enough to
obtain a university deLrree. Increasingly sen-itive to the vast social
and economic gap which separated Li-t on frmin th',se who fought
Lisbon's war, they were now moved in their resentment to action.
After unsuccessfully protesting the decree, a nirriber of junior of-
ficers determined to coordinate their complaint: and by the fall of
1973. a sizable group had been formed. callingg itself the Armed Forces
Movement, the MFA. Meetinmj seciretlv at various points in Portugal,
the voung officers soon be'name aware that they shared not only a pro-
fessional grievance but a larger bitterno-s and disillusion with a war
that was being lost and thi -y-temn for which it wa- beini f uiirht. Had

their grievance been met, it is well possible that the "captains' move-
ment" would have dissipated. But even with the support of Gen.
Francisco da Costa Gomes, who had survived to become Army Chief
of Staff, their protests went unanswered. The MFA officers thus re-
solved to continue, fortified in a growing sense that the regime was no
longer worthy of support. In October they formalized their organiza-
tion by the establishment of a coordinating committee, the future im-
portance of which even its most ardent members could not then have
As winter approached, secret meetings of MFA "delegates" turned
increasingly to matters of politics, gradually revealing a polarization
between those officers who wished to limit their protest to the matter
of professional grievance and those who had developed an appetite for
more drastic action, possibly even a coup. As might have been ex-
pected, those who were most actively involved in the MFA's meetings
were those of a more radical view. And it was the more active, radical
officers who from the outset gained dominance on the 19-man Coordi-
nating Committee which constituted the MFA's leadership and shaped
its plans.
With a growing belief that some kind of action should and could
be taken, the Coordinating Committee began to think of outlining a
definite political program and of organizing its military strength.
Working on the "MFA Program" were two officers of an intellectual
bent, Majors Vitor Alves and Melo Antunes. Piecing together the
MFA's military infrastructure was another major whose orientation,
at least atthe time, was entirely nonpolitical, Otelo Carvalho.
In late February 1974, a publishing event occurred which may well
have determined Portugal's first President after the coup: the appear-
ance of Portugal and the Future by General Spinola, a book that
quickly became a sensation both inside Portugal and out. Serving as
Deputy Army Chief of Staff under Costa Gomes, Spinola had with
his superior's blessing placed into words his solution to Portugal's in-
creasingly desperate situation in the colonies: the wars should end and
the colonies should be given increased autonomy under a new federa-
tion with metropolitan Portugal. Although many observers translated
this as a call for decolonization, Spinola's intention was quite the op-
posite. His concern was that Portugal stay in Africa, not pull out;
and his plan was but a variation of the old "hearts and minds" ap-
proach at which he had previously excelled: in short, give the colonies
a form of autonomy and they will no doubt see it in their interest to
remain joined to Portugal in economic union. The response to Spin-
ola's book was electric. For those large economic interests which fore-
saw the dire consequences of continuing the wars and wished to draw
closer to the European Community, Spinola's solution represented sal-
vation. But for those in the ruling establishment whose economic and
emotional interests were rooted in the colonies, Spinola's prescription
was virtually treason. This division produced a crisis in the highest
echelons of government. Forced to decide, Caetano came down on the
side. of the ultracolonialists and perpetuation of the war. When Costa
Gomes and Spinola declined in early March to attend a ceremony re-
affirming existing colonial policy, Caetano was left with little choice.
Both were dismissed.
One week before these firings, a majority of nearly 200 members
of the MFA had agreed that the old regime must be overthrown. While

they had reached no conclusion as to the precise form of government
which should replace it, they had affirmed a popullist principle which
would later become a theme of thle revolution: "The \IFA is with the
people: the people is with the MiFA." For -oiie officers, this simply
meant ending tlihe wars an c-i toning thie nation's p prestige. For others,
however, such as Melo Antunes who was drafting the MFA program,
it held the hope for a more positive effort at social transformation.
The progiami soon conmpl)leted by Alntiunes stated the motive for a
coup: "After 13 years of struggle in the over1.-;- i territoriv.-, the pre-
vailing political system has been unable to formulate, concretely and
object vely, an overeat, policy which would lead to p'-:Ice among Por-
tuguese of all races and creeds." It stated(l further that, following the
coup, a new provisional government would include "repr's.eiitative
personalities from political groups and trends and independent per-
sonalities who identify theii-elves with this progniramI." The provi-
sional government would prepare for elections within a year for a
constituent assembly which would in turn create a new Portuguese
constitution. Vis-a-vis the colonies, a new government should recognize
the right of self-determination and the. need for a politi';il solution.
Economically, meanwhile, the new regime would follow a policy
"geared to the interests of the Portuguese people, in particular to those
strata of the population less favored until now . which will of
necessity imply an antimonopoly .-tnrategy." In foreign affairs, the
provisional government would "respect international commitments
resulting from treaties which are in force."
During March and April. MFA planners continued their work,
meeting on several occasions with Cotla Gomes and Spinola, both of
whom had now acquired the status of martyredl heroes. Tie existence
of a captains' movement was no longer a secret, but with the military
traditionally the one area of Portugu,.-: life not penetrable by the
secret police, discussions could continue witli relative candor. The
affair of Spinola's book had further demonstrated the intransigence of
the regime and the need for action. It had also establi-hied Spinola
as a figure of national and international prominence, perceived as
holding an enlightened and progressive approach to Portugal's future.
As the MFA political planners discussed their program+ with Spinola,
his response indicated a ,basic orientation far le-, radical than their
own, particularly on the question of thle colonie- but also on thle gen-
eral shape of Portugal's own future. By now. however, events were
developing a momentum which could not be slowed by h1)ilo-ophical
de.hate, no matter how profound. Two days after the firing of Costa
Gomes and Sp)inola. some of the units with which Carvalho hliad been
in contact had made a f;aLe start, undertaking a coup effort which
quickly fell apart and resulted in dozens of arr,'-t. Further )reemptive
efforts bv the regime might be taken without notice. -) time was vital.
Major Carvalho, meanwhile, had studied thle abortive coup, particu-
larly the respon,-e of the secret police and the conservative Portuguese
Legion which served as the palace guard, and had learned much that
was useful.


I can tell you% Sirs, what I would not have;
tho' I cannot what I would.
-Oliver Cromwell, 1641

Beginning in the predawn hours of April 25, 1974, a neatly or-
ganized and nearly bloodless coup brought the long year is of Salazar-
Caetano rule to an end. With cool precision, army units advanced
on Lisbon, sealed the city's main access routes and airport, took control
of key communications facilities, and surrounded the barracks into
which Caetano had moved for safety. Shortly after noon, in a courteous
ceremony, General Spinola arrived to take Caetano into custody, at-
tentively receiving his admonition not to let power fall into the
streets. The day's only notable violence occurred when the secret
police, having gathered in their headquarters, fired mindlessly into an
excited crowd, killing several civilians.
Toward evening, the program of the Armed Forces Movement was
announced 1 and a formal presentation was made of the country's
new rulers: a seven-member Junta of National Salvation, comprising
General Spinola as President and two senior officers from each of the
three armed services. Among them were Gen. Costa Gomes who was
to serve as head of the armed forces, and two other figures, both from
the navy, who would figure prominently in the events ahead: Capt.
(soon admiral) Rosa Coutinho and Adm. Pinheiro de Azevedo. Within
24 hours, Caetano and President Thomaz had been transported safely
from the country.
The jubilant events of the days which followed are by now an
oft-told tale: the release of political prisoners from the infamous
Caxias prison, the spontaneous demonstrations, the holiday from work
and education, the gleeful sacking of PIDE-DGS headquarters, the
street camaraderie of soldiers and citizens, the return of exiled politi-
cal leaders, and the overwhelming sense of hope symbolized by a red
carnation fixed in a cap or buttonhole or blossoming from the barrel
of a gun. The exhuberance of those first days, however, could but
briefly mask the harsh reality of Portugal's plight. For if the old
order had collapsed under the weight of its contradictions, the contra-
dictions themselves remained. Coup or no coup, Portugal was still
mired in unpopular, unwinnable wars in colonies upon which she
was psychologically and economically dependent. Coup or no, dis-
satisfaction in the domestic economy-over inflation and the maldis-
tribution of income-was now intense; indeed, with expectations
further excited by the coup itself, labor unrest could quickly bring the
economy to a standstill. How, then, would the wars be brought to an
1 The MFA program in Its entirety appears in the appendix.

end? And what would be done with a failing national economy in
which ownership reposed in the hands of a few? These two questions
were to dominate the months ahead.

Spinola versus the MFA
(April 25, 1974-September 28, 1974)
Long after the April coup, it was not uncommon for foreign jour-
nalists to describe the revolution as having begun with an uprising of
"the Armed Forces Movement led by General Spinola." That phrase,
however, disguised the most important truth in Portugal: that the
coup had been planned and executed almost. entirely by the young
officers of the MFA, that General Spinola and other senior officers
of the Junta had been at most only peripherally involved, and-most
significant-that Spinola and the MFA represented very different an-
swers to the questions Portugal now faced.
Two broad considerations had guided the MFA planners in select-
ing Spinola and a senior level Junta to take command of the postcoup
government. The first was the practical desire to effect a smooth tran-
sition: the assumption of power by prestigious high-ranking officers
would have a reassuring effect, minimizing the possibility of backlash
and bloodshed. The second consideration was one of deference and
habit: while confident and competent enough to have conceived,
planned, and executed the coup, the young officers still felt that pro-
priety dictated leadership by officers of senior grade. Indeed, Lt. Col.
Vasco Goncalves, an engineering officer of mild manners but radical
view who would later become premier, hlad already acquired something
of a unique position within the MFA simply by being the only officer
above the rank of major who had been fully involved with the MFA
from the outset. This respect for rank did not prevent the MFA from
arranging, immediately after the coup, for the retirement of senior
officers who were clearly unsympathetic to MFA aims. but it did mean
that despite their revolutionary conduct, MFA officers still felt a
predisposition to obey orders and observe protocol. Nowhere was this
feeling apparently stronger than in the mind of Maj. Otelo Carvalho,
who. in planning and commanding the military side of the coup, re-
ferred frequently to the need to restore the dignity and prestige of the
Thus, both practicality and propriety dictated an anonymous, sec-
ondary role for the MFA in the days immediately following the coup.
Spinola meanwhile confidently took full charge, and it might well
have come as a surprise to many of the MFA officers to be informed
that they would soon be directly at odds with Portugal's most pres-
tigious general and new President. To some minor extent, the con-
flict which soon arose was one of style and personality. Even among
his fellow senior officers of the Junta, Spinola was said to have quickly
become arrogant and overbearing-an attitude which, when directed
at the younger officers of the MFA, seemed less than appreciative. But
to a far larger extent, the conflict was to be one of substance.
On the most pressing matter, the colonial question, basic disagree-
ment between Spinola and the MFA had been foreshadowed in the
hours before the coup, in an argument between the MFA planners

and Spinola over the relevant passage in the MFA program. As
drafted by Maj. Melo Antunes, the program had called for immedi-
ate independence. Spinola, however, had objected, insisting on vaguer
wording which would indicate a new approach without a commitment
to complete colonial freedom. Faced by Spinola's intransigence and
the urgent need to assemble the coup's components, including Spinola
himself, the MFA planners had acquiesced, but without any real
change of view.
Conflict over the economic question had also been presaged-by the
vision of Portugal's future which Spinola had presented in his famous
book. While the incidents surrounding the book had enhanced Spinola's
reputation even among the young officers of the MFA, the book itself,
when examined closely, embodied a philosophy dramatically at vari-
ance with ideas which had gained force among MFA leaders. Argu-
ably, both views were revolutionary, but in an entirely different way.
What Spinola foresaw amounted to turning Portugal's existing cor-
porate apparatus away from dependence upon the colonies into a new,
modern relationship with the nations of Europe. The colonies, in this
view, should not be simply released, but rather given a form of self-
determination that would result in a continuing relationship with
Portugal. For the MFA, however, simply reorienting the existing
structure was not a true revolution. Indeed, it was the existing struc-
ture-of concentrated ownership and uneven distribution-which, in
waging the war for selfish interests, had brought Portugal to its cur-
rent lowly state. Though still without clear shape or articulation, the
vision shared by key MFA officers was of a revolution within Portugal
herself-a revolution which did not simply turn the existing structure,
but instead turned it over.
Ultimately both questions-decolonization and Portugal's future
economy-came together on a single point of focus: the great family
monopolies which for decades had been the New State's foundation.
STypifying the conglomerates was Portugal's largest, the mammoth
CUF-Comipanhia Uniao Fabril-combine, directed by Jorge de
Melo. Founded decades earlier upon a nea ir monopoly in tobacco, CUF
had through the years expanded into chemicals, shipbuilding, ferti-
lizers, refining, insurance, mining, textiles, real estate, soap, and tour-
ism; had joined with foreign multinationals in numerous ventures
beginning in the 1960's; and was linked through its control of a domi-
nant Portuguese bank with a variety of giant firms in each of the
African colonies. On the day of the coup, the C(F conglomerate en-
compassed nearly 200 distinct enterprises, and held total assets ap-
proaching $21/2 billion. And if CUF stood unparalleled in overall
scale-indeed it ranked high among the world's largest corporations-
Portugal's other industrial magnates presided over networks of eco-
nomic interest no less pervasive and diverse. The family names of
Champaliimaud, Quina, and Espirito Santo, were, with Melo, synono-
mous with huge pyramids of private wealth, names which meant vast
power. Nowhere throughout the empire was any change even conceiv-
able which did not affect these interests directly and fundamentally.
Although the coup signaled clearly the imminence of important
change, the industrial magnates were not without hope in observing
General Spinola's peaceful assumption of power. Neither personally
nor ideologically was Portugal's new leader a stranger. In the custom

of the old regime, the general had for years doubled as a director on
the Champalimaud board; moreover, in Portugal and the Future, the
book which had elevated him to heroic martyrdom, Spinola had ac-
tually pointed the way toward the conglomerates' most cherished
goals: peace in the colonies and expanded links with the European
Community. While Spinola's proposal of a negotiated compromise
with the colonies had been branded in some circles as dangerously pro-
gres.sive, few in the economic hierarchy had disagreed with the gen-
eral's broader aims. Like Spinola the industrial magnates wished to
see a rapid modernization of the Portuguese economy, by which they
meant the further elimination of small, under-capitalized businesses
and a further strengthening of larger enterprises in preparation for
the rigors, and advantages, of European competition. Indeed, in the
months now ahead, as Portugal's new President made plain his com-
mitment to expanded industrialization and economic rationalization,
the leaders of the conglomerates were to respond enthusiastically,
quickly offering up their own proposals for creation of the new Portu-
gal. Not surprisingly, their invitation would be for intensified govern-
ment. investment in existing industry.
Nor between Spinola and the magnates was there basic difference on
the question of decolonization. Spinola's message, after all, was peace,
not withdrawal. Retention of the colonies was indeed fundamental to
the vision of Portugal's future that Spinola and the conglomerates
held in common. While Guinea might be of minor economic impor-
tance, Mozambique and Angola most certainly were not. Not only did
both colonies provide large, protected markets for Portuguese textiles,
wines, and processed foods; more vital still was the colonial product.
From Mozambique, the full annual production of cotton and sugar
was brought to Portugal at well below world prices, while the wages
of Mozambique miners working in South Africa were converted into
gold shipments to Lisbon averaging over $200 million a year. And of
even greater importance was Angola, where joint ventures with the
foreign multinationals, although extensive, had only begun to realize
the full wealth which inhered in the colony's oil, iron ore, diamonds,
coffee, fishing, and tropical crops. To lose these resources now would
be to consign Portugal forever to a future of paucity and limited
But how could Mozambique and Angola possibly be retained with-
out continuing the war the MFA had made the coup to end? And how
could Portugal possibly be transformed, as MFA leaders had come to
envision, without fundamental changes in the economic structure
which Spinola and the industrial magnates wished only to strengthen?
Within these dilemmas lay the seeds of a conflict so fundamental as
to be resolvable only by the eventual victory of one side over the other.
With this deep fissure lying only barely beneath the surface of
events, the days immediately following the coup were given over to
the urgent practical business of establishing a government. The MFA
program l)rescribed elections within 1 year for a constituent assembly
which would draft a new national constitution. Thereafter, in perhaps
another year a parliament or president would be elected under what-
ever terms the new constitution had established. The task in the
meantime was to erect a government sufficiently representative to
exercise competent authority.

On May 4, less than two weeks after the coup, occurred the first
major gathering of leaders of the emerging political parties. A curious
and revealing aspect of the meeting was that many who attended
thought they had been invited to meet with Spinola and the Junta. In-
stead, they found themselves in the presence of the MFA Coordinating
Committee, which, already suspicious of Spinola, wished to evaluate
the parties independently. Although the MFA program envisioned a
long period in which a new political system was to be defined, the new
landscape of Portuguese politics had taken form with remarkable
Speed. Three parties would dominate, each conceiving of itself as
standing somewhere on the political spectrum between center and left.
Occupying the center would be the Popular Democratic Party
(PPD), formed immediately after the coup and featuring such leaders
as Francisco sa Carneiro and Malgalhaes Mota, men who had taken
advantage of Caetano's political liberalization to stand as opposition
candidates for the National Assembly, and had in the course made con-
siderable reputations for themselves as liberal reformers. This group-
ing could also count on support from Francisco Balsamao, the young
founder and editor of Expresso, a weekly newspaper which despite
censorship had already become a respected vehicle for economic and
social analysis and which would soon become a major source of inter-
pretation for foreign journalists as they poured into Portugal in the
weeks after the coup. It was in the PPD that Spinola was soon to vest
i both his prestige and his hopes for the creation of a broad base of
personal support. That the party as yet lacked anything like a national
organization was for Spinola not necessarily disadvantageous. Most
SPortuguese citizens had, after all, either approved of or acquiesced
in the old system. It was therefore doubtful that they would be quickly
attracted by the revolutionary appeal of leftist parties; rather, they
would more likely be drawn to the cent rist, reforming coalition which
Spinola could now fashion around his own popularity into the
dominant political force of the new order.
To the left of the Popular Democrats were the Socialists (PSP)
led by Mario Soares, a lawyer and teacher who had spent years in
exile; Raul Rego, editor of the newspaper Republica who like Soares
had been arrested more than once under the old regime; and Salgado
Zenha, a respected lawyer. Founded by Soares in Germany a year be-
fore the coup and already a member of the Socialist International, the
party featured a strong Europeanist orientation, based largely upon
Soares' close personal relations with such prominent European social
democrats as Willy Brandt, Francois Mitterand, and James Cal-
laghan. Indeed, if in the days ahead Spinola seemed to be pinning his
hopes on the strength of the PPD, much of Europe appeared to be
rooting for the success of the Portuguese Socialists, eventually sending
in substantial contributions to match the heavy outside support being
supplied to the Portuguese Communists. Somewhere between the
"within the system" reformer of the PPD mold and the clandestine
radical organizer of the Intersindical stripe, Soares was a man who
had lived on the margin of legitimacy under the old regime, surviving
skirmishes with the Portuguese secret police, living sometimes in exile,
sometimes not. Now, braced by a triumphal return, he found himself
in command of a party which, like the PPD, was potentially strong
but as yet totally lacking in national organization.

And it was in organization that the third major party, the Com-
munists (PCP) of Alvaro Cunhal, excelled. With a network born of
years of clandestine activity and recently expanded through the me-
dium of Intersindical and the strike movement, the PCP extended into
every local authority, trade union, government ministry, and univer-
sity. Like Soares, Cunhal had just returned from exile-he had fled to
Eastern Europe years before following a legendary prison break-but
a powerful apparatus now awaited his leadership. To be sure, the
Communist hold on the radical left was far from monolithic. The
PCP's traditional appeal in the universities, for example, had in
recent years been steadily eroding as the young radicals of the new
generation, repelled by the party's dour dogmatism and slavish sup-
port for Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, gravitated toward
ideologies still further to the left. Nonetheless, the PCP now consti-
tuted the one radical party possessing both a broad organization and
a practical, calculated sense of purpose. It was, moreover, during the
tumult of the weeks ahead, to be the first major party to grasp the full
political significance of the young officers of the MFA.
The lesser parties-though by no means were they unimportant-
stood on the flanks of the major three. On the right were a number of
groups and leaders, prominent among them being Freitas do Amaral,
a wealthy lawyer who was later to form the Center Social Democrat
Party (CDS). Though constantly under attack for old Salazarist con-
nections, these elements would find considerable strength in the rural
north and other localities where the conservative influence of the
church remained strong. Eventually, too, they would provide added
support for Spinola in his coming test of strength with the MFA. To
the left of the major three, a number of radical parties-Maoist,
anarchist, and Trotskyite-would supply a continuing pyrotechnic
display of enthusiasm and emotion, but without any real possibility of
broad appeal. By outflanking the Communists to the left, they would
in the months ahead tend alternately to embarrass the PCP for being
too conservative and to legitimize it as being a responsible leftist
By the middle of May, a myriad of meetings involving Spinola, the
remainder of the Junta, the MFA Coordinating Committee, and the
emerging political parties had produced the first provisional govern-
ment. Spinola would serve as President; Adelino Palma Carlos, a
law professor and Spinola friend, as Prime Minister; and, in the
remainder of the cabinet, a cross-section from the political forces that
had appeared in the hectic weeks after April 25. Major posts went to
Soares (PSP), who became Foreign Minister, and Sa Carneiro (PPD)
and Cunhal (PCP), each becoming a minister without portfolio. In
addition to this Council of Ministers, a Council of State would act as a
kind of supreme legislative body to insure adherence to the MFA
program. On it would sit the seven-man Junta, the seven-man MFA
Coordinating Committee, and seven public figures selected generally
to Spinola's satisfaction.
Two aspects of the new governmental arrangements were remark-
able. The first was the presence of Cunhal. Even Spinola, whose con-
servatism would soon become apparent, had perceived that Portugal
could not be ruled without the Communists and had himself sought
Cunhal's participation. Not only would PCP cooperation help the

government to moderate wage demands, which undoubtedly would be
explosive after a winter of savage inflation and brutal police repres-
sion; it would also force upon the Communists some share of respon-
sibility, and blame, for the turbulence which inevitably lay ahead.
Moreover, Spinola surely hoped, the PCP's Moscow-orientation could
be useful in encouraging the Soviet-supported liberation movements
to accept the federative colonial solution that Spinola envisioned. In
return for the PCP's cooperation, Spinola could promise the govern-
ment's full support against the PCP's competitors on the left.
For his part, Cunhal readily accepted government participa-
tion, realizing that by so doing the PCP sacrificed little and gained
much. Well aware of the lesson of Chile, where the revolution was lost
through alienation of small businessmen and the middle class, Cunhial
and the party had long before fixed upon the importance of forming
alliances with as broad a segment of the population as possible and of
minimizing industrial disruption once the revolution began. Thus, on
the wage front, the PCP's plan was to act with moderation, whether
! inside the government or out. As for the colonial question, such hopes
as Spinola may have harbored for PCP assistance were built on air.
Not only did the PCP lack influence with the liberation movements-
as for that matter did the Soviet Union if it ever came to compromis-
ing the aim of total independence-but the party was simply not con-
cerned with the issue. Confident that decolonization was inevitable,
the PCP intended to focus its energies on the future, which meant
within Portugal herself. Finally, as for the rival extremist parties, if
Spinola wished to assist the Communists as against their competitors,
the PCP was only too pleased to accept.
The second notable aspect of the new government-ultimately even
more significant than Communist participation-was the formal pres-
ence of the young officers of the MFA. Though only a minority on the
Council of State, they had nonetheless retained a foothold from which
to monitor and influence the course of national policy. To be sure, any
visible measure of strength showed Spinola in a position of dominant
control. A popular and prestigious figure, he now directed the Cabinet,
dominated the Council of State, and commanded the armed forces.
Indeed only one question remained unanswered: whether the armed
forces were in fact subject to his command. In conducting the coup,
the MFA had demonstrated an impressive network of friendship and
personal commitment which cut across normal lines of military con-
trol; and at this early point, it was simply not clear what would happen
in a sudden test of allegiance. Thus, as he sought to return the MFA to
the barracks and to consolidate his own position, prudence required of
Spinola that he proceed with a measure of caution, at least, at the out-
set. Personifying the uncertainty was Gen. Costa Gomes, who, as
Chief of the Defense Staff, was a longtime Spinola friend but also a
sincere sympathizer with the young officers of the MFA.
During its first 2 months, the overwhelming domestic problem facing
the provisional government was a wave of major industrial strikes
brought on by rising wage demands. Having immediately legalized
strikes as a matter of principle, the government now had to cope with
them-a dilemma the pre-Salazar republicans of a half century earlier
would have well understood. Cunhal's participation in the cabinet did
afford a direct link between the government and the Communist-con-

trolled Intersindical, which was now not only legal but indeed the
nation's principal union organization. But even the PCP, despite ap-
parently genuine efforts to cooperate with the government, could
exercise only a limited moderating effect in the face of workers' expec-
tations that now knew no constraint. It was in fact a marked irony, in
light of Intersindical's antigovernment origins, that to the degree it
now attempted to cooperate with the government, it soon found work-
ers organizing spontaneously outside its framework, spurred on by
parties of the farthest left.
Nor was the government successful in satiating demands even with
a package of semi-radical economic policies, including establishment
of a high minimum wage, rent and price controls, widespread dismissal
of management personnel from what were essentially government
patronage positions under the corporate state system, and the promise
to reorganize the money market which was still controlled by the
family conglomerates. In dealing with the growing chaos in industry,
the one alternative which the government wished to avoid at all costs
was strikebreaking by resort to military force-not only because of
the adverse psychological effect but also because it was by no means
certain that ordinary soldiers, who were now rapidly being swept up
in the spirit of the revolution, would obey such a directive.
On the colonial question, meanwhile, little was being accomplished.
As the new Foreign Minister, Mario Soares flew immediately to Guinea
to meet with liberation (PAIGC*) leaders, who had already pro-
claimed independence 8 months before the coup. The talks, however,
were inconclusive, as were Soares' subsequent efforts to negotiate with
the leaders of FRELIMO in Mozambique. As for the three revolu-
tionary movements in Angola, Soares spoke with Jonas Savimbi,
leader of UNITA; but Agostinho Neto, leader of the Marxist MPLA,
and Holden Roberto, head of the more conservative FNLA, could not
even be contacted. In all three countries, it was clear that the revolu-
tionary leaders were suspicious of Spinola's true intentions.
As the summer of 1974 progressed and arguments over the colonies
and the economy flared in the councils of the new government,
Spinola's relations with the MFA moved steadily toward confronta-
tion. Although his political strength appeared impressive, Spinola
could not be certain that in a showdown he could count either on the
loyalty of the army or the support of the population itself, which
seemed generally enthusiastic about both Spinola and the MFA, fail-
ing to distinguish between the two. Apparently recognizing this,
Spinola began to travel through the country, in effect campaigning
with speeches both to army units and rallies of citizens. As he did,
there was in Spinola's conduct-especially in his grandiloquent refer-
ences to the state, the people, and himself-something reimiscent of
the Charles DeGaulle of 1958, a parallel of which many observers felt
Spinola was all too keenly aware. Though the weekly newspaper Ex-
presso was in some sense the paper of the PPD, the centrist party upon
which Spinola hoped to base his civilian support, an issue in early June
featured a lengthy comparison of Spinola's language with DeGaulle's,
concluding not optimistically that "without doubt we have seen the
birth of Spinolism."
In mid-June, President Spinola flew to the Azores to meet briefly
with President Nixon. who was returning from his Middle East tour.
*The appendix of this report contains a glossary of organizational names involved in
the Portuguese revolution.

SWithin the American Government, questions about Portugal's NATO
Role, the participation of Communiists in the government, and the fate
of the colonies had raised considerable concern, one result of which
was soon to be the replacement of U.S. Ambassador Nash Scott for his
"soft" reporting on events which Washington found alarming. In fact,
however, none of the players in the Portuguese drama had advocated
any change at all in Portugal's NATO role. For the Portugiese mili-
tary, from Spinola to the MFA, Portugal's NATO participation was
a considerable source of pride, and the domestic ideological quest ions
which were now arising bore no relation to Portugal's international
alignment. Even Cunhal, whose presence in the government was widely
recognized in Portugal as a necessity, had been silent on the matter of
NATO. Only on the colonial issue did American concerns seem to relate
closely to Portuguese reality. For unlike Portugal's NATO role, the
future of the colonies was now genuinely at issue. According to
Expresso, President Nixon indicated clearly that the United States did
not recognize the "right" of Angola and Moza-iibique to independence,
a view which Spinola most probabl)ly welcomed, but which the MFA
most surely did not.
In the second week of July occurred two events which were to have
major significance in determining the outcome of the conflict between
Spinola and the MFA. The first iwas the establishment of a new mili-
tary command headquarters which effectively institutional zed the
lines of sympathy and support that extended from the young MFA
leaders to army units throughout Portugal. During the months of May
and June. as strikes and demonstrations had spread, the need for gov-
ernment intervention to handle extreme situations had become increas-
ingly clear. However, with the spread of revolutionary ideas through-
out the army, it was also becoming evident-as .-cveral incidents had
confirmed-that army units could not always be relied upon to deal
firmly with demonstrators. In short, the regular operational channels
of the armed forces were now of dubious value for duties inside
Portugal. The most reliable channels for action and response were,
generally stated, those which had been employed in the conduct of the
coup-linkages which did not show on an organization chart but
existed instead in connections of friendship, confidence, and respect.
Thus it was that on June 8 the Council of Ministers, faced with the
rising prospect of domestic chaos, approved the establishment of a new
military comand-the Operational Command for the Continent
(COPCON), intended to act as a military support to exiting police
organizations in maintaining law and order. Leading COPCON
would be Otelo Carvalho, the major who had directed military opera-
tions during the coup and who now advanced meteorically to the rank
of Brigadier. COPCON was not to be a new military unit, operating
separately from the remainder of the army, but ratlher a special com-
mand headquarters staffed by a small group of officers chosen by
Carvalho. In special circumstances requiring military intervention,
COPCON could call into action army units from the regular hierarchy,
relying particularly on units preselected for loyalty and reliability.
For the provisional government. COPCON represented tlhe pos-
sible answer to a pressing national need. But its significance wNent far
beyond the handling of civil di-order. Since the day of the coup,
Spinola's clear aim had been the dissolution of thle MFA's inflienre.

64-752 0 76 3

Now, however, the creation of COPCON meant that, without di-
rectly challenging Spinola, the MFA had not only survived but been
institutionalized, at least militarily. While COPCON would answer
directly to Costa Gomes and through him to the President, Spinola
now had to contend with the knowledge, that the MFA had achieved
an operational military command that extended into every regiment
in the army.
If the creation of COPCON was a military change with political
significance, the second major event of mid-July was explicitly poli-
tical. It arose from a bid for expanded power by Spinola and Prime
Minister Palma Carlos-a ploy which, in the end, Spinola's power
base simply could not sustain. The bid came as a formal proposal by
Palma Carlos that three fundamental changes be made: a widening
of his own authority, a postponement of the Constituent Assembly
elections until sometime after November 1976, and the holding within
3 months of presidential elections. The implications of the proposal
were sweeping. By capitalizing on his personal popularity, Spinola
would be able to win quick election, thereby legitimize his presidency,
and thus supersede the popular legitimacy which he and the MFA now
shared as a result of the April coup. Moreover, by delaying the As-
sembly elections, he could neutralize all political parties for over a
year, while building his own party-perhaps the PPD or, some now
speculated, even a party bearing hisown name.
The Spinola-Palma Carlos proposals brought on the direct conflict
which had long lain in wait. In the fashion that was to characterize
other decisive moments of the revolution, however, the crisis took
shape as a marathon of almost interminable meetings of the Council
of State and Council of Ministers, and also of the MFA Coordinating
Committee convening alone. But if the form was soporific, the result
was dramatic. In the end. even Spinola's personally selected partisans
on the Council of State declined to support him, realizing that to do
so would mean a break-indeed probably an open test of strength-
with the MFA. On the ground that such a plan was in conflict with
the announced program of the MFA, the proposal was overwhelm-
ingly rejected. Since Spinola himself was at least ostensibly the head
of the MFA, the rejection was not a direct rebuff. In effect, however,
the tide had begun to turn. Palma Carlos resigned; a Spinolist re-
placement was rejected; and when on July 13 Spinola appeared on
television to present. the new Prime Minister, the man beside him was
Vasco Goncalves, the quiet army colonel whose principal distinction
was in being the most senior officer on the MFA Coordinating Com-
mittee. As prime minister, Goncalves was soon to become an inter-
national symbol of a radical leftist drift often portrayed as fanatical.
Ironically, he had emerged as the MFA choice less for reasons of ideo-
logy than precisely because of his seniority and the MFA's sense of
decorum and military propriety.
To be sure. Goncalves' views were leftist, and had been so as far
back as the 1950's when as a young officer he had been associated, along
with Mario Soares, with the odyssey of Herman Delgado's political
insurrection. But whether in fact Goncalves had ever been a minember
of the Communist Party-soon a matter of international conjecture-
was really a distinction without a difference. While serving as a
regular officer, he had most certainly mingled regularly in those in-

tellectual circles where d(ratic, reijiedies for Portugal's injustice were
a common theme. Ile was, as be -t the term could be .used, a radical-
though no more so, it would then have beein judged, than other officers
on the MFA Coordinatiiig Committee, such as Melo Antuines.
The real meaning of the Goncalves electionn was not that the MFA
had "shifted left,'" but rather that the MFA leaders had acted to
preserve the revolutionary moveiiient of events again-t what they in-
creasingly perceived as the reactionary intent of a mian who was only
titularly their leader. In so doing, the MFA had interjected itself,
more publicly than ever, into the political proc,,(. Not only did Gon-
calves now replace Palma Carlos, but Melo Antii.cs and Vitor Alves,
drafters of the original MFA program, also entered the cabinet re-
placing civilians.
Thus, nearly 3 montl,- after the coup, d(lid the MFA finally emerge
as an overt political force. The coup's military planner, Otelo Car-
valho, had assumed command of a special headquarters, institution-
alizing the lines of command that had achieved tlhe coup. The MFA's
chief political planners. Antunes and Alve-, were in the cabinet. And,
most prominently, the MFA Coordinating Committee's senior of-
ficer, Goncalves, had become Prime Minister. The lines of battle were
thus clearly drawn for the MFA's final conflict with Spinola.
But MFA officers had other concerns as well. For having entered
visibly into a political role, they had now asi-unied the task of ad-
ministering, as well as protecting, the revolution. In the weeks prior
to the Goncalves ace.--ion, the MFA's concern about Spinola's inten-
tions had fostered an increasing affiliation between MFA officers and
the Communist Party under Cunhal, which had shrewdly offered its
support. Now a marriage of convenience was born. To the MFA, con-
fronted with the imperative to govern effectively, the Communists
represented a vital ally. For the Commuiiists-faced with unpopu-
larity to the right, attack from the left for participation in the gov-
ernment, and aware already that their electoral appeal might be
limited-an attachment to the emerging political power of the MFA
offered both a shelter and a share in power.
The one. immediate effect of the appointment of the Goncalves gov-
ernment was a sharp-indeed monmentoii---hift in the area of policy
where Spinola i and the MFA had been most clearly oppo-ed. The re-
sult was manifest on July 27, when Spinola appeared on television to
announce, with visible relutance, the govrn ,iint's uznezqiivcat.' recog-
nition of the colonies' right to independence. Guinea was to be granted
independence forthwith; while "period, of transition" were to begin
immediately in Angola and Moza ribique.
Within we(ek-s, productive negotiations toward that end had taken
place with representatives from each colony. In a series of meetings
with PAIGC leaders in Alziers. Foreign Minister Soares arranged
first an inimmnediate. cease-fire in Guinea, and soon thereafter signed an
agreement providing for formal independence in September, at which
time all 25.,000 Portuguese troops would leave th(e colony. For
Mozamblique, negotiations proved equally decisive. On Septem-
ber 9, having by then arranged(l a cease-fire with FIIELIMO, Soares
and Antunes signed what was termed the Lusaka accord, providing
for full independence in June 1975 and, during the trans-ition. for a
provisional government to be headed by an MIFA officer. Tnfortu-


nately, whereas the agreement on Guinea had in effect blessed an ac-
cepted reality, the immediate result of the Lusaka accord was a violent
white backlash in Mozambique, touching off weeks of bitter interracial
violence between blacks and the 200,000 Portuguese colonials. None-
theless, with the Lisbon government and FRELIMO in agreement,
Mozambique's eventual independence was no longer in doubt.
In the case of mineral-rich Angola, however, Spinola's acceptance
of decolonization remained dubious. At their June meeting, Spinola
had assured President Nixon that there would be no rush to deliver
Angola into the hands of the left-wing independence movements; and
indeed it was clear to all around him that Spinola envisioned An-
gola's graduation into self-determination as nothing less than a highly
protracted process. Responsibility for negotiations with the three
Angolan rebel groups fell jointly upon Soares and Adm. Rosa Cou-
tinho, a member of the original Junta and persistent Spinola critic
who in July had been sent to Angola as governor. Later it would be
speculated that, in dispatching Coutinho to Angola, Spinola. fully
expected him to find the situation unmanageable, hoping that
Coutinho's failure would pave the way for Spinola's own direct
involvement in the negotiations. Whatever Spinola's tactical plan,
however, basic conflict over Angola's future was clearly in order. For
if the MFA sympathized with any one rebel group, it was Agostinho
Neto's left-wing MPLA, which had long received support from the
Soviet Union and also from such respected black African leaders as
Nyerere of Tanzania. Indeed, as governor in Angola, Coutinho did
little to disguise his preference for the MPLA and reportedly missed
few opportunities to strengthen the MPLA's relative position. Spinola,
on the other hand, clearly favored Holden Roberto's more conservative
FNLA, which drew support from Roberto's brother-in-law, President
Mobutu of neighboring Zaire, and from the United States, China, and
South Africa. The Western anti-Communist orientation of the
Roberto-Mobutu team was in keeping with Spinola's vision of an
Angola which, though perhaps nominally autonomous, would retain
strong economic links to Portugal.
The general awareness of these basic differences, however, did noth-
ing to diminish the shock of amazement and alarm which reverberated
through the entire Portuguese Government when it was learned in
mid-September, several days after the event, that Spinola had
traveled secretly to Portugal's Cape Verde Islands to negotiate
secretly with Mobutu, Roberto, and certain MPLA defectors with a
view to establishing a provisional Angolan Government from which
the MPLA was to be effectively excluded. Neither Coutinho nor Soares,
the two men most directly responsible for Angola, had been informed;
indeed Spinola had bypassed virtually the entire government. When
word of the negotiations leaked out-with Coutinho learning only by
way of the daily Luanda newspapers---4Spinola's colleagues were out-
raged, all the more when he responded to their repeated demands for
an explanation by reiterating insouciantly that he had simply decided
to assume control of Angola's future. Coming in September atop other
events which were now unfolding domestically, Spinola's machinations
on Angola became one of the last straws for the tenuous relationship
between the MFA and its nominal leader.

The creation in July of the Goncalves government, which had re-
sulted in a marked shift in colonial policy, had produced a new de-
parture on the domtistic front as well. Theretofore, under Palma
Carlos, the government had failed, despite assistance from the Com-
munist Party and Intersindical, to find any effective remedy for the
explosive rise in prices fueled by wage demands and the epidemic of
strikes. Thus, within days of its formation, the Goncalves government
had promulgated a new labor law which, while formally legalizing
strikes for the first time in a half century, placed a strict ban on the
sudden wildcat strikes that had afflicted the economy since the coup.
The new law also gave the government strong strikebreaking powers.
Yet in the effort to employ its new authority, the government con-
tinued to encounter a basic dilemma. Workers were rebelling against
the very economic system that the government-the MFA-purported
to intend to change. Thus any attempt by the government to enforce
participation in the system, or to repress revolutionary wage de-
mands, quickly elicited the charge that the MFA was acting in com-
plicity with the "ruling class" of the old order. Having no legitimacy
other than the widespread enthusiasm and trust it had accrued as a
result of the April coup, the MFA was soon reduced to uncertainty
and endless debate whenever faced with a decision involving the im-
position of economic "discipline." The result was that while the Gon-
calves government was from the start alert to the dangers of
uncontrolled inflation, it soon proved to be little more successful than
its predecessor in restoring economic order or in arresting the econ-
omy's ominous decline.
Meanwhile, viewing both the economic chaos and the rising influence
of the MFA, Spinola found himself more isolated but also more
certain than ever that growing disillusion with the revolution could
be turned to his favor. Confident of his own solid base with a large
number of conservative Portuguese who were surely viewing the
growing disorder with dismay, Portugal's President began in early
September what he must surely have expected would be a final show-
down between himself and the MIFA. On September 10 in a speech
soon widely publicized, Spinola borrowed a phrase from his Ameri-
can counterpart and called upon all of Portugal's great "silent mrajor-
ity" to rally in his support in a huge weekend demonstration to be held
in Lisbon on September 28. Almost immediately, political parties of
the center and right began organizin r all over Portugal to turn
Spinola's rally into an overwhelming show of strength-political and,
perhaps if necessary, brute.
Aks the (lay of the rally approached, Lisbon grew rife with rumors
of alarming plans by elements of the right and the left. Among groups
on the left, word spread quickly that Spinola's rally would be used
as the occasion for a rightwing coup, replete with assassinations of
maior figures-including, in some versions, ev-en Spinola himself. The
right, for its part, took alarm at the rumored plans of the left to stop
the Spinola rally at any cost, including the resort to arms. However
valid the rumors, the clear danger was that they would be self-fulfill-
ing: that civilians of the left and right would clash violently in the
streets on September 28, turning the revolution from its relatively
peaceful course into civil war.

On September 27, with Spinola's supporters from all over Portugal
having already begun the long ride to Lisbon, the Council of Min-
isters met in emergency session to discuss the imminent danger of
bloodshed. Though almost totally isolated, Spinola refused to call off
his rally, arguing the right of the nation's majority to express itself.
Nor would Spinola, as commander in chief, yield to the pleas of his
colleagues that COPCON be deployed to search all demonstrators for
weapons and to prevent confrontations between rally supporters and
opposition groups seeking to disrupt the assemblage. Confident that
his supporters would be formidably armed, Spinola apparently judged
COPCON to represent a greater threat to his rally than the inchoate
efforts of left-wing disrupters. But even while the Council of Min-
isters continued its debate, the initiative was passing quickly from
the government's hands into the streets, as a disparate variety of left-
wing groups, acting for the moment in concert, moved into blockade
positions at strategic points around Lisbon-sites which would have
been occupied by COPCON had Spinola permitted it to act. Events
were now flowing rapidly toward a violent test of strength, with the
outcome wholly uncertain.
In the early morning hours of September 28, one of the crucial mo-
ments of the revolution occurred when Spinola, suspicious that
COPCON might act independently to curb his rally, summoned
its leader Otelo Carvalho to Belem Palace. By then, but with-
out directly violating Spinola's orders, COPCON under Carvalho's
instruction had taken control of key radio and television installations
as a precautionary measure. Arriving at Belem, Carvalho was imme-
(liately instructed by Spinola. in the presence of the Junta, to transmit
to COPCON a series of orders which, if followed, would have had the
effect of eliminating COPCON's quasi-independence and returning
its units to Spinola's direct control. Reluctant, but unwilling to en-
gage in overt disobedience, Carvalho complied, phoning the orders
to COPCON headquarters at Alto do Duque, some miles away. The
negative response, however, was soon obvious: Carvalho's colleagues,
suspicious that he was acting under duress, were simply unwilling to
comply. Calls from army units seeking confirmation of the situation
flooded into Belem palace; and in a tense and complicated situation, it
eventually became clear to Spinola that he could not control COPCON
by coercing its leader. Unable to exercise command through Carvalho
and now apprehensive that. he himself might be arrested if he arrived
at COPCON headquarters, Spinola granted Carvalho his leave. For
Spinola it was the beginning of the end.
Departing, Carvalho ordered COPCON units to move in to take
over the barricades around Lisbon that were being manned by the
variety of leftist groups waiting to block access to the rally; and as
the morning progressed, COPCON troops took full command of the
situation, turning back all vehicles bound for the rally. At mid-day,
Spinola issued a communique which simply acceded to the facts: "in
order to avoid possible confrontation," he now considered it "inappro-
priate" for the rally to proceed as planned. Spinola's announcement of
his rally's cancellation was close to being a political obituary. Disre-
garding the specter of bloodshed, lihe had sought to create a mass
demonstration which would reverse his political fortunes; and he had

On the day following the aborted rally, members of the Council of
State, the Junta of National Salvation, and the MFA Coordinating
Coiniiiittee assembled at Belem Palace. After a full day of jockeying
in which the MFA proved stronger than ever, Spinola agreed to re-
sign. His successor was to be Gen. Francisco da Costa Gomes, the prag-
matic and avuncular figure to whom the young officers of the MFA
had turned repeatedly for counsel in the days before and after the
April coup.
The five months of growing conflict bet wwevi Spinola and the MFA
had, in an important sense, been a crucible-determining indeed
whether April 25 was to have marked only a coup or the beginning,
for better or worse, of a genuine revolution. Arguably, Portugal's
i prospects for peaceful transition to democracy and greater economic
justice could have been enhanced had Spinola conducted himself
Differently. A charismatic leader with a wide following, Spinola was
perhaps uniquely equipped to bridge the differences in Portugal, to
Squell the tendencies toward factionalism and indiscipline among both
civilians and military, and to oversee a progress-ive reform of the
entire Portuguese political economy. But to do so would have required
of Spinola a far broader, more sweeping interpretation of the revolu-
i tionary implications of April 25 than he was ever willing to counte-
nance. Ultimately, it would in fact have required that Spinola be
a man very different from what he was. For if the revolution had
been about anything, it had been about withdrawal from the colonies.
Yet, in power, Spinola had viscerally resisted even that-accepting
the inevitability of military withdrawal, but remaining steadfastly
unreconciled to the idea of total independence. He had represented
himself as a kind of Charles de Gaulle, a visionary leader above party
or faction. But whereas De Gaulle had maneuvered a reluctant army
out of colonial involvement, Spinola, in trying to perpetuate the
empire in some form or another, had attempted precisely the opposite.
And whereasi De Gaulle had made credible his promise to represent
all the people, Spinola's inclinations were too obviously to favor one
segment of the people at the expense of the others. The heterogeneous
group of MFA officers who, at the beginning, had been prepared to
i grant Spinola power and at least conditional support, were five
months later, united in opposition to him if nothing else.1 In the con-
test with Spinola, the MFA had not only coalesced, it had emerged
into public view as a popular force with which any aspiring political
party would now have to reckon.

(September 28, 1974-April 1, 1975)
Portuguese politics during the revolution's first 5 months had been
largely the struggle between Spinola and the MFA over decoloni-
zation and the basic chanrcter of the revolution itself. Serving as a
kind of opposition, the MFA had played largely a role of resistance-
I 'Long after his downfall. Spinola would continue to argue that the MFA betrayed
the April revolution, that the coup's aims were narrow in conception, and that the MFA
lemder-- to a dpgrer which qpinrila did not at the time realize-were influipnc(,il by and
secret participants in, the C('mnmunisr Party. Even his old friend and vo;loIgii, Costa
Gomes, is now accused by Spinola of having become a Communist years before the ciip.
an nallecation heard nowhere else. (Conversation with Foreign Relations Committee staff,
November 1975.)'

to Spinola's efforts to delay or subvert colonial independence and to
establish himself fully in power with a base which the MFA per-
ceived as resembling too closely that of the old regime. With Spinola's
downfall, the young MIFA officers moved to center stage. But though
popular, generally unified, and militarily strong, the MFA now faced
the task of governing Portugal without any single leader clearly in
command and without any focused idea of what to do either imnmedi-
ately or over the long term.
Nor did the political parties-which, with the exception of the
Communists, remained weak and disorganized-appear to offer any
solution. The three principal groups in the coalition government-
the Communists, Socialists, and Popular Democrats-seemed too
hopelessly at odds to be able to cooperate in a purely civilian govern-
ment which would be strong enough to impose political and economic
order, overcome reactionary tendencies, and proceed with the revolu-
tion. Elections for a constituent assembly charged with drafting a
new constitution were due in the spring, but it was unclear what
should be done in the meantime, and for that matter thereafter, to
further the revolution's course.
'While one of the two practical questions which had dominated the
5 months under Spinola-decolonization--had now been resolved, the
other question-what to do with the economy-had grown only more
acute. Although withdrawal from the colonies had been a principal
purpose of the revolution, the economic effects now being felt were
no less severe. Moreover, Portugal's other sources of foreign income,
tourism and remittances, already in sharp decline before the coup,
had been curtailed still further by the general impression of bloody
anarchy which the foreign press continued to carry to the outside
world, much to the government's dismay. (Rarely, for example, was
it pointed out in the international press that "peaceful" Spain was
experiencing more violence than revolutionary Portugal.) Ironically,
even those Portuguese abroad who had received the revolution hope-
fully had also added to the problem: returning home, they had simply
compounded the growing number of unemployed.
Meanwhile. despite the Goncalves government's effort to limit walk-
outs. the right to strike was still producing an upheaval in the nation's
industrial life. With unemployment rising and business confidence
plummeting, strong government measures were a necessity. Yet no con-
sensus existed as to what principles should underlie such action. What
should be done about anarchic trade unions? And what should be done
with the giant centers of economic power-the banks and conglomer-
ates-which had been the subject of endless revolutionary rhetoric but
whihl, a half year after the coup. remained virtually untouched?
The MIFA's first act of leadership addressed none of these basic ques-
tions but wa.-, rather designed to restore a sense of unity after the nearly
disast rollus events of September 28. Sunday, October 6. Prime Minister
Goncalves announced, would be a national "day of labor." The results
were ext ordinarilyy successful. Young people in large numbers turned
out to -'ruib aind whitewash the accumulated political graffiti from
Lisbon's walls. Office workers and housewives cleaned the streets, while
political and social groups did voluntary work in hospitals and asy-
lunms. Musicians played in the parks and squares, and the Catholic




Church sanctioned the symbolic day by declaring that all such work,
though occurring on a Sunday, would be free from sin.
This impresive if artificial display of national unity opened what
was to become an extended period of intense debate, both within the
MFA and in the nation at large, concerning the respective roles of the
military and the political pi ties in the governance and guardianship
of Portugal's revolution. Should the MFA withdraw from the politi-

'al .-'eiwe as originally planned and promised, or if not, under what
rules or concept should they stay ? The issue was first drawn within the
raniiik. of tlihe militaryy itself. Following Spinola's resignation, elections
were held at various levels throughout each of the three military
branches to elect delegates for a fully representative MFA assembly.
These elections and the meetings of the assembly itself soon provided
the occasion for endless hours of debate over the MFA's future.
One dominantt issue was the question of how a revolutionary army
should le organized. In short, within an army dedicated to promoting a
democratic revolution, what concel)pt, were to govern rank, privilege,
hierarchy, and obedience? For the most part, the officers of the MFA
leadership attempted to steer, the debate in favor of discipline, arguing
that the success of the revolution depended upon the resolution and
good order of the military. In the barracks, however, where many
soldiers had been captivated by the spirit of revolution, no proposal
was too brash to merit considerable interest.
Related to the question of intramilitary democracy was the question
of the MFA's proper role in the revolution. Here again the MFA
leaders strove to discourage any tendency toward MFA decisionmak-
ing by plebiscite. For it was by no means clear-indeed it was doubt-
ful-that the military officer corps as a whole shared the far-reaching
social laims of the MFA leaders. And just as military elections could
foster indis"cipline, they could also dilute the revolutionary force of the
MFA leadership. Elections to the Junta vacancies and the MFA as-
seinbly had shown that the armed forces could by no means be relied
upon to vote for left-wing officers. In fact, many officers were now argu-
ing that the MFA should, as expeditiously as possible, withdraw from
the political process, just as the original MFA program had envisioned.
Others,. however, including most of the MFA leaders, argued that, in
view of the demonstrated weakness of the political parties, the MFA
should somehow be "institutionalized" in the nation's governing appa-
ratus. so that the army-under MFA leadership-could monitor and
when necessary energize the extended revolutionary process which lay
Outside the military, the debate over "institutionalization" also took
shape, with the issue dividing those parties which felt dependent upon
tlhe MFA and those, which felt threatened by it. The Communists and
other parties of the radical left were vigorous in support of the direct
involvement by the MFA in any future constituent assembly. The
reasons were not difficult to discern. From the beginning, the radical
parties had .eln in the MFA a vehicle for change far more powerful
than their own lonmly efforts. Thus, they had gone to the streets in sup-
port of the MFA's coup in April, had sought to assist the new govern-
inent liv imposing some measure of discipline on Portuguese workers,
and hald returned to the streets in Septenmber to oppose Spinola's rally.
Early opinion polls now showed that their prospects in the sping elec-
tions were not saniuine-tlie fear of communnism ingrained under
Salazar and tlhe. church was not easy to assuage-so their best hope
,olitinmil to be allegianice to the MFA.
For their part, Mario Soares' Socialists (PSP) and Sa Caneiro's.
P(pullar Dem nirat (PPD) held a mirror view. Given the MFA's
popularity and power, they had sought assiduously to avoid dis-
a-snriatilir tlhmmselves from the MFA or giving offense to MFA
leaders. But with the opinion polls predicting that the PSP and PPD

could each garner double the Communist vote, their interests were
clear. For the MFA to withdraw to a nonpolitical role would leave
the radical parties isolated and weak. and allow the two dominant
parties freedom to cooperate in, or at leait compete for, the exercise
of power.
As the debate proceeded through the winter, however, it became
clear that the question was not to be whether the MFA should be
institutionalized, but in what manner. To skeptical ol:-eerves, the
military's gradual drift toward perpetuating itself in power was only
the typical conduct of a military regime. From the perspective of the
MFA, neverthele-s, the case for institutionalization was persuasive.
In organizing and competing for the comining elections, the parties were
becoming increasingly strident and aggressive. and displaying far less
interest in national policy than in national power. Demoni-t rations and
counterdemonst rations were coming perilously clo.e to open battle in
the streets,' and the fight between the parties showed little sign of
resolving itself in effective government either by one party or a
As the winter progressed, the economic prognosis for Portugal
eroded from bad to worse, although by now the Goncalves government
was beginning to achieve some partial suc'es in reducing strikes
and industrial unrest. The announcement in mid-December that the
United State-. after months of uncertainty, had decided to extend
economic aid to the provisional government, while affording some
encouragement, provided little in substantive help.2 Indeed it was soon
clear that there would be difficulty in planning just how such aid would
be used. With the parties now devoted largely to organizing for the
coming election, it remained for the MFA to devise and promulgate
whatever economic program was to obtain. Finally, in late February,
the MFA's economic and social progral-,m was unveiled by Major Melo
Suffused with the pragmatism which characterized the MFA, the
points of the new program were surprisingly moderate. Taxation
would be more redistributive; wages and prices were to come under a
systemin of government review; and housing, health and unemployment
benefits were to be increased. The government, however, would intrude
only marginally into the operation of the economy. Explicitly dis-
avowing radical change, the prograni promised untrammeled activity
for free enterprise except in tho-e limited areas marked out for gov-
ernnent control. In fact, viewed broadly, what the plan envisioned was
no more than the effective exercise of those governmental powers in-
herited from the Caetano regime; the structure of the corporate state
was simply to be turned toward socialist goals. Notably, the banks and
insurance companies-bulwarks of the great family conglomerates-
were to go virtually untouched, the intention being to leave them in
private hands while insuring that they operated in a way consistent
with the public interest.
1 In Oporto, a stadium rally of the center-to-right Christian Democratic Party, attended
by a number of EuroIean conservati es. resulted in an internationally published incident
when the arena was surrounded by leftists demonstrators. ,ntrappin- the ralliers for a
day and a night when the army failed to intervene decisively. As commonly portrayed
abronil. the incident was proof that freedom was dying in Portugal. By another inter-
pretation. however-the MFA's-the real story was the ability of the army units to
intercede gradually, with the finesse necessary to defuse a dangerous situation with a
minimum of violence.
2 The last American economic aid to Portugal had been in 1972; see appendix.

By almost any interpretation, the new program represented a vic-
tory within the MFA of the moderates over the radicals, or in terms
of their counterparts in the political parties, of the Socialists over the
Communists. But if it reflected the results of internal debate, the plan
had at least in part been shaped by outside considerations. The Euro-
pean Community was now indicating serious interest in extending both
assistance and new terms of trade; and the Antunes program, being
indeed no more radical than the policies of several West Euro-
pean governments, was well calculated to calm foreign apprehensions
and to attract the outside support which the economy so urgently
As the winter of 1974-75 neared its end, then, two developments had
marked the post-Spinola period. On the political side, the parties had
begun to organize and compete in earnest for the coming elections,
while an indeterminate debate over the MFA's future had produced
only a general consensus that some formal role was inevitable. On
the economic side, faced with continuing decline, the government had
announced a gradualist program designed to further socialist purpose
while encouraging confidence both at home and abroad. Both of these
developments were now to be affected sharply by the events of
March 11-Spinola's final gambit.
The approach of the April elections was accompanied by rising
tension and uncertainty, owing to the growing acrimony among the
political parties and the still-unresolved question of the MFA's post-
election role. The M1FA question was further complicated when
new elections within the army and air force now indicated a consider-
able lack of support for the basic leftwing inclination of the MFA
leadership. With the MFA's revolutionary drive thus appearing to
falter on the eve of the election and with the more conservative politi-
cal parties, the CDS and PPD, under continual attack in the streets by
leftwing agitators, it was not surprising when rumors began to circu-
late, that a leftwing coup was imminent-intended to forestall the elec-
tions and impose a radical dictatorship. Nor was it any more surprising
when rumors arose of an impending rightwing coup-intended to
capitalize on the MFA's wavering unity and reverse the government's
leftist course. Compounding the sense of instability was a grow-
ing belief that COPCON, itself plagued by internal wrangling over
the issue of democracy in the ranks, was no longer sufficiently united to
maintain order.
The precise origins of the rightwing coup attempt of March 11 re-
main a matter of speculation. The seeming cause was a rumor, which
soon gained wide credence among conservatives and centrists, that left-
wing extremists were planning to arrest and possibly kill several
hundred of their opposition, ranging from Mario Soares to Spinola. In
response, it is now generally agreed, a preemptive coup plot was
quickly hatched among a .mall group of officers still loyal to Spinola,
with Spinola himself being informed only one day before the event.
Given the speed of planning and the small number of scattered mili-
tary units whose support was definite, the coup's planners were obvi-
ously relying on a massive, spontaneous swing in Spinola's favor once
the. coup began. Whether Spinola himself fully perceived the gamble
remains unclear; his later claim was that he learned of the coup only as
it began and was misled as to the extent of the support which awaited

him. In any case, whatever hopes the plotters nurtured were soon dis-
pelled. Set into motion in late morning on March 11, the plan was
stopped short almost immediately when the plotters' frantic series of
phone calls to key army units proved universally unavailing. Within
hours, Prime Minister Goncalves was able to broadcast to the nation
that matters were fully under control. By then, most of the plotters,
Spinola among them, were fleeing in helicopters across the Spanish
If the coup effort itself had been pathetic, its effects were nonetheless
electric. Immediately the MFA Aseiuihly convened in emergency ses-
sion; and on the following day, after nightlong debate, there began
a dramatic series of announcements which so clearly reflected the
desires of the more radical MFA officers, and of the Communist Party,
as to arouse a lasting, though unsubstantiated, suspicion that they had
plotted to encourage Spinola's futile coup solely in order to precipi-
tate drastic MFA action in defense of the revolution. In any case, that
wvas precisely the result.
First to come was a sweeping political announcement: A new Su-
preme Revolutionary Council would assume full government control,
replacing the Junta and the Council of State and subsuming the MFA
Coordinating Committee. The new Supreme Council would be autono-
mous, comprised solely of MFA officers and responsible only to the
larger MFA Assembly when it met. The change, though it meant a
major strea]iiliiiing in the efficiency of government decisionmaking,
also had an obvious political significance, ominous even if unclear.
For what had been a military-civilian patchwork became, virtually
on the eve of the election, a full-fledged military regime, devoid of any
of the checks and balance, which had existed since April 25 under the
terms of the MFA's own program.
Soon following came an announcement of equal moment-concern-
ing the economy. In the weeks since its promulgation, the failure of
the Antunes program to provide for nationalization of the banks had
been highly unpopular, not least among the bank workers themin:elves.
The tumultuous months of revolution had afforded bank employees
their first opportunity ever to scruntinize the records of their own
institutions; and what they had found, not surprisingly, was complete
documentation on a national financial system which functioned solely
for the benefit of the wealthy few. Spurred by their own revelations,
bank workers had organized to demand workers' control; and the
Spinola coup attempt provided a timely oer,..-ion for a general bank
strike, aimed at a state takeover. Thus, upon its reaction, the first and
pressing ta.-k facing the new Supreme Council was to respond. The
decision, soon announced by Prime Minister Goncalves on television,
was to accede: All bank.-, and all insurance companies as well, would
be nationalized as "the first firm and decisive step toward implement-
ing the antimonopolistic principles embodied in the country's social
and economic program.'" Henceforth, bank credit would be used "for
productive investment and not to build a. consumer society" that bene-
fitted only a limited number. Although this first decision by the Revo-
lutionary Council was quickly interpreted in the short-hand of the
international media as further proof that Portugal \wvas fast "shifting
left," in perspective what vwas really surprising about the bank na-
tionalization was that it had taken so long. Indeed, the takeover


quickly proved to be one of the most popular and effective measures
of the revolution. In a remarkably orderly fashion, bank workers
assumed administrative positions and responsibilities; and soon a new
loan investment policy was in operation, favoring small business and
employnment-intensive activity.
Finally, soon after the announcements on government structure and
economic policy, a third major decision was announced, concerning
thle elections: extreme parties on both ends of the spectrum were to be
'banned from participation. On the right, the small Christian Demo-
crat Party was to be excluded, although another vehicle for center-
right views-the larger CDS-was still to be allowed. On the left, two
parties were to be banned-not the Communists, but two radical groups
that were not only violence-prone but also in serious competition with
the PCP for worker allegiance. The election itself was to be held on
April 25, the anniversary of the coup and the last day on which the
MFA's promise for elections within a year could be fulfilled.

A Sort of Election
(April 1, 1975-April 25, 1975)
The formal campaign for Portugal's first genuine election in a half
century opened on April 1, under what by any account were extraor-
dinarily fair campaign procedures. Public opinion polls were prohibi-
ted, radio and television time was equally divided among all 12
registered parties. and newspapers were monitored to insure that each
party received equal attention. To be sure, exacting fairness had been
imposed only after a number of parties of the right had been gradually
eliminated through harassment or, at the end, by government ban.
Indeed, the 12 registered parties were the survivors of a total of 50
which had appeared at various times during the year; and of the 12,
only 4 could be considered as being to the right of the Communists.
But of those four, the Socialists and Popular Democrats (PPD)
clearly had dominant support, and the Center Social Democrats
(CDS) also had at least a sizable following. To the left of the Com-
munists, on the other hand. the array of Maoist, Trotskyite. and other
radical groups would clearly have only marginal appeal at the polls,
despite. their considerable zeal.
Opinion samples taken before the campaign were subject to a wide
margin of error, in that most Portuguese after years of scrutiny and
coercion were highly circumspect about revealing their preferences.
Despite such uncertainty, however, it was already safe to say that
Mario Soares was the most popular figure in Portugal. Most ob-
servers also agreed that Snares would benefit additionally in the elec-
tion from the very name of his party: "socialism," after all, had been
tlhe touchstone of revolutionary rhetoric on all sides for a full year.
Cunhal. on the other hand, while personally popular-though con-
siderably less so than Soares-had to contend with the psychological
legacy of 50 years of anti-communist fascist doctrine, not to men-
tion the passionate anti-communism which continued in much of the
Port chureli. Still another indication of the polls was that, for
all the revolutionary talk of nationalization and workers' control, the
electorate's dominating interest, apart from the cost of living was
in the creation of basic social programs such as health services and

pensions-beiiefits entirely lacking under the old regime which were
now likely to be provided in due time no matter who won the election.
Even, however, as the parties were commencing to make their elec-
toral appeal, still another aftershock of Marich 11 swept acrl'- the
scene. On the first day of the campaign, all party leaders were sum-
moned to a meeting arranged by the new Supreme Council and "re-
quiiested" to adhere to a plan prepiared by the MFA. ID)-cribed as a
"paict with the parties," the plan was the culmination of the long
winter's debate on the institutionalization of the MIFA. It provided,
in effect, for the military to hold a dominant position for thle next 3
to 5 years, notwithstanding the re-lilts of the coming elections. Specif-
,ally, the military wNould retain direct control of certain key areas of
government, notably defense and the economy, while retairinng veto
power over the general line of domestic and foreign policy. In addi-
tion, the new constitution, whatever else it eventually contained, was
not to provide universal suffrage for the presidency-a measure in-
tended to prevent any recurrence of Sp)inola's attempt to build a !base
totally independent of the MFA.
Having little choice, the parties acquiesced. Characteristically, the
Communists and parties of the left signed on with enthusiasm; the
Socialist! and Popular D)emocrats, only with reluctance. Later, it
would be speculated tliat the parties might successfully have resisted
the pact had they tried. At the time, however, lacking as yet any ele,'-
toral legit inacy and with no certainty tliat the elections would even be
held, the parties were not in a position of strength. Though hlie signed
with protest, Mario Soares would continue, even through the difficult
months ahead, to maintain that acquiescence in the p1ict was the mod-
erate parties' btet choice. To reach the elections was the overriding
goal. For once the parties achieved electoral legitimacy-and the mod-
j rates could clearly expect a strong vote-the rules of the game would
Sbe permanently altered.
Exactly what tho-c new rules might be, of course, remained un-
certain. The ele-tions were to have had two purpo-,s. Tlhe first was to
elect an assembly to draft a new constitution: yet now, preemptively,
the MFA's future dominance had been ordained. Second. thle elec-
tions were to provide a basis for immediately structuring a new pro-
visional government representative of demionst ratMd electoral
strength; yet now, with the military in full control through the
Revolutionary Council, the governmental changes which would follow
an election were far from clear.
Any such doubt about the election's significance, however, was soon
subsumed in the ardor of the campaign itself; and from the outset,
it was evident that all participants were competing in deadly earn,-t.
Throughout the country, party rallies were assiduously planned and
conducted, posters and graffiti appeared on every available space,
and endless. hours were spent in public debate and pamphleteering.
Nor was enthusiasm for the election confined to party workers. All
across Portugal, in cities and small market towns alike, cafes with
televisions served as small campai.,in cockpits, sta-ying open late into
the April nights as Portural's newly enfranchised voters alternately
watched and echoed the delbante.
For the MFA. having already limited the election's significance,
April might appropriately have )eei a month of quiet watchfulness.

This, however, proved far from the case, as various MFA officers
stepped forward repeatedly to air views concerning the election and
its significance. Understandably, MFA leaders were apprehensive that
Portuguese voters-inexperienced, imbued with fascist doctrine,
fearful of change, and a third of them illiterate-might register such
a conservative vote. as to subvert the hope for real change. But an-
other motive also appeared to be at work. As the campaign progressed
and various civilian leaders gained popularity and acclamation.
something akin to jealousy began to enter into the statements of a
number of MIFA leaders. The MFA had always been somewhat skep-
tical of the politicians, seeing them as too much interested in power
and too little interested in fulfilling the revolution. Now, 1 year after
the coup, as the politicians were about to divide the electoral pie,
certain MFA officers began to exhibit what appeaerd to be a palpable
resentment and an attitude of outright competition. Indeed, begin-
ning in mid-April, a number of MFA leaders-notably Rosa Cou-
tinho, who had been the architect of the "pact with the parties"-
talked increasingly of the need for a new party based upon direct
allegiance to the MFA and about a blank ballot as a desirable way
to register support for the MFA without a commitment to any of the
existing parties.
Coming on the anniversary of the coup, the election day itself
afforded an extraordinary spectacle of celebration, of both revolution
and democracy. Carnations and festive music returned to the streets.
and by early morning it was evident that most Portuguese intended
to exercise their new voting right. With 6 million voters eligible,
the country was divided into 14,000 polling places, with no more. than
500 voters to a table. For the benefit of 2 million eligible voters who
were illiterate, the ballot showed party symbols as well as names. To
insure both the perception and reality of fairness, each polling place
was held open to scrupulous inspection, both by journalists and party
For those officers who had called for a direct "MFA vote" by means
of the blank ballot, the results on election night proved a sore disap-
pointment. The turnout had been astonishingly high-92 percent of
eligible voters, possibly the highest ever in a free national election-
but of the total vote. only 7 percent were blank. Clearly victorious
were the Socialists with over 2 million votes (38 percent). Trailing,
but not far behind, were the Popular Democrats with 11/. million (26
percent); and well behind were the Communists with 700,000 (12.5
percent). Even the center-rights CDS, with nearly 8 percent, had out-
distanced thle MFA's blank vote.
But if, by their enthusiastic. turnout and their rejection of the
blank vote, Portugal's newly enfranchised citizens had given a clear
victory to multiparty democracy, they had also, by their choices, in-
dicated a strong preference for the creation of some form of Portu-
guese socialism, which had after all been the MFA's guiding theme.
Indeed, set against the goals embodied in the original MFA program,
the election-having affirmed both democratic and socialist purpose-
was a dramatic success. Only in their skepticism about politicians,
and perhaps in their new pleasure in power, could any of the MFA's
leaders now have found cause for dejection.


In winning the election, the Socialist Party had demonstrated con-
siderable strength in every region of Portugal, .coring best in the
towns and industrial areas. Support for the Popular Democrats and
Communists, in contrast, was highly localized. The PPD stronghold
was the rural north, the region of small landowners, where the
church's anti-communism still exercised a powerful influence. Here a
majority of voters had chosen either the PPD or still more conserva-
tive CDS, while as predicted the Communists had gained no more
than 2 or 3 percent. Communist support,, in turn, ce from the indus-
trial areas of Lisbon and Setubal, and from the Alentejo fariiming area
of the south-the region of large e-rates and a-i-,,ntee owners. The
PCP's urbanii industrial support reflected the party's extensive organi-
zational efforts dating back to the days of clande-tinity, while Com-
munist strength in the Alentejo had been organized and built largely
after the April coup. Here, among the landless and itinerant peasants
where the church's influence was weak, the vote had been the converse
of that in the north: the Communists dominated, while the PPD was
limited to a few percent.
The parties' reactions to the election results were predictable. While
the Socialists and Popular Democrats trumpeted the election as a
major triumph, the Communists sought rather unpersuasively to dis-
count its significance almost entirely. The reaction which mattered
most, however, was the one which remained to be seen: that of the
MFA. When on election night Mario Soares proclaimed, "Portugal is
now entering a new era," it sounded less like a prediction than an
expression of hope.

What Kind of Revolution?
(April 25, 1975-August 29, 1975)
Just as the April coup had been only the beginning of a prolonged
struggle over the coup's real meaning, so now the anniversary elec-
tion had set the stage for what would be an acrimonious and eventu-
ally violent dispute over what significance, if any, was to be accorded
the poll. If earlier the question had been whether Portugal was to have
a genuine revolution, the issue now was what form the revolution
would take. Were the armed forces to retain control. shaping some
kind of "benign dictatorship," rooted perhaps in committees of peas-
ants and workers? Or were they to recede. driving way to a more con-
ventional political process which carried Portugal toward some var-
iant of West European socialism? Despite the election, the reality of
power meant the answer must again emerge from the armed forces.
Indeed, where previously the battle had been between Spinola and the
MFA, the contest now was for ascendency within the MFA itself-to
determine whether the military's will to power, fortified by skepticism
about political parties, was to prevail over the MFA's original com-
mitment to pluralist democracy. The parti(-. for their part. could but
hope to shape the climate within which the MFA's internal maneuver-
ings took place-the Communists seeking to ride farther on the mili-
tary's strength, the Socialists and Popular Democrats wanting some
practical acknowledgement of the election result.
On the Revolutionary Council, three vaguely defined factions could
now be discerned. The first group, smallest but centered on Prime

64-752 0 76 4

* .. Ii A
', *; . . '.." ..: : -A ':.'
-" ::itIf1^v- .:*''...'..'i
:"i '^ i .. / ., ...: ...





0 miles 50
I ---- -- I

% Capitals of electoral districts
* Other towns mentioned in text


PPD Popular Democratic Party
PS Socialist P-rty
PCP Communist Party
Strong Communist vote (over 30%)
Poor Communist vote (less than 5%)


Minister Goncalves, was closely identified with the Communist Party
and veeined inclined to carry the MFA-Commiunist alliance as far as
possible. The second faction, coming to be called the "moderates,"
was led by Mel() Antunes. who had taken over the Foreign Ministry
from Soares in the shlake-up after the abortive right-wing coup of
Marchl 11. This group). which had the support of the Socialists, con-
tinued to favor thie general approach that Antunes had written into the
original MFA program. Like most of his colleagues in the MFA leader-
ship, Antunes had no wish to see the MFA withdraw entirely, but



he. recognized that Portugal could simply not be governed effectively
without multipartypa tlpat io-moneorv.r, that any attempt now to
do so would alnmot surely prov-oke a violent backlash from a citizenry
whose expectations the election had clearly shown. Tacitly, the An-
tunes group appea red to have the the support of Costa Gomes, though
the President continued to perform the general role of mediation
which he had begun during the MFA's di-pute with Spinola. The
third faction was clustered around the increasingly flaiiibovanlt Otelo
Carvalho, whose earlier aversion to politics had disappeared as he
found himself becoming the clo-.-t thing I ,'tPoitmgal now had to a
charismatic revolutionary hero. This group, which included Rosa
Coutinho, who had now returned from An-ola, was fa.-iii.ted by the
populist idea that Portugal's new order should 1b'c cost rIcted from the
bottom up. on a base of democratic workers and p'ea-ants committees,
Cuban-style. Carvalho's control over COPCON gave this view added
weight, and he was courted assiduously by the other MFA factions
while being lionized by the small partie- of the far left.
To those %who hoped that the election would be respected, the 'lays
immediately ahead gave ample cause for despair. For months, ;is they
gained in organizational 't4'ength, Socialists hail bteen niakin g steady
inroads into Communist dominance over Portugal's trade unions.
Within Intersindical. the enormous superstructure that now linked
most of the country's three hundred unions, the Communists continued
to hold organizational control: but they were losing control of the
workers themse.lves-to the Socialists in some cases, and to the far left
in others. The Socialists had made a major i---' e. demand-
ing the right to form 1 parallel unions: and the battle had dragged on
through the ehlertion, with the government iiunder Prime Minister Gon-
calves tending to back Intersindical. On May Day, at a woi ke'rs' ri,1y
held in Lisbon's newly-titled May First Stadium, Gon< .alves and senior
MFA officers addi'-,sscd a hugh crowd of Intersindical Communiiists
who had packed the stands and blocked entry to all others. Unwilling
to let this show of Comminist-MFA unity go ui.lmllenfLred :o soon
after the election, Mario Soares and a ,1niid of indignant Socialist fol-
lowers arrived, battled their waiy in. and took up the defiant chaint.
"The people have voted-the Socialists have won." terntin Gon-
calves' speech. It was but a momentary triumph. q,: rs. for tins
trouble, was escorted from the arena by soldiers and denounced frin
the podium for showboat tactics. Less than a week later the Revolu-
tionary Council conferred upon Intersindical a forimial monopoly over
all trade union activity.
If Soare, now felt the need for a c,-,'.- eelcb)hc to focai- PortugiieoeO
and international concern on the Socialists' pStlection pli-ght, events
soon obliged. For some time. the newspaper Republica had 1ien the
scene of a festering dispute bet ween Communist printeri- : iid Socialist
management over matters of pay and political philosophy. Republic
was not the official Socialist orgmn. nor by most accounts a gr.'at news-
pa per. But under the direction of Raul Rego. a courageous journalist
whose critici:-in of the old re-,gime hi, d .:;irn,., him an intimate( acquii it-
ance with Salazar's jails, the paper \ai> unquestionably an important
national institution. Even more -i',l i hfint. as worker and lefti-t t:1,-
overs had progressively excluded Socialists in one aria of the iiiei;-i
after another', Republica had become the only major daily not effcc-

tively controlled by parties of the far left. When the newspaper's
printers, nowv celebrated the Intersindical decision by occupying Repub-
lica leadquar ters and demanding Rego's dismissal, the challenge to
liet, Socialists was cleat. Not only d(lid the takeover mean the practical
lo.-s of a Iliajotr tool of party coIIIinunication ; a matter of fundamental
principle was at stake. Thie Revolutionarv Council's own press law
explicitly prohllibited such takeovers where journalists were opposed.
For tl' governituenlt now to allow thle takeover would thus be a flagrant.
illeaal abuse of the Socialists' election mandate. It was the kind of
issue which Snares needed.
Within days, andt with no small encouragement from Soares himself.
tlt' Relipblitca affair began to attract more press attention in Europe
and Anierica than any event since the revolution began. It was an issue
that could be easily sutnmarized and discussed, ev-en by people who
knew niothillng about Portugal: a question of freedom of the press for
tle party which had won thle election. For its part. the Revolutionary
Co(nill, faced with resolving thle dispute, took thle line of least resist-
ance and simply closed tle paper down. stationing COPCON troops
outside it lntil the dispilte could be negotiated. The issue was further
complicated by tlhe dislike which many of the MFA officers felt for
Soares. From thle beginning, they had viewed him as a salon liberal
wl\o lhad lived collfortablv in Paris while they fought Salazar's war.
who lIad retuhiied to pursue his personal ambition in their revolution.
and whlo was all txoo ready to try to bring Eutropean opinion to bear
againstt them whenever it suited his own interest. Now they could
tinl little to appreciate in Soares' effort to raise among outsiders the
specter of Conmuunist dictatorship, when lie knew that such talk
generated pairoxysmis of alarm about Soviet control of Portugal.
soilethin2 tieI lihad no mind to allow. Ar thle end of May. Goncalves
.and (Coutinilo, attending tile NATO summit in Brussels. were sub-
jected to a barrage of criticism alw~ut the MFA's politics in general
and the Repullica afstair in paritic'ilar. iWhatever thle sobering effect,
it was also tile kind of thing that intensified the MFA's resentment of
Sea res.
As tile Republica dispute dragged on. however. Soares was to find
a stroniLt ally in another quarter. A week after the Republica occupa-
tion. worker-s bad also "libel-rated" Radio Renascenca. the national sta-
tiotn of tile Po-rii-kuese Catholic Church. During the year since the
April coup. the ChiTurch had been extremely discreet, making only the
Iimost goenel prOllOlllelllentson rthle course of thile revolution. But now,
fortified 1l r thle anti-Comtllunist election result and angered by the
radio seizure, Catholics throughout Portugal went on the offensive.
sta,..nir mass rallies and demanding that the station be returned.
Siftlficiently impressed by the outcry over the Republica and Re-
nasenca takeovers. (Goicalvyes decided to recede, ordering COPCON
to restore the newspaper to its owners and the radio to the Church.
Ironically. lie now found himself ranable to accomnplish the concession
hlie soughlit to make. Army discipline hliad continued to disintegrate. so
lhait orders were nw1,- givent less by command decision than by negotia-
tion. and only then after carefutil calculation of thle likelihood that they
would IV' caitried out. COPCON particularly was prone to go its
own vway, as it now -showed upon receiving Goncalves' orders to return
the properties. Displaying the fine vagaries of revolutionary disci-


pline, units surrounding Republica promptly delivered the building
into the hands of thle printers, while troops at Reiasccnca proceeded
to join the workers who were occupying the station.
If the MFA and the Communists had long ago formed a marriage
of convenience in the effort to run the government, so now the
Socialists and Catholics joined ranks to oppo..e the way it wa., being
run. As the summer arrived, the lRevolutionary Council made a few
conciliatory gesturc.-, but the MFA assciubly, basically antipathetic
to both Soares and the Church, quickly revoked almost every com-
promise the council conceived. Finally, in early July, Soares delivered
an ultimatum to Costa Gomes, listing his conditions for remaining
in the government. When there was no reply, he withdrew the So-
cialists from the coalition; and within days the PPD followed. Since
the Revolutionary Council was now totally dominating government
action -anyway, the act was solely symbolic. Nonetheless, the symbol-
ism was powerful: in mid-July, Portugal's government contained no
members of the two parties that had triumphed less than 3 months
earlier-in an election which the MFA had promised would shape
Portugal's future.
By summer, the international press, quoting Soares heavily, was
filled with dire forebodings of Communist dictatorship in Portugal.
But while directed at events dv.-vrving of concern, the phrase in itself
was misleading. The implication was that the MFA, or more specifi-
cally the Supreme Revolutionary Council, was being manipulated,
influenced, or controlled by a Communist Party closely linked to
Moscow. In fact, there was little basis for such influence. To be sure,
the close affiliation of the Communists and certain leading members
of the MFA was self-evident, but at no time (lid the Revolutionary
Council give sign of being other than its own master-except in those
instances when the momentum of events seemed the master of all.
The real danger was less of a Commini-t Portugal than that the
country would soon lose the instinct for amelioration that had kept
the revolution so astonishingly free of bloodshed. Thus far, through
the coup and the human tumult of a thousand emotional rallies and
angry confrontations, only perhaps two dozen people had died. But
now the special magic of the revolution was fast giving way to dis-
illusion, cynicism, and bitter faction. For four deidev-. Portugal had
had the unifying myth supplied by Salazar. and for a few months
the myth of the MFA. Now both were gone, and one fact remained(l:
the psychological landscape of the country \-is simply too uneven-
too many currents were now loose-for Portugal to accept a totali-
tarian regime of either right or left-without a convsiib-ion of blood-
letting first.
It did not take long after the Socialists' withdrawal to -ece exactly
what the potential for violence might be. Previos-ly, the Communists
had held the balance of power in the streets-displaying a remark-
able ability to go to the barricades that had been effectively used
against the Spinolist gambits in both September and M;irch. Now it
was the Socialists' turn. Fully organiz7.d as a con-oquence of the
election campaign, inspired by their triumph at the polls, and indig-
nant over postelection events, Socialist Party supporters qliiklv
began a series of rallies to assert their opposition to the MFA's clear
drift toward a workers' state. In Oporto on July 18, Mario Soares.


)buoyed by 3.000 supporters armed with clubs, surged past Com-
inuni-t demonstrators into a sports stadium to address a crowd esti-
miated at 75,000. By the following day in Lisbon, the explosive poten-
tial had been perceived. Acting on Carvalho's orders, COPCON took
over barricades manned by leftist vigilantes, so that the Socialists
could conduct a similar rally unimpeded.
But if COPCON could deter violence in the cities, it had little
ability to do so in the countryside, and a revolution that had been
remarkably peaceful now turned destructive and mean. In the months
after the coup of April 1974 Communist Party groups, having the
only thing like a coherent organization in most areas, lihad seized
control of many local administrations. In the south, after doing so,
they had generally been able to build and consolidate support. But in
the small towns and countryside of the north, the Communists' pres-
ence in local offices had been a festering source of bitterness, particu-
larly where Communist officeholders had used their new power to
favor Party comrades. There, with the elections having emphasized
the Communists' minority position, the Socialist-PPD withdrawal
now triggered a surge of angry indignation, encouraged not a little
by the Catholic Church itself. Soon party rallies were turning into
emotional anti-Communist demonstrations, and within days a
sporadic series of violent outbursts had escalated into a near anarchy
that saw Communists' homes, offices, and headquarters sacked and
burned by roving gangs in town after town. As the violence mounted.
it could hardly have been said that the Church looked on with dis-
favor. Ironically, having risked much under the old regime but reck-
lessly overreached in revolution, Communists in many areas now
found themselves unable even to walk the streets, forced back into
clandestinity as Socialist and PPD members retook positions in local
governments, union executives, and workers committees.
Viewing this mayhem from Lisbon. the government found itself
nearly powerless to act. Although the MFA hlad by now solidified its
command structure throughout the army, the troop units themselves-
being manned generally from the same areas where they were sta-
tioned--could simply not be relied on to disperse demonstrators with
whom the soldiers basically sympathized. Just as units in the industrial
areas had often shown reluctance to clashl with leftists, so in the north
soldier., were now l.howing a comparable unwillingness to defend them.
In certain instances where the threat to life was obvious, units were
successfully deployed, but the violence brought death regardless. Re-
peated ly MFA leaders issued warnings that the anti-Cominmunist fervor
was being manipulated by coiintetrrt.volutionary forces. Shares, for his
part, replied that he deplored tlhe violence-adding with emphasis,
however, that he could understand why it was occurring.
But even if it were trie. as some charged, that Soares had joined
with the conservative Chuiircli in an unzlioly alliance, the zeal of the
outbursts in the north could simply not be ignored. In late July, at a
neetiner of tihe 240-ian MFA Assembly, President Costa Gomes
warned(l that tle MIFA was fa.,t losing the wide support it had origi-
nally enjoyed, noting in inilitary parlance the difficulties which the
MFA must. overcome in traversing Portugal's political terrain toward
thle goals of the revolution: -We have in Lisbon an area capable of
:abs.orbing revolutionary advance, but it stretches only through an in-

I dust rial belt of 20 miles. The re.-t of the country runs the risk of losing
connection with the front of the columnii." He was also warning that the
front of the column wa- fast losing connection with the country.
In addrie.,.ing the MFA Assembly, Costa Gomes also proposed, and
had accepted, a wholly new constitutional organization: The Supreme
Revolutionary Council was to be replaced by a military tri.uivirate
consisting of himself, Goncalves as Prime Minister, and Otelo
Carv\alho as head of COPCON. Under the new plan, the Revolutionary
Council would join the MFA As-e,,mbly as a purely consultative body.
By first impression-and it was that which quickly reached the outside
world-the new structure meant a further consolidation of totalitarian
power in the hands of MFA officers on the radical left. Costa Gomes
himself, though known to be pragmatic, was seen as vacillating and
weaY. Goncalves was clearly identified with the Communist Party.
And Carvalo was now on a trip to Cuba from which he would soon
return likening lifni-elf to Castro. The impiv,:-ion of totalitarian con-
trol was only reinforced by the immediate resignation from the SRC
of a number of the leading MFA moderates led by Melo Antunes.
But this interpretation overlooked important nuances. For one,
Carvalho. flush by now with his o\w ii revolutionary cosmology', despised
SGoncalves and his Communist friends, hliolding them in contempt as
"fascists of the left." For another, Costa Gomes was shrewder than his
detractors often implied. Indeed, subsequent events were soon to make
plausible the hypothesis that, in creating the triumvirate. Costa Gomes
had actually undertaken a circuitous course to bring the MFA back
toward middle ground. The Revolutionary Council had, since its crea-
tion in March. been heavily biased toward the left. Thus, little wa:i lo-nt
by the "moderates" in leaving the SRC. especially now that Costa
Gomes had sucev-sfully relegated it to consultative duties. It was in
fact arguable that the organizational changes, by lifting Goncalves
from the protective cover of the Revolutionary Council, had rendered
him not stronger but precariously and glaringly isolated, subject to
debate on his own merits alone. WVhatever Costa Gomes' intentions,
this was precisely the re.,ult. Just as Soiares had previously taken the
Socialists outside the government to appeal to the country, so now
Antunes and the moderates were about to go outside the Revolutionary
Council to appeal to the armed forces. Their goal, shared with Soares,
was a reversal of the MFA's drastically leftward cour-e-which meant.
as a start, the removal of Goncalves.
As Prime Minister, Goncalves had three times before formed pro-
visional governments, each time at a critical juncture of the revolution
the first, when he assumed office in July 1,975 after the MFA had
defeated Spinola's bid for expanded power; the -le.-ond, following
Spinola's r' zignation in September: thle third, after Spiniola's coup
attempt in March 1975 had precipitated formation of the Revolution-
ary Council only 1 month before the election. Noxw, in early August
with the furor over the Socialist.-PPD withdrawal having left the
country without a government for weeks, Goncalves put togetlier his
fourth cabinet, a group compo-ed entirely of leftwing officers and
civilians unattached to any of the main political pnrtie-. It was tlhc
revolution's fifth provisional governmentii it was al, o to be Goi, ailv.-'
last. Even during the swe:t ring-in, Pre-.ide!it Co-ta Gomes referred to

it as being merely a "transitional administration." But more signifi-
cantly still, the whole event was boycotted by Antunes and eight other
well-established MIFA officers who had quit the Revolutionary Council
in protest and who now issued their own manifesto in the form of a
letter to the President. The document minced no words, denouncing the
"facist spirit" of the radicals' effort to install a "bureaucratic dictator-
ship" in Portugal, rejecting the new cabinet as being manifestly in-
capal)le of governing, and demanding adherence to the terms of the
original MFA program. Within days the actions of Nine were to result
in an extraordinary political soul searching which extended through-
out the army. For in demanding socialism by democratic process,
Antunes and his colleagues were now calling upon the Armed Forces
Movement to determine, once and for all, just what kind of revolution
Portugal was to ha Ae.
Already, in many units a clandestine Army Democratic Movement
had been circulating petitions aimed at coalescing the substantial
body of MFA opinion not represented within the Revolutionary
Council. Now, with the Antunes manifesto acting as a spark, this
growing sentiment suddenly ignited. Working with the army's
general staff, the Nine obtained official permission for the manifesto
to be disseminated and discussed, and soon units all over Portugal
were alive with rousing deliberations which constituted no less than
a military plebiscite on the future of the country. After months of
revolutionary "dynamization," soldiers had acquired confidence
enough to express their political views forthrightly, even to their com-
manders. and before long barracks and drill fields were the scene of
vocal political seminars. Officers and soldiers alike turned out for dem-
onstrations, visited other units, exchanged views, and confirmed allegi-
ances. Whole units rallied and debated. It was, as one observer noted,
the most remarkable military phenomenon since the days of Crom-
well's New Model Army. For two weeks the debate raged, but before
long the tenor was clear: at the end of August, the Nine reported to
Costa Gomes a convincing estimate that 85 percent of the army were
behind the manifesto. The inference was obv-ious: Goncalves' tenure
was drawing to a close. Carvalho, for his part, carrying no brief for
Goncalves, holding no real governmental position, and still boasting a
margin of popularity in the army and the country, simply stood back
and waited for the. imminent change.
On August 29, a gaunt Vasco Goncalves-visibly exhausted after
more. than 12 months of revolutionary ferment and the countless
nightlong meetings of the MFA-resigned from office. In his last
major piiblic appearance a few days earlier, he had attacked the
"bourgeois spirit" of his enemies, likening the persecution of Portu-
g ese Communists to that which occurred throughout Europe in the
early days of fascism. But these were words in the wind, for Goncalves
himself was now Portugal's principal political issue. Like Spinola be-
fore him, he had become, in the words of Army Chief of Staff Carlos
Fabiao, a man "who does not contribute to the unity of the armed
forces-who indeed does the reverse." Nonetheless, the legacy of his
year in office could not l)be ignored. The African wars had been ended.
Tndependen-'w had boon granted to Guinea and Mozambique. and
scheduled for Angola (for November). Portugal's social and economic
system,, clearly hated by the majority of Portuguese, had been changed

by far-reaching ineasures intended to redistribute the nation's wealth
and to operate its economy for the benefit of the entire citizenry.
Portuguese life and culture had been opened to new idea. And all
this had been achieved with a miinimum of conflict-until the backlash.
But it was in the very reason for the backlash that Goncalves'
failure was to be found. In the early, decisive days of the revolution,
the MFA had turned to Goncalveh as a counter to Spinola, a man
whose confidence in the ballot box was clear but who-< commitment
to social transformation and decolonization was not. With the MFA,
Goncalves had played a central role in the victory over Spinola's self-
centered conservatism. Yet in the final analysis, GoncNalves :as Prime
Minister had shown hiiielf to be too much Spinola's opposite: a man
whose commitment to change predominated over any concern for
democratic process. Now, as Goncalves re-igned, the question for the
MFA, and for Portugal, was whether the b1tlance could be struck.

A Question of Authority
(August 29, 1975-February 26, 1976)
Following the catharsis of Goncalves' re-ignation, three weeks of
meetings and machinations among MFA and civilian political leaders
produced agreement that a new government would be formed, reflect-
ing in composition the results of the April election. At its head would
be Admiral Pinheiro de Azevedo, a member of Spinola's original
junta and a man who, though widely regarded as a left-winger, was
recognized as being considerably more pragmatic than Goncalvew and
not at all allied to the Communist Party. The Socialists and Popular
Democrats would return to government, and indeed, due to their
electoral supremacy the previous April, would occupy the preponder-
ance of civilian positions, the Socialists taking four portfolios and the
PPD two. In turn, as a result of their weak showing in April, the
Communists would receive only one post.
As the Azevedo government took shape, contention centered on the
Communists' angry opposition to participation by the PPD, whose
local supporters they held mainly responsible for the vicious sacking
of Communist Party headquarters throughout the north. For their
part, the Popular Democrats balked at entering into any compromise
with the PCP, which they despised and wished to expell from govern-
ment once and for all. Reflecting prevailing military -viitiment,
however, Azevedo insisted upon a broad-based coalition, while taking
care to award five posts to moderate military men. Among them,
Antunes returned to the foreign ministry, while Major Vitor Alv-,.,
the other drafter of the original MFA program, became minister of
Once assembled, the Azevedo coalition held a significance that was,
in one sense, momentous: for the first time in a half century, Portugal
had a government based, even if indirectly and imperfectly, upon the
results of a free, democratic election. Yet it waN, for good reason that
the key party leaders-Soares of the Social i-t-. Si1 Caneiro of the
Popular Democrats, and Cunhal of the Commniniii-t--cho,- to remain
personally outside the cabinet. For if the issue of the government's
form had seemingly been resolved, the ile-prate problems of the

nation's economy were no closer at all to solution, and had indeed
grown only more pronounced during the long months of political
struggle. Nor had the Goncalves resignation meant any more than a
turning of the corner toward democracy. Fundamental questions
remained outstanding: the future role of the military, the willingness
of the left-wing parties to cooperate with a democratically-composed
government, and the final terms of the national constitution still being
drafted by the Constituent Assembly. Over the course of nineteen
months of revolution, virtually every institution in the country had
fallen victim to political factionalism and a contest of wills. The test
therefore was whether the Azevedo government, however balanced its
composition, could achieve the authority necessary to contain still-
powerful centrifugal forces and advance Portugal further along its
revolutionary path toward some form of stable socialist democracy.
Despite their diminished government role, what the Communists
chose to do remained critically important, for the specter of civil war
still hovered over the nation's politics. Within the PCP, there was now
serious disagreement over tactics. A hard-line Stalinist, Cunhal had
for months been given virtually a free hand as his party's leader. But
in the wake of the PCP's recent debacle, a number of his comrades
were advocating caution, arguing that survival, not power, was the
party's most urgent concern. Displaying his own special blend of
courage and fanaticism however, and still decisively popular with his
own rank and file, Cunhal stoutly rejoined that a continued offensive
was the best defense against any resurgence of the nation's right wing.
Isolated or not, he said, the Communists would fight on, gaining ad-
vantage where possible, operating with practicality but not caution.
The party's marginal participation in the coalition government was
not to interfere with the continuing agitation necessary for the revolu-
tion's progress toward a workers' state.
Uncertainty on the civilian front was mirrored in the military. An-
timnes and his "moderate" colleagues regained seats on the Revo-
lutionnry Council, which continued to hold dominant power. But
the Army's overwhelming repudiation of Goncalves had by no means
produced unanimity within the MFA. Although pro-Communist of-
ficers on the ruling body were now reduced to a marked minority, the
extreme left, represented by Carvalho and his network of officers in
units comprising the COPCON security force, remained formidable.
Indeed, for a government faced with continuing disorder in the na-
tional economy, Carvalho's ability to determine when the army would-
and would not,--be deployed gave him a control against which MFA
and civilian moderates remained largely helpless. It was generally
speculated, moreover, that whatever his dislike for the Communists,
Carvalho would quickly resort to a tactical alliance with the PCP
if moderates on the Revolutionary Council attempted any action
against, the far left.
Critically related to this political fragmentation within the military
was the question of discipline. In the ranks, months of experimen-
tation in intra-army democracy, capped by the free-wheeling referen-
dum on Goncalves, had produced an epidemic of disobedience at all
levels of the heirarchy. Units in the north, reflecting that region's po-
litical leanings, were now openly unwilling to obey any but, conserva-
tive officers; while units elsewhere, politicized by the revolution, con-

tinued to view themselv-s as forces for social elianige. Among the latter,
some were now blatantly defying orders to Angola. where, they were
intended to police the final stages of the Portugu. -e withdraw;il. Only
in a few units led by exceptional coilminanders did trAditional military
discipline still prevail. Notable in this r.eard was Porttigal's crack
commando regimnient, which was stationdil at Amadora on the out-ki rts
of Lisbon and headed by Colonel Jaime Neves. who-,, pei:,in:i1 apoli-
ticism was soon to acquire a. considerable political -i-'nificance.
By October, with the Azevedo government, having yet to estab)li-h
real authority, the calm created by Goncalves" r.-ignation was fast
giving way to renewed tension, eIpecially in the armed forces where
soldiers and officers, attending little to normal military duti, -. con-
spired in a myriad of official and clandestine meetings. In the ranks, a
new network of leftist conscripts and enlisted men-operating under
the title of United Soldiers Will Win (SUV)-began agitating for
intra-military democracy andi radical government policy: while on
the Supreme Revolutionary Council, coteries committed to conflicting
viewpoints continued to jostle for position. Althoui,]i angered by Car-
valho's open sympathy with riotous workers' demoii:-tr'itions. the
Council's moderate majority remained stymied in attempts to replace
him as COPCON commander. Indeed, with new pledge- of support
at special meetings of navy and army unit delegat,-. Carvalho ap-
peared if anything to Ie strengthening his hand.
Further weakening the Azevedo government was leftist opposition
in the nation's media. In Ma rch, through the -weeping nationalization
of banks and insurance comnpanies-many of which owned leading
newspapers-the government had inadvertently inlherited an impor-
tant sector of the pre-s. At the time, the media's leftist cast-the
result of a succession of take-overs by journalists and worker--was
well attuned to the Goncalves government and had indeed fortified
Goncalves' strength. Now, however, the Azevedo government was find-
ing, with little amusenmnt from the irony, that its principal opposi-
tion was coming from media which it supposedly controlled but which
continued to be dominated by Communists and groups still further to
the left. Any sufzestion, moreover, that the media be reorganized to
provide greater balance and objectivity immediately tri zered violent
journalistic reaction and aggressive demon-trations in the streets.
Particular tension surrounded the approahini date set for Angolan
independence, November 11th. Dnrin Lr the summer, the four-party
settlement between Portugal and Anfola's three liberation groups had
fractured into a civil war in which the FNLA and IUNITA. aided
by the United State, and South Africa. were joined in a tactical alli-
ance against the MPLA., which had ben bolstered by an influx of
Soviet arms and a complement of Cuban soldiers ninmbering over
10.000. Showincx dominant -tr'.tnith. the MPLA was favored in
Portugal not only by Portuguese Comnmivnists but also by many MFA
officers-moderate and lefti-t alike-who jud'red it to i,'e, the faction
most genuinely representative of Anolan nationali-mi. Thus. with
the Azevedo government attempting to maintain a policy of strict
neutrality while Angolan indepen,],once grew imminent, speculation
gained strength that military an, civilian leftist; would conspire in
a coup timed to enable the Li-bon government to deliver Anzola to
the MPLA on the date of independence. The sobering truth that

events in Lisbon could now scarcely affect. Angola's future did little
to quell the rumor, which was soon surging through all of Portugal.
Characteristically, this rightist rumor had its leftist opposite. On
October 31, Alvaro Cunhal warned that "the country will go through
a dangerous time until November 11," arguing the need for a Social-
ist-Communist alliance against the "September 28 and March 11 men
who are preparing a coup d'etat."1 On the same day, giving credence
to Cunhal's concerns, COPCON made several arrests in Lisbon and
Braga, interrupting secret meetings of two right-wing groups, the
Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Portugal and the Portu-
guese Liberation Army, both rumored to have large numbers of well-
armed supporters among Portuguese who had crossed the border to
Spain and were poised to return.
By early November, the military's continuing turmoil had given an
armed showdown between far-left and moderate soldiers an air of
grim inevitability, with only a point of tactics appearing to preserve
the peace. Both sides seemingly sensed that the first to take the initia-
tive and swarm out of the barracks would likely suffer defeat. On
March 11, during a period of comparable uncertainty, conservative
officers loyal to Spinola had sought to stem the tide of leftward drift
by staging a right-wing coup. Now the situation was reversed. The
trend was toward moderation, and it was the far-left that was likely to
move-encouraged perhaps by the government weakness so evident in
late November when Azevedo, along with half of the 247-member Con-
stituent Assembly, was imprisoned for two days in Sao Bento Palace
by a mob of 60,000 construction workers seeking a 30 percent increase
in pay.
Finally, on November 25th, precisely that occurred: a leftist up-
rising, equally as confused as the rightist effort in March and, by its
failure, equally as decisive in result. Taken together, the several
mutinying units-the Tancos paratroop regiment, the Lisbon Light
Artillery Regiment, and the military police, all dominated by leftist
officers loyal to Carvalho---could well have wielded considerable
strength. But in the event, their disparate actions on the 25th were so
curiously ineffectual as to give rise to immediate speculation (ironically
similar to that which followed the rightist coup in March) that the
rebels had been lured by their enemies into a. fatal move. Even as the
inmutinying units sought to seize control of tactical objectives around
Lisbon, the loyalist commandos of Colonel Jaime Neves had moved
onto the offensive, quickly bringing the situation under control. Within
hours, the uprising had been thwarted and its leaders taken into cus-
tody without a fight. Casualties occurred only in one brief flutter of
gunfire, when four soldiers were killed almost by accident.
Again, miraculously, a major intra-military confrontation had
transpired in th(e fashion of a game of chess, yielding decision virtu-
ally without violence. Yet only in style was there similarity with the
previous crises of September 28th and March llth. For whereas ear-
lier events had propelled the country leftward, the leftist defeat of
November 25th was now to have comparable force in the opposite
September 28S. 1974, was the day scheduled for Splnola's grand national rally, by which
hi hadl hoped to salvage his tottering presidency. March 11. 1975, was the date of Spinola's
abortive attempt to regain power through a rightist coup.

Acutely awa re of the dangerous implications of a. failed leftist coup,
the Communist Party acted quickly, publishing a communique even
before nightfall on the 25th, disclaiming any culpability and warning
against such "desperate moves" by the left as being an invitation to
right-wing forces to impose a "hegemony." It was an accurate a:.:s-
ment, but of little avail. Civilian political leaders, including Mario
Soares, immediately attacked the Communists for seeking to foment
the government's overthrow, while far-leftists fumed over the Com-
munists' cowardly treachery in failing to take to the streets at a
moment of truth. Fearing the worst, many Communists quickly went
On the following day, Prenident Costa Gomes addre,-. d the nation,
declaring that "the country has just been through a critical moment,
the origins of which have not yet been determined satisfactorally."
With the President in his television appearance were the effective vic-
tors in the failed uprising, Melo Antunes and other members of the
Revolutionary Council's moderate Nine, who now had what they
needed: a rationale for taking concerted action against officers on the
far left. Absent signifiintly was Otelo Carvalho, whose role in the
Affair was as yet unknown, but a matter of intense suspicion.
Faced with the widespread prei:iiption of Carvalho's guilt, Costa
Gomes-who owed his preidency to Carvalho's bold stand against
Spinola more than a year before-now had little choice. Within days
Portugal's most .famous revolutionary leader had been stripped of
his command as the Azevedo government begani a formal inve-tiga-
tion into the events of November 25th. Months later, after the inquiry
had led to his brief arrest and demotion, as well as to COPCON's
dissolution, Carvalho would continue to assert-plausibly-that the
supposed coup had been no more than a limited attempt by military
leftists to oust certain conservative commanders and that he. more-
over, had not been directly involved. The confused reality of Novem-
ber 25th, however, was far less important than the perception-and
the opportunity it afforded the Azevedo government to consolidate
its position. Carvalho, who had begun two year s before as an unknown
colonial warrior and catapulted himself into stardom as the charis-
matic proponent of a chaotic grassroots style of democracy, wais in-
evitably a victim of the process. Ouited from the Supreme Revolu-
tionary Council with Carvalho were General Carlos Fabiao, the
Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral lRo;a Coutinho. long a major
MFA figure, both of whom had been implicated in the failed coup.
Newly configured, the Revolutionary Council acted quickly with
the momentum of events, focusing immediately upon the govern-
ment's most obvious irritant: the pervasive left-wing domination of
the Portuguese press. Early in December, with unaccustomed deci-
siveness, the Council decreed a far-ranging" government intervention
in the nation's media-nationalizing nine mnaior radio stationss and the
entire television network, and suspending publication of eight promi-
nent newspapers which, though alre;idy state-owned, had eng aged in
"tendentious, distorted and monolithic" reporting and thereby "con-
tributed to the atmosphere leading up to the coup." Promulgated in
accompaniment was a comprehensive plan for the media's reorganiza-
tion, intended to bring about "pluralism and objectivity." To run


the radio stations and television, autonomous public corporations
would be established, similar to those in other European countries.
For the newspapers, new management and editorial boards were to be
named, with an emphasis on independence and variety. Long over-
due, this effort to diversify the media was within weeks to prove
broadly successful, giving the Azevedo government its first relief
from the unruliness of an ideologically aggressive press.
Indeed, if the fall of Goncalves in August had returned the mili-
tary moderates to office, the failed leftist coup of November had now
served to confirm them solidly in power, setting the country more
squarely than ever on the path toward "pluralist democracy." Yet
exactly what was entailed by this touchstone phrase remained to be
seen. Did it require the MFA's return to the barracks? The exclusion
of Communists from government? For Melo Antunes. still the coun-
try's foremost revolutionary theoretician, the answer to both questions
was most emphatically that it did not. Speaking in the aftermath of
the suppressed rebellion, he left little doubt: "Control of the military
situation," hlie stated, would now enable the MFA to "regain its unity
and its ability to lead . The. major parties must be brought together
on a single platform for political action for us to be able to progress,
with the Armed Forces Movement, toward the building of socialism."
It was essential, he added, that. the Communist Party take full part.
Supporting Antunes in this view were well-placed colleagues, includ-
ing Azevedo and key military commanders.
Yet others of growing prominence disagreed-at least on the ques-
tion of the MFA's future role. Among then were General Ramalho
Eanes. installed by Azevedo as Army of Chief after the abortive
uprising, and Colonel Jaime Neves. whose efficient defense o.f the
Azevedo government on November 25th had transformed him sud-
denly into a national hero. Increasingly assertive, these two conserva-
tive officers argued that the MFA's exercise of political power was
not only crippling the armed forces, but dividing the nation. With-
out opposition from MFA moderates, Eanes and Neves now took
the lead in purging from command all officers suspected of complicity
in the events of November 25th.
By some accounts, the danger at this point was that the military
might shift precipitously to the right, just as it had lurched to the left
after the failed rightist coup) in March. But the real significance of the
conservative officers' new prominence consisted not in their desire to
move the military rightward along the political spectrum, but rather
in their hope that the armed forces could be withdrawn from politics
altogether. Called the operationalls" after their conviction that the
military should revert to a traditional role. these officers represented the
growing belief that the days of the MFA-which had always been
more an idea than an organization-should now be brought to an end.
It was time, Eanes dryly noted, for Army officers to quit acting like
movie stars and return to their jobs.
By December, however, such questions as the military's future po-
litical role appeared almost academic as against the ominous decline
of the nation's economy. For nearly two years of revolution, the coun-
try had lived off the fat of the old regime, rapidly drawing down Sala-
zar's vast foreign currency reserve to finance a balance of payments

deficit now approaching $100 million per month. Even with this
supply of unearned iinports, inflation had s,,'ired. and with the cur-
rency reserve now nearing depletion, total economic collapsI. was at
hand. To begin expending the country's $1 billion gold reserve, still
largely untouched, would be to s;i'rifice the only collateral Portugal
could offer for the foreign I;i n us on which any hope for the economy's
rehabilitation would depend. In October, r(-ponding to Portugal's
progress toward "plural i-t democracy," thle European (C'omnmunitv had
come forward with an offer of some -2)00 million in economic aid. But
this could be of little value unless joined within stringent domnit4ic meas-
ures to bring the country to terms with its poit-colonial plight.
In late Deceinher, with the restoration of military order affording
the government its first solid underpinning, Prime Mini-ter Azevedo
drew the year to a close by announcing a broad program of economic
discipline, including a wage freeze, tax increases of up to 40 percent on
nonessential goods, and strict regulations to establish industrial order
and protect foreign investment. But this was at 1hest a first step. It
would be "hypocritical," Azevedo wNvarned, to wish the nation a pros-
perous new year, for a prolonged period of au-terity now lay ahead.
A country consuming 301 more than it was producing simply could
not siirvive.
The sobering condition of the economy and the tempering of revolu-
tionary zeal in the military were now reflected in the waning political
energy of the nation at large. In mid-January thirteen Communist-led
unions staged a noisy rally in Lisbon where thousands of demon-t ra tors
protested the new austerity program as being "anti-working class."
But even on the far left, the fervor of the revolution's earlier days had
faded. In contrast, the conservatism of the north, which had surged
into the violent summer backlash against thle Communists, was now
staunch and indeed gave indication of settling over thle whole country.
The Center Social Democrats (CDS), conservat ive. who had struggled
to remain a iablle party in the earlier election, were known to be gain-
ing st rellgth. And speculation was growing that the national election
anticipated in April might well provide a plurality not to the Social-
ists but instead to the center-right Popular Democrats (PPD),. who
might then form a coalition government of the rihlit.
In one important sense, however, the drift in favor of the more con-
servative parties was misleading. For the legacy of nearly two yea ,'s
of revolution was more than a cascade of radical rhetoric now gone
stale. All across Portugal. at the grass roots, laborers were orgfnIlized
as never before to influence their own economic and social conditions.
In almost every factory, freely-elected workers' collnii-sions were in
operation, eiir,'led not only in wage bl;fL!a ;ilnnr but also in basic
decision-f making concerning factory managemIlent and product. Similar
to such worker groups were the residents commi isions which W,'ld
coales'ed in urlban neighborhoods to oi g; i ze imnprovenients ii work-
ing-class housing, a matter sorely neglected under the old regime. In
Lishon, where a speculative boom in the di'tiatorship's 1list wears had
produced a large iirplus of privately-owi,,l ho10e.s and flats-many
of them adjacent to ,lqualid shanty towii---more than 300' r-idtits'
commissions had ov\ersen the takeover of some 25,1000 ho'.s0 in an
organized. democratic faslshion. Following the orclipvitioiis. moreover.

the same residents' commissions, embodying a kind of popular power,
were working with government authorities to prompt construction of
additional housing appropriate to worker needs.
In the comintryside, meanwhile, an analogous process had been at
work. All through the course of the revolution, but at a faster pace in
the latter part of 1975, impoverished farm workers had organized into
cooperatives to occupy vast tracts of land owned by aristocrats and
wealthy farmers, especially in southern Portugal. Inevitably, some of
the occupations were opportunist and adventurous. But in the main
the process was producing not only a form of economic justice, but also
an increase in productivity. Whereas large portions of land on the
great estates had previously gone uncultivated-most of it serving as
private game preserves-the freshly occupied tracts were now being
tilled assiduously by their new owners. The results had shown in small
but significant increases in agricultural production, first in 1974 and
again in 1975.
As it happened, the cooperatives were also providing many of the
new landowners with an unprecedented technique for marketing the
farm product. When first formed, the cooperatives had encountered
boycotts by food distribution merchants accustomed to purchasing
from wealthy single owners; and the resulting breakdown in food
distribution had created serious shortages in the larger towns and
cities, even while surplus produce rotted in the countryside. To over-
come the boycott, farmers' cooperatives had linked up directly with
the new residents' commissions in the cities, thereby by-passing the
traditional middle men and providing much-needed savings on food
for factory workers whose earnings were now strained to the limit by
rising prices.
Whether such new activities would prove durable, of course, re-
mained to be seen. For by early 1976, the desire of many Portuguese to
consolidate hard-won gains was running, throughout the country, at
cross-currents with the powerful yearning for a return to normalcy.
In factories in Lisbon, as well as the north, workers were now wel-
coming back owners and managers who had fled to Spain during the
zenith of revolution. Reemerging, some said, was that traditional strain
in the Portuguese mentality, describable as a boss complex, which for
decades had allowed the Portuguese proletariat to submit to. and even
admire, those who had ruthlessly dominated the society and prospered
with lavish wealth. This was not to say, for example, that the exiled
Melo brothers were about to be handed back the multibillion dollar
CUF empire, over which their dynasty had long exercised absolute
power. Now nationalized, the big trusts were never likely to be re-
turned to their original owners. But in those businesses where the state,
without taking over capital, had stepped in to replace management "in
exile." pressure was moutinting among workers for pragmatic solutions
which would bring a resumption of orderly production. Without fear
of castigation, laborers now spoke of "nationalization taken to ex-
tremes"; while union leaders, though still decrying the evils of capi-
talism. debated openly as to what forms of private production might
hest serve the worker interest.
By Februa ry 1976, the descent of Portuguese workers from the heady
politics of social transformation was fast being reinforced by drastic
cuts in the size of the military. Under the hand of General Eanes, whose


"apolitical" star was now climbing steadily, the uniformed chaos
of Portugal's radicalized and disintegratigii). 200,000-man colonial
army had been cut by two-thirds as plans proceeded for an eventual
reduction to 25.000. Clearly focused on the removal of officers on the
far left, Eanes was also known, however, to be taking pains to prevent
the military's infiltration by clandestine organizations of the radical
right. It was Portugal's benign fortune that even the conservative
operationalls" who were now bringing the army under control, shared
the fear voiced repeatedly by Pre-ident Costa Gomes of "a reaction
from the right that could lead to a regime similar to that in Chile."
An obvious corollary of the military's withdrawal from politics
was extensive revision of the "pact" which MFA leaders had im-
Sposed on the parties the previous April, at the oiiut-et of election cam-
Spaigning for the Constituent Assemby. Then, offered little choice, the
parties had formally consented to a dominant MFA role for several
years to come. Now, less than a year later, principal MFA figures-
Goncalves, Coutinho, and Carvahlo-had fallen precipitously from
power. And even among those military moderates who remained in
I key positions-Costa Gomes, Azevedo, Antunes. and others-the need
for a contracted MFA role was an acknowledged, if disappointing, im-
Finally, on February 26th. with legislative elections in prospect for
the spring, a new pact was concluded. Under its terms, the Revolu-
tionarv Council was to relinquish the controlling veto power it had
assumed over all legislation, while in exchange the parties agreed to
support a military figure for the nation's presidency in an election to
be held in June. The parties, however, would retain a deciding voice
in the selection of presidential candidates; and as for the long term-
the next four years-the military was to act only in an advisory ca-
pacity rather than as an agent of change. In sum, instead of the cutting
edge of revolution, the MFA was now to become the government's
guarantor, serving as a re-ponsive arm of authority for a genuine
Portuguese democracy.

The Timetable Complete
(February 26, 1976-April 25, 1976)
Throughout March the Constituent Assembly, little noticed during
the revolutionary events of past months, sought final agreement on the
terms of a new national constitution. Within the Assembly, a slim
leftist majority favored an explicit incorporation of socialist prin-
ciples, to include guarantees of workers' participation in indilitrv and
the creation of a centralized planning structure. Strongly oppo.-ed were
delegates from the PPD and CDS, who saw in such stipulations the in-
congruity that any government formed by their parties-an increasing
possibility-would automatically find itself guilty of a wide variety
of constitutional sins of omission. Many moderate military men, in-
cluding General Eanes. also expren-.sed concern about using the consti-
tution as a socialist blueprint.
For the Socialists themselves, the que-tion was problematic. An-
swering his own right wing, which held that the constitution should
I be a purely political document, Mario Soares argued that the party
could retain working-class support only by forceful in.i-tenee upon a

64-752 0-76 -5

"socialist" revolution. To fail in this would lose votes to the Com-
munists and thereby weaken the party as a unique vehicle for recon-
ciling Portugal's twin thrusts toward socialism and democracy. Thus
guided, the Socialists held to a leftist course; and when the new con-
stitution was announced in early April, it bore the unmistakable
economic stamp of the Assembly's Socialist-Communist majority. The
clear danger in this result was the real possibility that a PPD-CDS
plurality in the coming election could yield a governing coalition ada-
inantly opposed to principles which thle constitution now embodied.
Under the constitution's political provisions, a National Assembly-
to be elected on April 25th, the revolution's second anniversary-
would become the basis of Portuguese government. The new govern-
ment would be formed, however, only after the Presidential election in
June. The President then elected would assume broad powers: to se-
lect the cabinet, to veto any legislation, and to dissolve the National
Assembly, calling for new elections. He would also sit as chairman of
the Revolutionary Council, which would continue-though without
direct legislative power-as the one vestige of the MFA. The constitu-
tion thus implied, in accord with the MFA's new "pact with the par-
ties." that the President would be from the military. Also in keeping
with the pact, however, it was generally understood-and indeed the
rigors of a Presidential election would virtually insure-that no mili-
tary man would be elected who was not acceptable to the major po-
litical parties.
In obvious aspects, the election campaign of April 1976 closely re-
sembled that of a year before. As earlier, the principal competing par-
ties were, from left to right, the Communists, Socialists, Popular
Democrats, and Center Social Democrats. Again, the campaign fea-
tured a wholly chaotic war of posters and graffiti, as partisans on all
sides sought to cover every available space in the cities and market
towns of Portugal with slogans of ideological superiority. Again,
potential violence lay just beneath the surface of events, erupting
occasionally into street hostilities that reflected passionate animosities
and conflicts still unresolved. But if the two elections were similar in
form, the import of the two differed dramatically. A year earlier, with
a leftward-drifting MFA holding a tight grip on power, the national
vote had been for a civilian Constituent Assembly with uncertain
powers and significance. Now, on April 25, 1976, the election would
determine the composition of a new national legislature from which
would be formed Portugal's first genuinely democratic government
in fifty years.
Reenforcing this break with tlhe past was the final breach now oc-
curring between Portugal and her former African colonies-Angola,
Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome, all of which
were now led by Communist-inclined governments. From April 1974
until late 1975, the connections between Lisbon and the African gov-
ernments had been ideologically attuned; and virtually all Portu-
guese had held out hope that long-standing economic and cultural
ties in the erstwhile colonies might, in some form, be resumed. By
early 1976, however, Portugal's evolution to a social democratic sys-
tem was fast widening" the gap between Lisbon and the revolutionary
African regimes. In Portugal. the MFA leftists who had generated
the decolonization were now in eclipse, the influence of their POP

supporters had been decisively curtailed, conservatism had regained
legitimacy, and over a half-million colonialist retfiruados-most of
themi bitter and unemployed-provided constant agitation against
any accommodation by Lisbon with the black nationalists who had
overturned the African empire. From the perspective of the erstwhile
,olonies, meanwhile, even the preeminence in Portugal of Mario
Soares, who had always been a strong proponent of colonial freedom,
offered little enticement for continued relations. Portugal's center of
political gravity was now clearly to Soares' right; and there was, re-
gardless, scant advantage in perpetuating the relationship by which
a small European country had extracted one-third of its national in-
come at Africa's expense. Later, in May 1976, when the post-colonial
regimes began openly to coordinate their policies in a hard line toward
Lisbon, some observers would perceive the hand of Moscow attempting
indirectly to lever the Portuguese Commiunists bick into power
through pressure via the colonies. A less complicate(l explanation,
however, was the simple absence of any real interest for the colonies
in preserving the relationship intact.
The approach of the revolutions second anniversary election day
was accompanied by rising apprehension-centering not. as a year
before, on whether an election would in fact be held-but rather on
growing concern that the voting might, by producing an ambiguous
resullt, fail to provide the strong governing mandate the country now
so desperately needed. Each of the four major partio,-, and ten periph-
eral parties as well. had made a determined effort to generate enthu-
siasm. But among Portuguese voters, a fatigue with political rhetoric
was clearly evident, and by the campaign's closing days, the four major
party lenders were confining the ise.lves to remarkably similar plati-
tudes about the need to avoid the exc-ss.-., of the past. to halt further
nationalizations, and to restore investor confidence. Though publica-
tion of opinion polls remained illegal, privx-ate surveys showed nearly
half the electorate as undecided virtually on the election's eve. Cer-
tainty could be found only in the improved position of the Center
Social Democrats (CDS). whose young coni-ervative leader. Profe(-sor
Freitas (do Amaral, had traded effectively on the fact that his party
had played no part in any of IPortugal's six provisional governments.
The Popular Democrats, who at first had held hopes of surging into
an election plurality, were now seen to be losing ground to the CDS
on their right and the Socialists to their left.
Conducted without incident, the April 25th election produced a tally
distinctly like that of the previous year. As expected, the one( major
swing was toward the CDS, which doubled its vote, from 8 r to 16'.
In turn, the Socialists, the Popular Democrats, and Communists all
slid back 2-3%r but maintained their 1;sic constituencies intact.
Overall voter turnout, if somewhat lower than earlier, was still strong
at 83%, showing that Portuguese citizens, whatever -kepticism they
had developed about platform promises, remained far from apathetic
about the ballot box itself. Indeed, the mo-t significant a.-pect of the
election was the very constancy implicit in the result-a sign that
Portugal's revolution might, for all its commotion, have yielded a
reasonably stable democratic pror.-:. Two years earlier-on April 25,
1974-the young officers of the MFA had, in abruptly terminating the
old regime, announced a dramatic plan to deliver liberty to the colonies

and democracy to Portugal. While the newly-launched political careers
of ninny orii-inal MFA conspirators had been dashed in the process.
their gallant timetable was nonetheless now complete.

1975 1976
Social t ........ ............................................................. 37.87 34.97
Populvr Demxrals (PPO) .................. .... .............................. 26.38 24.03
Cente' S.-.: 3' Democrats (CDS) .. .............................................. 7.65 15.91
Corr rnists and related parties (PCP) ..............--..---........---.. ...... ......... ------- --- 16.65 14.58
3trer s ... ..... ..... .. .......... .................... ......... . ..... 4.55 5.74
Blank or slcoted papers .-.-. . . . ....................... .. ................ 6. 90 4. 76

Democratic Beginnings
(April 25, 1976 Onward)
If the parliamentary election had indicated a certain stability in
Portugal's new democrat. it had failed-as feared-to provide a
clear governing mandate. Thou-:h victorious, the Socialists would
hold only :l:-%, of the parliamentary -eat-. Anil while Mario Soares
could know that no fea-'ible coalition wIa- possible without the Social-
ists. hlie was also keenly aware that the Sociali-rt themselves were
-hlarpl-y divided between tho-,e favoring a leftist alliance with the
CommuTri-ts and tho-e preferrin- a more ,'onnervative partnership
withL the PPD. Thus faced with the likelihood that any coalition
,wo01ld sliit !1is 1,'arty. SMares inmediately affirmed hi- intent to form
a minority N'ciqast government following thile Pre-iilential election
on. June '0th. Le:aiers from, the other major parie. ,-uicklv responded
tha:t Port'ugal wouldd only b"e governe'l by a majority v coalition-though
each found in thi- imperative a different ,iron,--ion. Sa Caneiro of
rhO Poppular Denmo'rat; called for a Soc.ialist-PPD alliance, while
Freita-; dn Am.aral called for a thre:e-partv coalition that would in-
'It,'le the CDS. (Cunhal. meanwhile. to'ritel the ".vi-tory of the left"
tar haid riven the Socialt, -t- anI PCP a toral of 14t parl iamentary
,lepte-; as ,ppno-e'l rto 11-2 for the PPD andl CDS.
By rIk' We otitli.nes of 1an1i1iacy andl support in Portugal's
r',,r Pe-iintial ele'rioti ha': taken shape--and itn -;ih a way as
ton-'.- ke irlv inevitable the re-ulit. All three nma jor democratic,
t ':l"it.'I-- .<;-i -t. P, o' l;r Devinno'rnr-. anl Cenrer Sn,-ial Demo-
rar--h-il, '~iiie, arouilnd rh rHit re of the -trifiifc-t manp inl the armyv.
General Ram,, 1ho F.ane-. A- Ch Wf of staff -'nre the fail e, leftist
';pr-ITr in Noveniber. Fane- haIl -pent .earlv -.ix mnt h- n-uietly
,reorzal2i:'LV tilt army into a d ',Ti'h -'malter butt effectrive mil itary
tirce, r',ir.zin,' it of p,'ltHal ,ild.tir'- -nid:l pre:ii'hinu thI ne,"-w rtv of
,-l,!iir,..\ An'.r-t mvrerio,.-lv :elf-effa ,n_. Fante- wa-; a.s.-umred to
bei a .'lo-ervarive. B'ir it wa- not hi-' perznral pl itrioal preferencee---
rather lii-: cornnitmenr to drInmo'irat t civilian rnile-that male Eanes
the ,',ini ni.i-v ."nlidlate. Only the Conimuni-t-. who had for so lon"
.o'ht to illy trhem'Ivi w-r iri trhe rn"'- lea'ler-hip. now advoc-ared
th. 1le,,'tin of a civilian. It wa; an irony which many could
:tppr ,,'7':;lie.
Al Ion witlh the Communii-zr nominev-depitrv jlartv leader Octavio
Par-ro-rw-o orflher ,'njtii:-aire: of note -,aime forward. notirher with maior

Party backing but both with devoted personal following: Admiral
i Azevedo, the bluff, amiable prime miinister who continued to preside
over the sixth provisional government which the election would
oring to an end: and Otelo Carvalho, now demoted to major and
freed after brief imprisonment but still under investigation for his
part in the November coup. On the Presidential ballot. Azevedo and
Carvalho together repre-ented the remaining xv:-tiges of the MFA:
one a moderate, the other a flaimbovant leftist-both now little more
tlian symbols of a revolution Portutgal was leaving behind.
The two-month period between the parliamentary and prn-idential
elections pa:-sed with relative quiet, giving Portugal its lowest inter-
national silhouette in two years. Even with his solid three-party
support, General Eanes' stern inmes.-age and dour manner did little to
,generate excitement. And while Otelo Carvalho. canpaigning with
undiminished flair, managed to rekindle fires of leftist enthusiasm, his
,principal accomplishment was in siphoning off support from the offi-
'cial Communist candidate. Octavio Pato. Admiral Azevedo, ex-
hausted after nine months as prime minister, confined his ca mlpaign
.primarily to the equal television time accorded each candidate. There
appeared little doubt-either that Eanes would win or that, in the
election's aftermath, the serious business of government would finally
Have to begin. Eanes announced in advance that he would support
Soares in the establishment of a minority Social i-t government.
Given the presumption of Eanes' victory, the Presidential election
of June 27th was remarkable primarily in providing a margin so large
as to obviate any need for a run-off. Taking 62", General Eanes had
clearly become the hope of a broad majority of Portuguese who wished
to see the establishment of orderly, democratic civilian rule. Carvalho
nonethele-s took a surprising 16%: while Azevedo. who suffered a
heart attack just days before the polling, received 14'-. Pato's minimal
8c provided a serious blow to the lingering (Comnmunist hope for a
Socialist-PCP alliance, forcing Communists to counter that the over-
all leftist tally-Cari allio and Pato together-was virtually one-fourth
of the vote.
In mid-July, at a formal and meticulously organized ceremony in
Saio Bento Palace. General Antonio Ramalho Eanes was inaugurated
as 1Portugal's first President to be elected by free. universal sutfferage.
Addre-si ng the newly assembled parliament. Eanes pledged support
for the Portuguese peoples long-denied and hard-won democratic
rights, cautioning(r severely that the days of "Coups and anarchy" were
at an endl. Interrupted frequently by standing applause- from the
benches of his major-party supporters. Eanes was watched in silence
by the pa rliamentary deputies of the PCP.
Later in July. having been officially appointed Prime Minister.
Mario Sonares formed the first government under Portugal's new con-
stiitution. Comprised largely of moderate Socialists. within several in-
dependents and military officers, the Soares Cabinet was the first in
two years within no Communist represenlttation. In ten days. Soares an-
nounced. and after final consultations with the opposition pa rties, the
Socialists would present their progranim-the first and obvious task
being the implementation of a stringent proogram of economic re-
covery and development. With 20% of Portugu,-e workers now un-


employed and inflation running at over 50%, it was difficult not to
In the Assembly, Soares' colleague Salgado Zenha, finance minister
in the outgoing provisional government and now the Socalists' parlia-
mentary leader, spoke of signs of economic recovery. Emigrants' re-
mittances. vital to the balance of payments, were returning to normal,
as was tourism. Grain production continued upward, despite wide-
spread confusion in the program of agrarian reform. The number of
Portuguese companies working at capacity was now 57% as compared
to only 3-2% a year before. Yet there could be little doubt that the coun-
try's condition was critical. The colonial wartime economy had yet to
be truly conformed to Portugal's new circumstances. Though the na-
tion's energy bill was nine times higher than in 1973, not a single effec-
tive conservation measure had et been undertaken. Imports continued
at twice the level of exports, though it made no sense for Portugal to
buy abroad meat, fish, corn and vegetable oils which could be pro-
duiced at home. With the economy functioning like a sieve, "We've
got to fill in the holes," Zenha said. "We must live like Portuguese,
not like Americans, Germans or Rutssians."
On August 2nd. Mario Soares presented his legislative program to
the Assembly of the Republic, emphasizing the importance of a per-
manent dialog and reconciliation among the competing parties. Be-
yond immediate measures of economic austerity, Soares promised to
construct a strict national budget by November 15th and to create, by
May 1977, a comprehensive four-year plan for the nation's develop-
ment. Though he was well aware of the existence of the continuing
class struggle taking place throughout the country, Soares said, the
clash of social groups must be resolved by discussions, with strikes only
a last resort. The nationalizations, agrarian reform, and workers' par-
ticipation in industrial management were achievements of immense
importance, which no government should reverse. But there could be
no riches without toil; Portugal must seek more than a "socialism of
Whether Soares' hopes, and those of his fellow citizens, would be
fulfilled was now the question of Portugal's future-to be determined
not by the revolution, which was over, but by the fate of Portuguese
democracy, which had begun.


IWithout Africa we would be a mW7l utio ...
-Marc llo Caetano, 1970

Divested of empire, Portugal has finally and inevitably become the
'small nation" that Salazar and Caetano would never accept. The
special advantage which history once b(.-towed upon the Iberian loca-
tion-a salient into the Atlantic during an age of di-(.,every and coloni-
zation-has been reduced relentlessly by time. And the sparsity of
Portuguese resources which made colonies seem a nec.sity will now,
,with colonies gone, ineluctably impose a future of limited means.
For Portugal's 9 million people, the loss of empire was destined to be
a revolutionary event: the last, long-delayed reckoning of an ancient
,order which had become glaringly obsolete. To fashion from its
Ivestiges a new order-a "small" but modern Portugal-will necessarily
be an extended process, blending awakened aspiration, reaction, dis-
location, dissension, and-as 2 years of revolution upheaval have amply
shown-the full panoply of human conduct. As they join the nations
of Europe, the hope for the Portuguese people is that their own endemic
potential may hold a richer life than came with empire. Their fear,
in the course, must be of the civil tragedy they have sought so ad-
mirably to avert: a relapse-at worst, after a spasm of national
violence-into the grim political repression that has burdened their
past. The essential question of their still unfinished drama is whether,
through unfamiliar institutions of democracy, they can accomplish
peacefully their nation's transformation.
Whatever the outcome, however, Portugal's objective circumstances
should now suggest only the most modest geopolitical role. Yet it was
to be the New State's final irony that in the very struggle to replace it,
Portugal would acquire in extreme what Salazar had always sought:
a global significance out of all proportion to Portuguese size and
strength. Among the world superpowers and nations throughout
Europe, Portugal in revolution became the focus of inten-e concern,
gaining sudden and widespread prominence in both international and
domestic debate. Though propelled in fact by Portugal's own "internal
dynamics," as Secretary of State Kissinger at one point conceded, the
Portuguese revolution was soon cast in larger terms, not least by the
Secretary himself. Like Cuba and Chile before it, the word "Portu-
gal" became a metaphor, the nation itself a supposed object le-son or
testing ground, an "issue" influencing attitudes and forcing responses
far beyond Portugal's borders-so that, in its unfolding, the Portu-
guese revolution gained significance less in the actual event than in the
perceptions and misperceptions of those at a distance, filtered through
prisms of ideological assumption. Finally, though tiny in itself. Portu-
gal became a mirror, reflecting much of the world outside it.

Spain and "The Idea of Portugal"
As the Portuguese revolution began to attract world attention in the
summer of 1974, it was common among foreign observers, accustomed
to viewing Spain and Portugal in a single category, to infer that fas-
cism's fall in Lisbon would inevitably have consequences in Madrid.
While this soon proved to be true, the connection was due much less to
any closeness. of the two regimes than to a powerful psychological
nexus which arose, due largely to a coincidence of events. At another
time, Spain might have viewed the fall of Salazarism with greater
equanimity. But, as it happened, the tumultuous drama of the Portu-
guese revolution began to unfold at the very moment when Spaniards,
so long focused upon the person of Francisco Franco, were approach-
ing the crisis of his passing.
Given their superficial similarities, the actual separation of the two
regimes could hardly in fact have been more pronounced. For though
joined by geography and culture, the twin states of the Iberian penin-
sula have evolved through centuries of history, even through the paral-
lel rigors of fascism, as remarkably distinct and independent,
separated significantly by the oldest border in Europe. Portugal, whose
very identity involves a denial of being Spanish, has traditionally
faced outward-if only, in the Salazar-Caetano years-to the "overseas
provinces" of greater Portugal. Spain meanwhile, long without major
colonies and ostracized over recent decades from Europe, has focused
inward-upon the discordant development of a nation far larger and
more diverse. The fascist ideology shared by the two regimes, though
it distanced both from the world community, did little to fasten them
in active partnership. Indeed, with fascism in each country resting
upon the appeal to "national unity," similar ideology was actually a
reflection of separate concerns. For homogeneous Portugal. national
unity meant the preservation of empire; for heterogeneous Spain, the
cementing of a clashing domestic mosaic. If Salazar's call was for
a continuance of Portugal's epic transoceanic role. Franco's impera-
tive was to fuse the disparate elements-the Basques. Asturians,
Galicians. Catalonians, Extremadurans. and Andalusians-which
continued to resist adherence to Spain's Castilian core. Economically, I
under fascism, the two regimes built independent corporate systems,
interacting only marginally through trade. Portiugal, moreover, re-
mained largely agricultural and poor, drained steadily by a futile
overseas war; while Spain. laboring under a tyranny of domestic
peace, created her "miracle" of urban industrial growth. Militarily
as well, the regimes staved essentially unconnected, confining their
bond to a mutual pledge of nonaggression. As each government de-
ployed its own devices to suppress internal dissent, it looked primarily
to the United States for an external tie.'
Portiiugal. with American and British sponsorship, gained charter NATO membership in
1949 ; Spain, consistently rejected by NATO, has depended since 1953 upon the presence of
U.S. bases to afford at least an aura of American protection.


But if ideological kinship did not produce strong positive links,
Spain and Portugal were nonetheless joined in recent decades by a
kind of negative interdependence, as the fa.-cism of each protected the
other from the stark contrast that an adjoining liberal regime would
provide. For Salaza r, presiding over Ins tiny Iberian enclave, this
"shield effect" was of particular value. Indeed, in the 1930's. creating
such a barrier had been Salazar's decisive consideration as he contem-
plated Portugal's rt:-ponse to the outbit.l-k of civil war in Spain.
Although Franco's Nationalist rebellion against the Spaniish Republi-
i can government had drawn a sharp ideological division between
fascism and the left. the conflict from Salazar's perspective was not
without ambiguity. For though Portugal's ruler was the quint-::c.ntial
;ideologue at home, his approach to foreign affairs was -trietly real
'politik. Accordingly, in assessing the Spanish war, Salazar found his
strong ideological affinity for Franco and Hitler at odds with serious
practical apprehensions that a triumph by Franco's Nazi-supported
Nationalists might eventually lead to dangerous German encroach-
ments into Iberia, or possibly to Spa ii li expansionism, either of which
would be well beyond his ability to control.2 A victory by the Spanislh
Republicans, on the other hand, would not only keep German power
at a safe distance; it would most probably lead to the dilution of
SSpanish power as well. Franco had rebelled against the Republican
I government after, and indeed partly because, the Basque provinces
i and Catalonia hlad been granted autonomy. A Franco defeat and a
continuation of the Republican policy of democratic repi-e"ntation
therefore offered the promising prospect that Spain would divide
into some kind of federation of Iberian states, each more coiiparable
in size and power to to Portugal. Finally, however, any benefit which
might accrue to Portugal from a Republican victory was outweighed,
in Salazar's analysis, by the danger to the Estado Novo that would
inhere in a major triumph for liberalism in Iberia. Thus it was that,
even as he continued to pay rhetorical heed to the neutrality demanded
Sby the League of Nations, Salazar contributed a special Portuguee('
legion to the strategic eastward push of the Spanish Nationalists.
Franco's victory in turn afforded Salazar the lasting shield he -;ought
again ist the liberal influences of Western Europe.
While Franco, through the years of his own rule. was to appear less
dependent upon the reciprocal shield provided by fa-ci;imi in Portugal,
the manner of its sudden disappearance in April 1974 raised quick and
undisguised alarm throughout his regime. It was in fact well known
that during the final months of his life and reign. Spain's a.aed leader
spoke of little else than the Caetano fall and its aftermath. For Franco,
and the entire Spa nish establishment, the -ii rprising events in Portu-
gal signaled the clear need for increa-'le vigilance and national dis-
cipline. Thus arose the inevitable paradox of thn Portugu'-e
2 Later, during World War II, Salazar would be similarly concerned about th, po."ibl,'
consequences were Germany to take control of those British colonies in Africa which
adjoined the Portuguese territories.


revolution: that even as it marked the start of an historical epoch of
political change in Iberia, its most immediate effect was to entrench
still further the forces of reaction and delay in Spain.
The months before Caetano's overthrow in Portugal had witnessed
portentous developments in the life of Spain. Indeed, by late 1973,
the signs of unrest that had begun to appear throughout Spanish
society were combining in a crescendo. Workers, who saw their con-
siderable gains of the past decade being lost in a weakening and
inflationary economy, were now organizing heavily in illegal labor
groups dominated by the Spanish Communist Party. Universities,
traditionally the centers of Spanish discontent, were mounting fresh
resistance to the government's intellectual puritanism and political
repression. The Church, once intimately linked to the regime, was
rapidly drifting into the camp of the opposition. And in the regions,
separatist .pntiment, long festering particularly among Basques and
Catalans, was showing powerful resurgent strength.
In December 1973 (the month in which the Armed Forces Move-
ment in Portugal was agreeing to stage a coup), this mounting dissent
came to a head in Spain when Prime Minister Carrero Blanco was
assassinated by Basque guerrillas. His successor, appointed by Franco,
was Carlos Arias Navarro, a well-known authoritarian whose expe-
rience included direct supervision of the Spanish secret police and
who was generally expected to administer an immediate crackdown.
Instead. Arias soon gave surprising indication of intending the kind
of institutional reform that rightwing politicians are sometimes
uniquely capable to lead. Within a month of taking office, and over
the opposition of many conservatives, the new prime minister an-
nounced a cautious but highly significant program of liberalization.
Presented to the Cortes (the Spanish parliament) for consideration,
the Arias program provided for the election of mayors and other local
officials throughout Spain (rather than their selection by the central
government); legalization of "political associations"; and greater
genuine representation in the national syndicates (the official trade
unions) and in the Cortes itself.
While it was inevitable that the Arias proposals would create a
considerable and prolonged controversy, the Lisbon coup in April
1974 sharply intensified the Spanish debate. Predictably, Spaniards
on all sides of the liberalization question quickly found in the Portu-
guese revolution evidence for their positions. Staunch members of the
old guard saw Caetano's fall as added reason to enforce tight controls
on Spanish political life, lest they awake one (lay to find the regime
swept away in a tide of liberalization or chaos. Moderate reformers
argued that Portugal demonstrated the urgent need for such conces-
sions as Arias had proposed-if only to temper the pressure for more
sweeping reform. And those whose explicit goal was a thorough
transformation of Spanish institutions also found encouragement.
for Portugal showed that change was in fact possible. Three days
after the coup, the clandestine Radio Independent Spain broadcast a

statement by Spanish Communist Party leader Santiago Carrillo,
who drew the parallel:
The events in Portugal have deep repercussions in
Spain . the dictatorship of Oliveira Salazar did not sur-
vive him. This is a lesson for those who imagine the
Francoite dictatorship can survive Franco by placing Juan
Carlos at the head of state.
At no time, from this point on, was it ever possible to discern the
degree to which Portugal was invoked by Spaniards simply to justify
positions already held, as distinguished from the measure in which
Portugal's experience might actually be playing a causal role in
Spanish life. But the existence of some kind of nexus was indis-
putable, for the Portuguese revolution quickly became, and for more
than a year remained, a dominant idea in the national consciousness
of Spain. Soon, in their regular clashes with Spanish students, the
regime's police found themselves taunted with cries of "Long live
SPortugal's revolt." In the controlled Spanish press, references to
Portugal began to appear in the form of veiled analogies to Spain.
And even among officers of the generally conservative and apolitical
Spanish armed forces, there were said to be glimmers of interest in
the glamorous coup of the Portuguese MFA.
Signs that the regime was disturbed by these developments were
not long in coming. Of particular concern was the attitude of the
armed forces, specifically that of General Manuel Diez Alegria, chair-
man of the Spanish defense staff since 1970, an officer well known
and widely respected for his progressive views. When Diez Alegria
came due for reappointment a few weeks after the Portuguese coup,
he was unexpectedly removed-primarily, most observers thought,
i because of his potential similarities to Portugal's new President, Gen-
eral Antonio de Spinola. Simultaneously the regime began to crack
down on the Spanish press, focusing especially on those commentators
who saw parallels between Portugal and Spain.
During the summer of 1974, as the Portuguese revolution pro-
duced an internationally publicized commotion of rallies, strikes, and
governmental strife, two important events occurred in Spain, one
weakening the regime, the other strengthening its enemies. The first
was a sharp decline in Franco's health, which forced him to transfer
power indefinitely to his designated successor, Prince Juan Carlos.
The second was the creation of the Junta Democratica, a broad
coalition of Spanish opposition groups which, theretofore fragmented
and still illegal, had finally overcome their antagonisms to join hands
in the quest for Spanish democracy. Set against a backdrop of Portu-
guese turmoil, Franco's failing health and the formation of a united
anti-Franco coalition combined to produce a pervasive-and for the
regime-frightening sense of uncertainty and impending change.
Only adding to the aura of crisis was the continuing arrival of
"refugees" from across the Portuguese border. The first wave had


come in April when members of the Portuguese secret police and their
cohorts had fled into Spain. Now, as the Portuguese revolution actually
began to take hold, they were followed by members of Portugal's
di-possed elite-clear symbols to the Spanish regime of the perils of
By late 1974, it was clear that the Portuguese revolution, for months
an inspiration to Spanish democrats, had become a serious liability
for them. Indeed, when Spinola resigned in late September, warning
ominously of an impending Portuguese anarchy, the news was greeted
by entrenched Spanish conservatives not with alarm but instead with
extreme satisfaction, for the dangers of liberalization were now
"proven." In turn, moderate Spanish reformers felt themselves in-
creasingly immobilized by the right wing's constant references to
Portugal. And even on the far left, while some Spaniards continued
to take pleasure in seeing that Portugal was experiencing a true
revolution, others-including Communist Party leader Santiago Car-
rillo-were deeply distressed. Having broken with Moscow and
adopted the "historic compromise" approach of the Italian Com-
munists, Carrillo now feared that the notoriety of the aggressive
Portuguese Communists would jeopardize his own party's aspiration
to gain legality and eventual democratic legitimacy in the post-
Franco era. Among all Spaniards, there was a sense that revolution
in Portugal had strengthened the hand of the old guard in Spain.
And if any proof were needed, it was soon reported that Prime
Minister Arias was shelving his proposals for liberalization-largely
because Portugal had weakened the case for Spanish reform.
During the first half of 1975, events in each country evolved in-
exorably toward climax. In Portugal. the abortive Spinola coup was
followed by the April election which in turn led to the extended and
uproarious contest over the meaning of the election result-the se-
quence producing constant turbulence and, as seen from Madrid,
nothing less than a rampage of godless chaos. In Spain, meanwhile,
the reform program ground to a halt as the government, fortified in its
position by the "Portuguese situationn" went to the barricades against
the forces of change. Franco, defiantly resisting his own demise, re-
turned to command, directing the regime's full energy into throwing
back the "su)bversi-e" challenges of industrial workers, civil servants,
university students, and journalists-all disappointed over the fate
of the reforms. Rising to the battle, the illegal Spanish labor move-
ment now began to flex its clandestinely built strength, as Socialist
and Communist organizers suddenly took a large majority in the
spring elections for key posts in the state-approved unions-a phe-
nomenon, the government could not fail to note, such as had occurred
in Portugal in the period leading to the coup.
Inexorably, as the regime's repression encountered increased resist-
ance. the level of violence mounted; and soon Spanish leftist groups
were met in a guerrilla war of terror and counterterror with fanatical
groups of the Spanish ultraright. which operated illegally but with
the regime's tacit and sometimes active support. That Franco intended
to carry the fight to the end was beyond doubt when the most obdurate
of Spanish conservat iyes, theold Falangists-Franco's original base of
support but long in eclipse-began to gain renewed influence in the

government, soon promoting enactment of a stiff antiterrorist law
which provided for summary trial and execution.
In September of 1975, the tensions in both Portugal and Spain rose
to a dramatic finale. With the great armywide debate in Portugal hay-
ing resulted in a decisive consensus favoring "pluralist democracy," the
long months of boisterous struggle over the bnsic character of the Por-
tuguese revolution now drew to a close. And as Admiral Azevedo
formed a new, broadly lased government, the nations of Western
Europe enthusiastically welcomed the sign that Portugal had begun
Sthe formidal 4e but essentially hopeful task of shaping a modern Euro-
pean society. In Madrid, meanwhile, the still-unresolved battle over
Spain's future was now symbolized in a harsh and dramatic episode as
Franco, brandishing the regime's resolve, ignored all protests and
executed five men under the new terrorism law. Predictably, the act
raised an impassioned outcry in Europe and quickly produced still an-
other wave of Spanish violence. The contrast, finally, was vivid and
not a little ironic. Whereas Portugal appeared to have turned the
corner toward assimilation into the European community, Franco's
executions had only exacerbated the mutual hostility of Europe and
Spain. It was in fact a telling coincidence that the governments of
Western Europe now committed their first major financial assistance
to revolutionary Portugal only days after withdrawing their am'iassa-
dors from Madrid.
Little more than a month later, with the executions his final state-
ment to the world. Francisco Franco-Spain's leader and embodiment
for 40 years-succumbed finally to failing health and pas-ed away. If
the event resolved none of the questions about Spain's future, it never-
theless marked a momentous beginning. For it was unquestionably
true that for so long as Franco had clung to life, he had remained a
source and focus of Spanriih resistance to change. Month after month,
Spaniards had stood poised on the brink of the post-Franco era,
Paralyzed until their living attachment to the past was dead.
It was in this surreal atmosphere of extreme uncertainty that Por-
tugal had loomed so dominantly in the Spanish mind. Now, as it hap-
pened, Franco's death, ending Spain's anxious wait, coincided with
the waning of turbulence in Portugal. The overlap of these dramatic
periods in each nation's history-Portugal's decisive months of revolu-
tion and Spain's final months under Franco-had created a remarkable
psychological nexus. But as Spaniards now turned toward their fu-
ture, with Juan Carlos newly instated as their King. Spanish concern
over Portugal's revolution was fast fading. Some assumed that the
Portuguese lesson, having tempered Spanish reformers and entrenched
the regime, would continue to exercise a moderating effect on the pae
of Spanish change. Yet. such a judgment met a countervailing consid-
eration: that any addition to the regime's rigidity al-o raised the like-
lihood that change would come suddenly, through a cataclysm of
As the reign of King Juan Carlos began, the dominant question for
Spain was whether, under his hand, the institutions bequeathed by
Franco could accommodate the powerful forces seeking full democratic
representation in Spanish life. Virtually all Spaniards could agree
that Spain would benefit immeasurably from a closer relationship with
Europe, and all knew that progress toward democracy was the pre-

requisite. Now, as the nearby revolution carried Portugal slowly toward
both democracy and participation in Europe, Spain was again looking
inward. But for those Spaniards who would occasionally glance across
the border, it would be to a Portugal that had become less a specter
than a model.
The West European Response

In viewing events in Portugal which were at once promising and
alarming, and in groping for a collective response, the nations of
Western Europe were not burdened by a wide range of choices. To
begin with, the principal "Atlantic" organization, NATO, simply had
few avenues of direct influence, though it was the one regional forum
in which Portugal had a formal part. The Portuguese NATO delega-
tion in Brussels had always been small, and neither it nor Portuguese
forces had ever played a significant NATO role. The NATO relation-
ship had in fact been largely one of mutual passivity: Portugal allow-
ing base rights, NATO ignoring Portugal's fascism and later the
colonial wars. Between Portugal and NATO, there existed few per-
sonal links.1
Nor did the attitude of Europe's main ally, the United States, sug-
gest that an "Atlantic" response would be promising, whether through
the NATO mechanism or any other. In December of 1974, the U.S.
Government, prompted by Congress, did announce a modest. aid pro-
gram. But the American disposition was largely negative, exhibiting
scant understanding of, or sympathy for, the complexities of Portu-
gal's new politics. As early as the fall of 1974, President Costa Gomes
and a party including Foreign Minister Soares, making a first and pre-
sumably triumphal postcoup visit to the United States, were surprised
and then angered at being clhastised by Secretary of State Kissinger
for allowing Communist participation in the Portuguese Governmlent.2
And by the late spring of 1975, as events in Portugal turned increas-
ingly rambunctious, the United States gave every indication of having
concluded the very worst-an outlook, many Europeans worried,
which carried with it a self-fulfilling quality. Secretary of Defense
Schlesinger mused aloud over the procedural obstacles to expelling a
NATO member. President Ford openly lamented it to be "very tragic"
that "because of the CIA investigations and all the limitations placed
on us in the area of covert operations." the United States could not
intervene in Portugal in the customary manner.3 And Secretary Kis-
singer, seeming finally to disapprove of the Portuguese revolution as
being an event the United States had neither planned nor authorized,
was reported to have coined a wry "vaccination theory" under which
Portugal's impending "loss" would at least have the benign effect of
frightening the rest of Western Europe back into strong, anti-Com-
munist unity. It was hardly an affirmative approach.
For the nations of Western Europe, then. the absence of an
"Atlantic" alternative meant that if they were to participate in shap-
1 For those Portuguese officers who had done NATO duty, however, it was often a career
hiihlilhit. '-nerally producing a favorable disposition toward Portugal's NATO membership.
2 Ironically, on tip same trip, President Costa Gomes visited the Atlaintic command
lienilquiiart-r.; in Norfolk and was reported to have greatly enjoyed renewing his NATO
3 As news accounts were later to reveal, the "tragic" constraints on CIA activities in
Portugal were not so prohibitive as the President's remarks indicated.

ing a coordinated multilateral response, the forum would have to be
their own: the European Community. The expan-ion of the European
Community in 1972, from six nations to nine,1 had meant that the EC
was now synonymous with the major power centers of Western Eu-
rope, possessing enormous strength in foreign affairs, at least poten-
tially. And while the addition of three governments had complicated
the problem of devising common policy, the Nine were already show-
ing-through their cooperation to produce the basic Western positions
for the European Security Conference-that the expanded Community
could work effectively as a unified entity in international political
affairs. Yet however impressive their Security Conference perform-
ance, and whatever the importance of the Helsinki agreement which
was finally to emerge in mid-1975, the exercise itself was largely
rhetorical. A considerably more substantive and difficult challenge
was posed by the Portuguese revolution as it began to unfold in the
months after the April coup.
Portugal had first approached the European community requesting
a trade agreement as early as 1962, when Portugal's principal trading
partner, Britain, viwas making its first bid for EC membership. Both
then, however, and throughout the sixties, the Community rejected
Portuguese requests, even for an association agreement, as the very fact
of the Salazar-Caetano dictatorship continued to block any possibility
of closer links. In 1970, when Britain and several other members of
the European Free Trade Association were about to enter the EC,
Portugal, as an EFTA member being left behind, did negotiate with
the Community to arrange new trading terms which would soften the
impact on the Portuguese economy. Taking effect in 1973, these
"cushion" terms made generous allowance for Portugal's low level of
development and were highly favorable.2 Still, the Community con-
tinued to deny Portugal any formal tie.
The fall of the old regime in April 1974, however, removed the
Barrier to Portuguese-EC relations which no negotiation could have
overcome, and without delay the EC Commission issued a formal
declaration welcoming the end of Portugal's "fascist dictatorship" and
looking forward to the day when a democratically elected Portuguese
Government would apply for Community membership. For the mean-
time, the EC statement called on all Community members to give
Portugal practical help. Within days, the new Portuguese foreign
minister, Mario Soares, had begun talks with Community officials,
with the empha sis on assistance.
But while the EC was favorably disposed, the issue of aid to
Portugal did not come to the top of the Community agenda until
autumn; and by then the turbulence of Portuguese political life and
the signs of Communist influence were raising serious concern in West
European capitals. For several crucial months, the Community was un-
SFrance. West Germany. Italy, and the three Benelux countries, joined by the United
Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark.
2 Portugal's benefits under the cushion a-r-rvm-nit remain considerable even today.
In the industrial sector. Portugal gain-' from the elimination of customs duties for her
exports to the EC. while being allowed to retain her own duties well into the 19SO's. In
the agricultural sector, notwithstmindinc the Community's Common Agricultural Policy,
Portugal benefits from tariff concessions for her major exports such as tomato concentrate,
canned sardines, and port and madeira wine. As a result of these terms, Portugal in 1974
ran a $1.2 billion trade surplus with the EC, with exports amounting to $3.3 billion and
imports of $2.1 billion.

able to decide whether to offer aid or not-a lack of commitment which,
am1,ong otlier things, fueled tlhe extreme left within Portugal by pre-
s.enting the image that the revolution faced a hostile environment.
Nevertheless, both the EC Coinnis.-,ion and the individual foreign
minl istries liad iecominc reluctant to move ahead.
In February 1975, tlie Comminiunity foreign minister, Christopher
Soaine-. visited Lisbon for talks with Prime Minister Goncalves and,
especially in view of Portugal's grave economic plight, was discon-
certed to hear Goncalves disparage EC links as being a form of neo-
colonialism. Even more important, however, was the opposition which
had arisen on the EC side, in France particularly. President Giscard
d'Estaing, having himself only narrowly defeated a Socialist-Com-
mullit alliance, reportedly did not want the EC giving aid that bol-
stered a coalition in which Socialist and Communists served side by
side, for fear that its suce-, in Portugal would make such an alterna-
tive to his regime more attractive in future French elections. Indeed,
many surmised that Giscard rather appreciated the chaos in Portugal
with its suggestion that the left could not govern. The Italian Govern-
ment. faced with a similar domestic situation, supported the French.
And so too did Britain, despite its Labor Government. On the other
side, We!t Germany, led by the Social Democrats. was strongly in
favor of direct aid, and Bonn even went so far as to budget $30 million
in bilateral assistance. Holland, Denmark and Belgilluml also advocated
immediate support. But with the split unresolved, those opposed to aid
continued to prevail, as the Community's operative truth-that dis-
agreement means inaction-continued to hold sway.
In July of 1975, however, the issue came to a head. As it happened,
the crisis in Portuguese Goveritment occasioned by the Socialist-PPD
withdrawal coincided with a regularly sched lled meeting of the Com-
munity's foreign ministers and heads of state. With Soares waging his
defiant campaign throughout Portugal against subversion of the elec-
tion result, the moment for influential EC action, if it were to be taken,
liad obviously arrived. The circumstances. produced decision. Quickly
and for the first time, EC leaders agreed on what amounted to an
explicit Portuguese policy: the Community would definitely assist
Portugal, and generously, but only if there were clear progress toward
"pluralist democracy." Publicly announced, the policy held a meaning
that was not obscure. The Community was pledging itself to help any
Portuguese Government that reflected the Socialist and PPD victory
and the military "moderates."
As to whether the EC's conditional offer constituted interference in
Portuguese domestic affairs, Christopher Soames expressed the Com-
munity view as follows: "W17e have a free trade area agreement with
Portugal. and we don't have agreements of that character with any
country other than a democracy. We have an agreement with Greece
and when the colonels took over in Greece that agreement was frozen
and we just did not give any aid to Greece until they came back to
the way of democracy again." (For the sake of cogency, Soames
omitted that tlh( agreement with Port igal had been negotiated while
Portugal was a dictatorship.) Interference or not. the significance
of tlie EC decision was immediately obvious to the Lisbon leadership
and soon obe: ame known to the Portfmiuiese pul)lic. In the face of con-
tiiinuig (eonomic decline, the conditional promise of extensive aid

gave added strength to the voices of moderation, both civilian and
within the military, during the crucial sununer battle over the revolu-
tion's future. Whether the Community's posture played a major role
in the outcome was a matter of judgment. It was significa.,t in itself,
however, that many Portuguese thought that it d(lid. For those mod-
erates arguing that Portuguese socialism could and should be built
in a European context, the EC policy had provided an explicit
statement, generous yet rigorous, of what would be required.
In October, a month after the fall of the Goncalves government
led to creation of the "moderate" coalition under Admiral Azevedo,
the Community made good on its pledge. The EC's July announcement
had alluded to the figure of $700 million over 3 years. The amount
actually announced in October was lower-an immediate loan of $187
million in preferential loans from the European Investinent Bank, to
be guaranteed by the nine countries. But additional assistance in the
form of commodities and medicines was also offered to help Portu-
guese refugees returning from Angola. There was, moreover, the
promise of further, longer range assistance. Indeed, within weeks
EC technicians were arriving in Lisbon to assist in economic planning
and management, supplementing Portuguese skills which were sadly
deficient after decades of oligarchic and oligopolistic rule.
While the ultimate relationship between post-Salazar Portugal and
the Europeain Community now remains to be worked out over the
years ahead, the interaction thus far appears to have had a construc-
tive effect on both. By all indications, the Community's stance played
an affirmative role in turning the course of Portuguese events back in
the direction of "pluralist democracy"; and the EC's assistance itself
will likely provide Portugal considerable benefit during a difficult
economic transition. For the long term, there would seemi little doubt
that Portugal's interest lies in a growing association with the Euro-
pean Community; and the EC's policy, in its combination of firmness
and generosity, appears to have served that Portuguese interest by
encouraging both the political and economic conditions in Portugal
necessary for a sound relationship.
Equally important, however, has been the reverse effect: that of
the Portuguese revolution on the European Conm unity. Portugal
gave the opportunity-or forced-the EC to find a common foreign
policy under difficultt circumstances. The EC's 1bt-ic dilemmna-
whether to provide aid to encourage Portuguese democracy or to make
democracy a condition of aid- mixed for months with complicating
considerations of domestic EC politics to produce indecision. But
ultimately, the Coimmunity arrived at a prudent and i magnanimous
policy which not only became the most pronounced external influence
on Portugal (luriingr the revolution's decisive months, but also moved
the Community itself a firm step toward ber.)lling a unified inter-
national force.

Soviet and East European Interests
During the excitement that spread throughout Portugal in the weeks
after the April coup, leftist and labor groups-which suddenly con-
stituted the principal organized forces in Portugtiiesce civilian so-


ciety-emerged from clandestinity into clear and prominent view.
While it was inevitable, and also just, that these groups play an im-
portant role in the new Portuguese politics, their evident strength and
visible determination raised immediate concern in the West, particu-
larly in the United States. For although such forces had organized to
battle the old regime-a cause with which many, perhaps most, Ameri-
cans could sympathize-denotations of "Marxist" and "Communist"
quickly shaped the American perception, causing revolutionary Por-
tugal to be viewed not in its own complicated terms, but instead ab-
stractly as an erstwhile "ally" now imperiled by "instability." Even
as the. clear majority of Portuguese citizens continued to celebrate
the fall of Salazarism, American observers and policymakers-bur-
dened by little previous concern or knowledge about Portugal-were
growing increasingly alarmist, all the more as weeks passed and Por-
tugal failed to lapse quietly into the camp of prosperous and tranquil
social democracies.
The predisposition to cast Portugal in global, ideological terms was
only confirmed when it became apparent that the Portuguese Com-
munist Party was receiving financial support from the Soviet Union.
Soon in American discussion Portugal had become nothing less than a
cockpit of superpower rivalry; and it was a commonplace that the
Soviet Union, operating through surrogates, was attempting a "take-
over"-an assertion which, however baldly simplistic, gained easy
acceptance as geopolitical wisdom. Even later, when the Portuguese
Communists had fallen at least partially into eclipse, it was equally
common to hear of the "Soviet effort that almost worked." In the
process, what was generally overlooked was how ambiguous were the
Soviet, interests involved in the Portuguese revolution, how small was
the actual Soviet ability to influence events in Portugal, and how di-
verse were the attitudes about Portugal even among the countries of
the Communist "bloc."

That the Soviet Union would view Portugal's revolution with am-
bivalence was a truth readily discernible without recourse to the mys-
teries of high Kremlinology. Conflicting Soviet interests simply in-
hered in the Portuguese situation. On the one hand, of course, the
coup and the leftist orientation of much of the new Portuguese leader-
ship did suggest at least the possibility that Portugal might drift
from NATO into a neutralist or even pro-Communist posture, recep-
tive to a cordial relationship with the Soviet Union conceivably in-
volving military basing privileges or, in the extreme, formal ties of
alliance. On the other hand, however, stood a formidable constraint:
that any perceptible movement in this direction would raise the most
serious concern in Western Europe and the United States, thereby
jeopardizing a detente to which the Soviet leadership was committed
as a matter of fundamental national interest. Soviet activity in Tndo-
china and Africa was one thing; it would be quite another if the
Soviet Union were viewed as making advances within NATO itself.
Soviet officials could thus be certain that. even the appearance of a
Soviet "gain" in Portugal-an area perceived on both sides as involv-

ing vital Western interests-would entail liabilities on a far broader
Related to this "detente constraint" was the damage that flagrant
Soviet action would likely do to the prospects of Communist parties
throughout Western Europe. The future of these parties, of course,
was in itself a subject of growing ambivalence for Soviet policy-
makers. On the other hand, having long supported West European
Communist parties, Soviet officials could now see unmistakably that
these "allies" were steadily advancing toward a formal share in power,
particularly in Italy and France. But equally unmistakable was the
countervailing fact that even as they gathered strength- indeed, as
the very means of doing so-West European Communists were dis-
carding the basic tenets of old-fashioned Marxism. including the
need for a "proletarian dictatorship," in favor of a growing commit-
ment to Western democratic practice. Moreover, the Communist par-
ties of Western Europe were, in the proce-s, losing their orientation
toward Moscow. It was, in fact, becoming arguable that the advent
of genuinely cooperative Communist participation in WVest European
government, if and when it occurred, would constitute not a triumph
for the Soviet Union, as long expected, but rather a singular setback.
For such a development would not only further diversify world com-
munism, and thus dilute Soviet leadership in general, it would point-
edly undermine a proposition upon which the Soviet Union has long
relied to justify strict Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe: that
a strong Soviet hand is necessary to protect Eastern Europe from
communism's implacable enemies in the West.
How such Soviet concerns related to Portugal was complex indeed.
To the degree in which Portuguese Communists participated "demo-
cratically," they would be contributing to a process of Communist
diversification which Soviet policymakers could see as an increasing
danger. On the other hand, to the degree that the PCP behaved aggres-
sively, in the "Stalinist'" mode, it would threaten both detente and
the reputation of the West European Communist Parties to which the
Soviet Union was still habitually and ostensibly committed. These
very real and complicated considerations were bound to weigh heavily
and uncertainly as Soviet policymakers pondered any re'-ponse to the
Portuguese revolution.

While these ambiguities in Soviet interests were significant in indi-
cating that the Soviet Union would likely respond cautiously to
opportunities for "gain" in Portugal, such constraints were rendered
somewhat if not largely academic byv the very real limitations which
surrounded the actual Soviet ability to influence IPortuue-,, events.
For despite the common American perception of brash Soviet inter-
vention, there was in fact scant opportunity for a significant Soviet
role. Without doubt, a financial link connected the Soviet Union to
the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). But this in itself was
not unique, for the Soviet Union has long given financial as istance
to West European Communist Parties. Nor d(lid it Pve lPortural's Com-
munists a particular advantage, for groups on all sides in the Portu-


guese political struggle were receiving and welcoming outside support,
with only the slightest regard to appearances.1
The irony was that Soviet influence was limited for the same reason
it was .so easily overestimated: that at the very heart of Portuguese
events were the young officers of the MFA. about whom few outsiders
knew anything and whose purposes and affiliations were therefore
readily misunderstood. To be sure, by the time of the April coup, a
number of key MFA officers had developed decidedly Marxist views,
andl over the ensuing months such ideas blossomed often wildly among
their colleagues. But the MFA's Marxism, such as it was. was not an
international scheme but rather a rhetorical, at best vaguely con-
ceptiial. framework for reforming Portugal. Not. by all evidence, was
there ever in the long MFA debates any serious interest expressed in a
basic shift in Portugal's international alignment. Wh1at many out-
siders were not inclined to understand was that the Portuguese revolu-
tion was. in the most fundamental sense, an internal event, requiring
of foreign observers-as Prime Minister Goncalves told the NATO
ininisters in Brussels-"less apprehension and more comprehension."
Of course, for those officers such as Melo Antunes 2 who thought
seriously about the international implications of the revolution, a cer-
tain broadening of Portugal's general international perspective was
1)oth an obviolls and appropriate development. But this meant some-
thing quite different from simply a shift out of one camp into another.
Rather, as Antimunes and other MFA theoreticians reasoned, a new
Portugulese role in international life was inherent in the nature and
purpose of the coup. From a fascist. state at war to preserve its ex-
tensive colonial empire, Portugal had been transformed into a small,
underdeveloped country bent upon revolutionary change in its own
social and economic life. Whereas the fallen regime had been her-
metically closed, revolutionary Portugal now had a natural interest in
a 1 road range of associations-with the West for reasons of geography.
,ltHnire, and economic growth; with certain Communist states for
reasons of egalitarian ideology and general diplomacy; and also with
their Third World for reasons of shared poverty and aspiration. Such
an expanded and diversified international perspective was not seen,
however, as requiring a significant, alteration in basic security arrange-
ments-namely NATO-and certainly did not entail becoming a
Soviet dependency.
The plausible instrument of Soviet influence, if any, was the Com-
munist Party itself, directed by Alvaro Cunhal. But even this as-
-umed that Cunhal was siubservient to Moscow and would willingly
remain so should he ever succeed. There were. of course, strong indi-
c(ations-often explicit statements, given casually in interviews-of
Cunhal's acceptance of "proletarian dictatorsllip" as the ideal path
to revolutionm. It was Cunlial's tragedy that his many years in Salazar's
jails and then in exile had left him behind-still a hero to many
Portuguese leftit but dedicated to the agg-ressive, opportunistic
ta(,tics that other West European Communist leaders have gradually
repudiated. Yet however anarchronistic Cunhal's views, they were
SThe one donor fr-om which all parties sought assiduously to be disassoclated was the
Amenricin CIA. which was widely assumed to be an enemy of the revolution. Accusations
if CIA support thus became a common technique cif political attack.
Dr.ifrer of the original MFA program. later Portugiipse Foreign Mlinister and the
f*tficor who, frim the MFA's Inception, was to exercise the most sustained influence on
its intellectual direction.


indeed his own and thus hardly more controllable by Moscow than the
views of many other Communist leaders who have rejected Soviet
dominance. Without question. Cunhal's doctrinaire zealotry did lead
him into dependence upon the Soviet Union and its more reliable
satellites for outside support. But the reasons were at least as much
circumstantial as ideological: Cunhal's explicit refusal to adopt a
gi'adualist approach respectful of democraticc process, by alarming and
alienating his potential allies in the Communist parties of Western
Europe, left no possible outside support other than from Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union.1 Ultimately, whether the path to Portu-
guese revolution required allegiance of party or country to the Soviet
Union was, even for Cunhal, mo-t probably an open.question to be
answered pragmatically.
Although Western observers repeatedly expressed alarm about
"communist domination" of the Armed Forces Movement, the phrase
distorted much more than it conveyed. The relationship between the
Communist Party and the officers of the MFA was from the outset a
marriage of general convenience, which deteriorated into a marriage
of desperation-between the PCP and a limited number of MFA
officers-with the approach of the anniversary elections of April 1975,
and then quickly began to dissolve as MFA moderates asserted them-
selves during the summer. For the MFA, the appeal of the PCP was
always its willingness under Cunhal's direction to serve MFA pur-
poses; and if there was any "domination," it was in the subservience
of the Communists as they sought power as an appendage of the
Unquetionably, there was always within the MFA a temptation
toward totalitarian solutions-arising from a combination of the
nation's profound problems, the MFA's cynicism about political
parties, and the natural inclination among MFA officers to retain
control once they had acquired it. This tendency was at the heart of
the MFA debate through the winter of 1974-75 over the question of
whether the MFA should be "institutionalized" as a part of the
Portuguese political process; and was again, during the summer of
1975, the central issue in the great armvwide debate over the future of
the revolution and the IMFA. But outside observers too often over-
looked the diversity among those who wished to perpetuate a strong
MFA role. Otelo Carvalho.2 for example, favored a strong MFA con-
nection to far left groups that wished to build "popular power" from
the grassroots up. Melo Antunes, on the other hand, favored a
dominant and extended MFA role while a traditional democratic
process gradually evolved. Both-each a key MFA leader-strongly
opposed any disproportional Communist role in the government.
Over the long run,. the hope for Cunhal and the PCP-and, ten-
uously, for Soviet influence-lay in a strong Communist performance
in the elections of April 1975. For the bond in the MFA-PCP mar-
riage was the important civilian support the Communists could "de-
liver." The course of events, including Soviet actions, which might
1 In addition, certain pro-Soviet elements In the French Communist Party did serve as a
conduit for, If not a source of, outside support.
2 Military planner of the coup and head of COPCON, the national security force. Although
the New York Times chose at one point to describe him as Portunal'" Boria (after Stalin's
notorious executioner). Carvalho in fact openly d.(ir-,d the (C',miiimiini- as ,hirig "social
fascists," and there was no evidence that CO)CON was ever deployed in a brutal manner.
Indeed, from the point of view of MFA moderates ,.,.kiiig to restore order, the problem
was indeed that Carvalho often failed to deploy COPCON at all.

have followed an impressive Communist showing in the April elec-
tions mnust remain a matter of conjecture, even for Soviet policy-
makers. For as it happened, the electoral weakness of the PCP placed
the MFA-PCP marriage on a narrow ledge, able to continue only in
clear violation of the original MFA program. And while efforts in
this direction was made-largely because of the pro-PCP leanings of
Prime Minister Vasco Goncalves-these efforts, and Goncalves him-
self, fell finally in the face of overwhelming pressure, first from the
country at large and then from within the MFA itself, against any
subversion of the election result.

While Portugal was highlighting the Soviet dilemmas posed by
European Communist parties outside the Warsaw Pact, it was also
reflecting a significant diversity of attitudes among the Communist
countries themselves. Superficially, a general uniformity prevailed,
owing to the common conceptual framework by which Soviets and
East, Europeans tend to proceed from the same principles as employed
in the West but to find opposite meanings. "Support for Portugal's
democratic forces," for example, was generally interpreted in the
Communist countries to refer to the MFA, the PCP, and Portuguese
workers in general, whereas in the West the principle usually meant
support for the Portuguese Socialists and Popular Democrats. Like-
wise, while Western observers were condemning the Soviet "inter-
vention," meaning the outside financial support for Portuguese Com-
munists, the Soviet and East European press were focusing attacks
upon the presumed counterrevolutionary activities of the American
CIA and the considerable support being lent by West European
Socialists to their Portuguese counterparts. Beneath this surface
similarity among Communist nations, however, were real distinc-
tions-attributable, as in the West, to varying national perceptions of
At one end of the spectrum of Warsaw Pact attitude was East
Germany, which exhibited the strict doctrinaire approach of Com-
munist Party leader Eric Honecker and the continuing East German
imperative to maintain ideological contrast with West Germany, not-
withstanding the recent bilateral relaxation. Repeatedly, as the Por-
tuguese drama unfolded, Honecker expressed absolute support for
Cunhal, while attacking such Western leaders as Willy Brandt for
complicity in counterrevolutionary activities in Portugal. In accord,
East Germany served also as a principal channel, if not source, for
outside assistance to the Portuguese Communists. Neighboring
Poland, typically, was less dogmatic and more circumspect, appar-
ently supplying no material aid while publicly supporting the idea
of a successful "socialist" revolution in Portugal that would not
damage detente. During a visit to Portugal in early 1975, Polish
Communist Party leader Edward Gierek reportedly voiced this posi-
tion personally to both Goncalves and Cunhal, warning each against
draconian measures which would intensify outside concern.
Meanwhile, at the very opposite extreme from East Germany,
Romania was characteristically exhibiting an approach almost en-

tirely free of ideology. Apparently hoping to enhance the principle
of diversity-within-alliance, Romanian leaders advocated a coopera-
tive compromise among all of Portugal's competing leftist groups in
order that Portugal might pursue socialist advances while remaining
in NATO. Stressing his own independence, Romanian President
Nicolae Ceausescu cultivated the more moderate leftist groups in
Lisbon, including the Antunes Nine, who appeared to offer the best
hope of turning Portugal into a Western version of Romania-a
tolerated nonconformist. Outside the Warsaw Pact, Yugoslavia
evidenced a similarly nondoctrinaire, self-interested approach, indi-
cating hope that a socialist Portugal might eventually gravitate out
of the Western alliance, to join Yugoslavia in the "non-aligned" cate-
gory, independent of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Viewing
Cunhal as reckless and tied to Moscow, the Yugoslavs explicitly sup-
ported Soares and the Portuguese Socialists.
The significance of such differing policies consisted less in their
influence on Portugal, which was minimal, than in the variety itself.
Turned toward Eastern Europe, what the Portuguese mirror reflected
was the divergency of interests among the Warsaw Pact nations, and
that in turn provided pertinent emphasis to an essential, though often
neglected, geopolitical truth: that the Soviet Union's predominant
European concern is not to extend Russian power over Western
Europe, but rather to preserve it in Eastern Europe, against con-
tinuing centrifugal tendencies.
Given the complex implications of Portugal's revolution for this
and other Soviet interests, compounded by the perplexities of com-
prehending what was actually happening in Portugal, it is hardly
surprising that Kremlin politics were punctuated over the months
after April 1974 by an extended, sometimes heated, ideological debate
about the proper Soviet posture. Strict ideologues in the Soviet Polit-
buro-including such powerful figures as Suslov and Ponomarev-
inevitably saw the Portuguese Communist Party as a worthy exem-
plar of the hard-line, Moscow-oriented style which they hoped to
maintain in the Warsaw bloc and revive among Communist parties
in the West. But for Soviet pragmatists such as Party Secretary
Brezhnev, the PCP's grab for power plainly posed a most unwelcome
dilemma. Internationally, the appearance of Soviet support for the
aggressive methods of the PCP not only jeopardized detente but also
risked alienating Communist parties seeking democratic legitimacy
within the Western countries. On the other hand, to fail to display
strong ideological solidarity with the Portuguese Communists was
to foresake the Soviet Union's self-appointed role as protector of the
Communist faith-particularly important vis-a-vis Eastern Europe.
Within the context of Kremlin politics, moreover, to be overly prag-
matic was to become politically vulnerable domestically to those
within the Party preaching the ideological hard line. With such cross-
currents at work, internal Soviet dissent was unavoidable, and eventu-
ally discernible. Finally, indeed, it seemed reasonable for an outside
observer to conchlude-not that the Soviet Union had made a bold,
carefully calculated move in Portugal-but rather that Soviet policy-
makers may in fact have remained as chronically confused and un-
certain as those in the West.

American Policy Before the Coup and After
Although the United States is often characterized as having "main-
tained" the Salazar-Caetano regime and then as having sought to
undermine the revolutionary government which replaced it, such a de-
-cr)iption is con-iderably overdrawn. Portuguese fascism was scarcely
an American contrivance, nor through its long life was Salazar's New
State actively sustained by U.S. assistance, either economic or covert.1
As for the convulsion of events begun by the coup, the overturnings
in Portugal since April 1974 have been largely attributable to the
interaction of domestic forces, the principal though limited outside
influence having been the European Community.
But if not a decisive factor in Portugal, either before the coup or
after, U.S. policy toward this one country has nonetheless provided
a striking illustration of the broader priorities, principles-and short-
comings-of postwar American foreign policy. Both in its European
and African aspects, Portugal has reflected much about the official
American posture toward social change throughout the world. In
each area-Portugal and her colonies-the coup of April 1974 trig-
gered extraordinary human upheavals long in the making and little
subject to outside control. Yet in both areas, the United States re-
sponded as if the questions at issue had arisen overnight, as if ideology
were somehow separate from the forces at play in the social and
economic situation, and as if the sole American interest lay in blunt-
ing a dangerous Soviet advance. With a kind of sad inevitability, a
narrow and shortsighted ideological perspective placed the United
States, after the coup as it had been before, instinctively on the side
of reaction.
All policies, however expedient, have long-term consequences. Thus
it should have come as no surprise-though it seemed to nonetheless-
that it was U.S. policy toward Portugal before the coup which was
to have the most pronounced effect upon American concerns after the
old order had finally fallen. For it was that longstanding choice-
to ally with the Salazar-Caetano regime-which was at the root of
U.S. policy toward Portuguese Africa. And it was the latter policy
which in turn led directly to the inflamed "crisis of detente" that
aros-e over the war in Angola.
Although present fashion discounts as naive any analogy) with
Vietnam, the Angola situation in 1975 came quickly to resemble-at
least in its American dimension-the great superpower "test of will"
which U.S. policymakers assumed to be taking place in Indochina a
decade before. Not only was there similarity in the frenzied atmos-
phere of confrontation which characterized public discussion within
the United States. There was also. in the specifics of administration
pronouncements on Angola, a haunting similarity to the fateful state-
ments of Secretary of State Dean Rusk as he set out an American
policy toward Indochina built upon the single-minded insistence that
1 Th4 limnitd level of U.S. assistance to Portugal from 1946 to 1974 is shown in the ap-
pendix. RTgarding covert connections, PIPE (secret police) documents published
frnohwinc the coup Indicate the existence of direct links between the PIDE and the CIA.
.Tlie PIPE. however, hardly required U.S. assistance in conducting the domestic surveillance.
,'i iirvin. and torture at which it, by all accounts, excelled.

all difficulties would end only if the "other side would simply stop
doing what it is doing." The problem with this prescription, in the
southern Africa of the mid-seventies as in the Indochina of the mid-
sixties, was that it overlooked the historical background of the conflict,
what the "ether side" was, and why we were not on it.
Traced from the origins, U.S. policies toward French Indochina
and Portuguese Africa in fact show a similarity which is both ex-
tensive and instructive.1 In each case, the defense of postwar Europe
against the Soviet Union was perceived as justifying American sup-
port of an anachronistic colonialist regime. In the one instance, to
secure alliance with France immediately after World War II, the
United States supported the French reassertion of colonial rule in
Indochina. In the other, to secure Portuguese Azorean facilities
deemed important to Soviet containment, the United States cham-
pioned Portugal's entry into NATO in 1949, thereafter consciously
overlooking the fascist and colonialist character of the Portuguese
regime. In each case, an American policy- oriented toward buttressing
NATO aligned the United States against forces in the Third World
whose ultimate ascendency was virtually inevitable, although in
neither case were those forces inherently inimical to the United States.
In Indochina, after the Japanese defeat in 1945, Ho Chi Minh-
an admirer of American ideals-actively sought U.S. support against
the renewal of French colonialism; and similarly in Portuguese
SAfrica during the 1950's and 1960's liberation leaders made repeated
attempts-particularly during the Kennedy Administration where
there was some receptivity-to obtain American support for their
anticolonial efforts. In both cases, those solicitations proved unsuc-
cessful, as the United States fatefully chose to side with the European
power, in effect inviting a Soviet alignment with the forces of na-
tionalist liberation. Having thus been fostered, this alignment was
then promptly interpreted by U.S. policymakers as representing
global Communist expansionism, so that in each case an American
policy which began with a "European" justification grew lamentably
and inexorably into an ideological commitment-against Third World
liberation forces-that survived even after the colonizing power had
The results of this pattern of policy were, in Indochina, disastrous,
as the United States gradually committed a half million soldiers, and
eventually the national energy of a decade, seeking, with tragic irony
and immensely destructive effect, to defeat a movement which had
initially hoped for American support. In southern Africa in 1975,
the same pattern was again ominously visible after the Portugulese
withdrawal, as U.S. policymakers, having long acquiesced in Portu-
gal's use of NATO-designated men and materiel for colonial war,
undertook what amounted to a desperation effort to support an "anti-
Communist" Angolan faction, vehemently criticizing the Soviet
Union's involvement as a violation of the spirit of detente. What this
1 Misdrawn historical "lessons" have, of course, been the bane of recent American
foreign policy, which perhaps explains the current depreciation of references to Vietnam.
Nonetheless, striking parallels exist-particularly in the evolution of U.S. policy.

64-752 0 76 6

criticism omitted was that the Soviet Union, and also China-not to
mention several West European countries-had regularly for years
supported liberation groups in the Portuguese colonies, an "interven-
tion," a., it was, which had the active or tacit support of much of
Africa. Significant U.S. involvement, on the other hand, began only
after the Portuguese defeat, in a last-ditch effort to avoid the legacy of
past policy. This distinction, if veiled in American debate, was never
lost on African leaders. Even those with no Soviet or Communist sym-
pathies saw the sudden American concern as frantically ideological
and plainly hypocritical. History, as they were quick to point out,
did not begin yesterday. And their common question was, Where
had the United States been during the struggle for liberation? The
answer, of course, they knew: On the other side.1
The parallel evolution of U.S. policies toward Vietnam and Angola
did not, fortunately, require that the latter policy also be carried to a
disastrous conclusion; and the purpose of Congressional initiatives
forestalling further American military involvement in Africa was to
cut the parallel short. The premise for such action was an ordinary
idea which, in the American approach to Indochina, was never prop-
erly appreciated: that liberation forces do not fight against colonial-
ism merely so that upon victory they may deliver themselves into the
hands of superpower control, either Soviet or American. In Indochina,
as emotions on both sides ebb, there is every reason to believe that the
new regimes will be receptive to normal and proper relations with the
United States.2 Similarly, in Angola, there is no evidence that any new
government, whatever its composition, will be any more grateful for
oviet colonization than for Portuguese.3 With the "European con-
nection" severed by Portugal's defeat and withdrawal, the opportunity
now exists to shape a fresh American approach toward southern
Africa-divorced from alliance with Portuguese colonialism, free of
distorting notions of superpower rivalry, and oriented entirely to the
complex concerns and currents of the region itself. This might have
been done in Indochina after the French defeat, with immeasurable
but obviously immense benefit to the American interest, and the op-
portunity should not be missed in Africa.

If sudden decolonization in Portuguese Africa touched upon large
questions of American policy toward political change in the Third
World, the revolution within Portugal itself raised fundamental ques-
tions about change among America's European allies: specifically,
how the United States should respond to the mounting prospect of
Communist participation in the governments of Western Europe.
By the mid-1970's, the growing strength of Communist parties in
Italy, France, and Spain had brought to the horizon the clear possi-
bility of their eventual government participation. Thus in the spring
1 Expressing this policy most explicitly was the classified but now well-known National
Security Study Memorandum of the early Nixon administration, which concluded with a
nearly perfect lack nf prescience that white rule in Portuguese Africa. Rhodesila. and
Smiouth Afriea was unlikely to be overturned by black liberation activities and that U.S.
policy should therefore Involve closer ties to the existing white minority regimes.
SS.uch possibilities are discussed in some detail in my report to the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee following a January 1976 trip to Vietnam.
3 Indeed by July 1976. only months after the victory of the "pro-Soviet" MPLA, clear
*,videnecp was already available that Angola was moving toward nonalignment.


of 1974, when Portugal's revolution suddenly propelled Communists
into a NATO Government, although U.S. policymakers might have
been excused for not anticipating the specific event, the phenomenon
itself should have come as no surprise. Subsequently, as the Portuguese
revolution unfolded, there would be fair reason for outsiders to view
the authoritarian methods of the PCP with concern. Yet it was from
the very beginning-even as Spinola formed his first broadly based
government, including Cunhal-that U.S. officials adopted a negative
posture toward Portugal's revolution. It was clearly an attitude that
derived not from the PCP's methods, which were not yet evident, but
rather from an instinctive reaction to the Communists' name itself
and to the very fact that uncertain changes-however promising for
the Portuguese people themnselves-were obviously underway.
Two years later, as Prime Minister Mario Soares assembled the first
government under Portugal's new democratic constitution, the PCP
had been decisively repudiated by the Portuguese electorate. There
appeared, however, a significant probability that at some future point
Portuguese Communists and other far left groups would, after revis-
ing their methods and aims, play a role in governing Portugal. More-
over, in other West European countries with significant Communist
parties, particularly Italy, the likelihood of eventual Communist par-
ticipation had continued to increase. It therefore remained for U.S.
Spolicymakers to assess, in the most carefully objective way, the im-
plications-and perhaps opportunities-presented by the evolution
of West European Communist parties. Given the well-established
assumption that Communist participation would pci' se constitute
Sa Muscovite bridgehead into Western Europe, the prerequisite for such
analysis was clear: a willingness to discard stereotypes and examine
instead what is actually happening today.
For 30 years the Communist parties of Western Europe have lived
in a kind of political ghetto, their membership and influence remain-
ing limited despite good organization, discipline, and steady purpose.
Until recently, among the majority of party members, the Stalinist
heritage tended to live on, giving the parties a dogmatic, elitist charac-
ter which fared ill in the electoral contests of European democracy.
Indeed it was, for the most part, only where European fascism sur-
vived-in Spain and Portugal-that Communist parties showed
admirably, displaying genuine heroism during the prolonged under-
ground struggle against economic and political repression. Elsewhere,
in Italy and France. Communists built an appeal based upon rigid
class distinctions and successfully assembled a significant section of
the working class. But in neither country was the party ever able to
exploit its strength to achieve anything but local or regional office. To
most voters, the liturgical repetition of Communist dogmas seemed
I foreign if not fanatical, contributing little to the enrichment of na-
tional debate. And constantly in the background was the spectre of
the parties' uncertain connection to Moscow, a liability compounded
when the Soviet Union resorted to force to maintain control of
Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.
By the early 1970's, however, it had become evident that the Com-
munist parties of Western Europe were growing steadily more doubt-
ful about the efficacy of their tactics, and increasingly aware that, to
succeed, they must adjust to their political surroundings. What began,
as a result, was a gradual attempt-particularly by the parties in Italy,


Spain. and France-to break out of their isolation, to become more
attractive to groups outside their own ranks, and to gain credibility as
prospective democratic participants. To accomplish this, it soon be-
came apparent, required a shedding of the fundamental-indeed dis-
tinguishing-elements of Communist ideology. Yet the process,
spurred by the parties' long-frustrated desire to partake in power,
proceeded nonetheless. By skeptics, the parties' overt adjustments
would continue to be viewed as no more than a tactical device. But this
was to dismiss too quickly the most interesting possibility: that tactical
needs were inducing genuine change.
The hypothesis that such change has in fact occurred can best be
judged in terms of the three Marxist-Leninist principles around which
the battle between social democracy and communism has for decades
been fiercest. For however ludicrous to nonbelievers, these principles
have embodied the essential difference separating Communists from
Socialists. Their genuine abandonment by the Communist party in
any West European nation would thus mean no less than a removal
of the crucial barrier between the Socialist and Communist move-
ments-at least in that country-leaving them distinguished by name
and nuance but adjoined on the same democratic political spectrum.
First is the principle of "proletarian internationalism," a euphemism
for Soviet domination of the international Communist movement.
Through the entire post-Second World War history of European
communism, no more important thread is apparent than the steady
growth of intolerance for this idea-a trend accelerated, ironically, as
much by the principle's enforcement. as by its breech. Begun in Yugo-
slavia during the 1940's by Tito, the notion of "individual roads to
socialism" spread to the West in the mid-sixties when the concept was
championed by the Italian Communist leader Togliatti. Along the
way, the brutal Soviet repression in Budapest had caused serious em-
barrassment to Western Communist parties; and when Brezhnev
presented the principle of the Soviet Union's uncompromising
paternalistic supremacy as an absolute doctrine during the Czecho-
slovakian tragedy of 1968. it was plain that Communists in Western
Europe could no longer profess an ideological-political dependence
on Moscow and still hope to increase their domestic support.
From there the trend was inexorable; and today, in the final stages,
it must be acknowledged as a development of major historical con-
sequence that the most prominent West European Communist leader,
Enrico Berlinguer of Italy, now affirms his party's unequivocal sup-
port for the Italian commitment to NATO (through Berlinguer con-
tinues to note that Europe could be a better place without either
NATO or the Warsaw Pact). In France. moreover, the Communist
party under Georges Marchais has undertaken an unprecedented at-
tack on the existence of camps for political prisoners in the Soviet
Union and against the trials of Soviet dissidents. And the Spanish
party', led by Santiago Carrillo. now spares no effort to disassociate,
itself from Moscow. By 1976. if some singular demonstration of the
total decay of "proletarian internationalism" were desired, it was
available in midsummer during the long-postponed Berlin conference
of European Communists, when the Soviet Union-facing resistance
from Italy, France. and Spain. as well as from Yugoslavia and Ru-
mania-was unable even to have the phrase included in the final docu-
ment concerning Communist principles and aims.

Second, and of equal import, has been a steady decline in dedica-
tion within West European Communist parties to an eventual "dicta-
torship of the proletariat," a dogma never well calculated to attract
large groups of voters. In France, the Communists have joined with
French Socialists in a formal union of the left, which has already
neared an electoral plurality. In Spain, the Communist party has
joined in a broad antifascist front supporting the creation of Spanish
democracy. And in Italy, the well-known Communist aim is a "his-
torical compromise" joining the Italian Communists and the slightly
larger Christian Democratic party in organized governmental coopera-
tion. For all three Communist parties, the Portuguese revolution
provided a revealing barometer, as the PCP's unreconstructed tactics
quickly cast doubts throughout Western Europe as to the sincerity
of Communist parties' professions of democratic intent. The Italian
and Spanish parties responded decisively, castigating Cunhal and ex-
plicitly favoring Soares and pluralist Portuguese democracy. French
Communists, struggling to resist assimilation by a larger Socialist
Party, were by contrast ambivalent-caught at first between a desire
to affirm party identity by siding with Cunhal and a conflicting desire
not to be associated with the PCP's authoritarian tactics. The tempta-
tion to support Cunhal, however, was soon enough brought under
control when it proved a liability with French voters, and the overall
effect of the experience was, if anything, to push the French party
further toward complete commitment to democratic principle. For
all three parties, demonstrating allegiance to democracy has, of course,
necessitated a renouncement of the belief in revolutionary develop-
ment and an acceptance of reformist change in Western Europe. Thus
the "dictatorship of the proletariat" has been gradually deleted from
Communist rhetoric and texts, and is now quickly fading into the
history of the major Western Communist parties as little more than a
conceptual curiosity.
The third distinguishing principle fast disappearing from Western
Communist philosophy is that of "democratic centralism," the Lenin-
ist concept of an omniscient and omnipotent avant-garde embodying
the democratic will. Little has been needed to discredit this notion be-
yond the obviously stultifying, bureaucratic and not very efficient
character of the Soviet and East European regimes-unlikely monu-
ments to the virtues of benign central control. But even further under-
mining the idea's appeal is its basic inconsistency with the strong
populist movement, now prevalent throughout the Western industrial
countries themselves, toward a decentralization of power and the exer-
cise of influence at all levels of society. For West European Communist
parties seeking to present themselves successfully to voters, a litany
including "democratic centralism" has clearly become of little value
and, accordingly and not surprisingly, the concept has been unceremon-
iously shelved.
Much more than a matter of dry theory, the dissolution of these three
principles as tenets of the major West European Communist parties
marks a change of major historical proportion. That the ultimate con-
sequences of this evolution are both significant and as yet uncertain is
reflected in the common apprehension with which the change has been
viewed by the superpowers on both sides of the NATO-Warsaw Pact
alignment. Responding from habit, American observers have continued
to interpret electoral advance by Western European Communists as

potential gain for the Soviet Union. But to the Russians, the deeply
d(list tubing aspect of such supposed gains has been the metamorphosis
their "f.raternaal" parties have undergone in the course of seeking a
share in power.
In thlie resulting situation, a domino theory of Europe has become an
apt metaphor for describing the fears on each side. From the Western
perspect ive, the dominoes are the European democracies, and the threat
is of a Trojan-horse invasion whereby the NATO allies are toppled,
one by one, by Communist parties which assume a democratic cloak
but remain in reality Soviet surrogates dedicated to authoritarian aims.
Conversely, from the Soviet perspective, the dominoes are the East
European satellites, and the danger is of an invasion by contagious ex-
ample whereby Russian domination of the Warsaw Pact countries is
steadily weakened as the ideological disintegration of the West Euro-
pean Communist parties spreads eastward.
For U.S. policymnakers, the latter perspective has become well worth
considering. For in responding to the Communist parties of Western
Europe, it is precisely in seeking what. Soviet leaders fear that the
Western opportunity lies. If Communist parties were indeed to become,
normal government participants genuinely committed to the values of
West European social democracy, they would almost certainly in the
process become highly influential examples for Communist parties
within the Warsaw Pact. And if so, the greatest challenge to the Soviet
Union's heavy-ha tided control of Eastern Europe would then come not
from the armies of the Western Alliance, whose role is essentially de-
fensive, but rather from the transnational fraternity of Communist
parties themselves. Were this to happen-and events such as the Berlin
Conference of European Communists leave little doubt that the process
is well underway-history would find fine irony in seeing Western
Communist parties, once viewed as extensions of Russian influence,
become the principal medium for conveying democratic values back
into the Soviet domain.
A recognition on the part of American officials that West European
Communist parties represent an edge which may cut both ways need
not entail an attitude of self-delusion or wishful thinking. Nothing
indeed is called for beyond a practical approach. Though the eventual
significance, benign or otherwise, of the major Western Communist
parties remains unclear, there can be little doubt that the collective
response of NATO members, and importantly the United States, will
have much to do with the outcome. And it is, quite simply, impractical
to view West European Communists in terms of outdated stereotype
while ignoring their ideological reassessment.
If, of course, American objections to the West European Com-
munist parties derive from a fear of the socialist economic measures
they advocate, which might. indeed impinge upon the profit interests
of nsoni U.S. multinational corporations, then our policy is being
guided by the capitalist imperialism of which our worst enemies have
long accused us. But if, as we have always professed, our overriding
concern is to defend Western political democracy, then our standard
of judgment should be the commitment, of any West European Com-
mu1,nist party to genuine democratic practice. Properly understood,
this one criterion is sufficient for assessing both our political and our
geopolitical interests, for a commitment to democracy entails an un-
willingpiess to allow one's country to fall under the influence of such
an lnt idemnocratic force as the Soviet Union.

As to the matter of secrecy within NATO-a legitimate question
which immediately arises in discussion of Communist participation-
there is clearly no blanket answer. The issue ought, however, to be set
squarely in perspective. Even without Communist participation, the
NATO organization is recognized as being highly vulnerable to espio-
nage, and accordingly ad hoc procedures were long ago adopted by
major NATO members as the only logical means for the handling and
limited sharing of critical information. Given the operative presump-
tion of NATO's leakinesss," the advent of Communist participation
in a NATO-member government thus hardly implies sudden jeopardy
to vital secrets-an image sometimes invoked.1 The question of classi-
fied information is indeed a diversion. For the strength of NATO lies
much less in contingency plans prepared in Brussels-many of which
can be inferred even if not explicitly discovered by Soviet strategists-
than in the continued commitment of each NATO nation to fight in
the common defense. That commitment is determined not in the meet-
ing rooms of NATO headquarters, but in the political evolution of each
NATO member. And the way in which Communist participation
affects that commitment-favorably or unfavorably-ought to remain
the focus of Western concern.
Perhaps, in the final analysis, it is a matter of self-confidence. If our
belief in the superiority of social democracy, upon which Western
I policy has long been based, is in fact sincere, then it should not be too
difficult to believe that others could be persuaded of the validity of this
view. And if West European Communist parties have begun to profess
their belief in democratic freedom, if they are expressing a desire to
defend fundamental human rights, if they are displaying a determined
independence from Soviet influence and an acceptance of change
through gradual reform, should these developments not be seen as an
opportunity rather than as a threat? At least we should be willing to
take some comfort from the realization that if we are without power
to shape the internal politics of Europe, the Soviets suffer from the
same condition. And we should have some confidence, too, in the
democratic traditions and sensibilities of the people of Western
Europe. Communist parties there are finding that they can achieve
political respectability only by breaking loose from Moscow. To
respond with the conditioned reflexes of the 1950's is to both overstate
the danger and miss the chance to promote shared political values,
even among those with sharply different economic aims. At a mini-
mum, we can afford to be far less frightened than we have appeared to
be in recent years.
In adopting this approach, it may be wise not only to recognize the
impracticality of automatically excluding participation by the Com-
munist parties, but to acknowledge as well the possibility that they
may in fact have something positive to offer the political proce.zs. In
Italy, the effectiveness of local government under elected Communist
officials is widely respected, and has challenged the more moderate
parties to reform. And in a broader sense, it is clear that the socialist
ideas of communist doctrine-which are what remain when the totali-
tarian politics have been stripped away-hold a considerable relevance
to the needs and values of modern Europe. In Sweden, where demo-
cratic politics have been successfully joined with socialist economics
INATO procedures in regard to Portugal since the coup are discussed In the appendix.

to produce the world's most prosperous society,2 Prime Minister Olaf
Palme has expressed the idea well:
Communism or capitalism no longer represents a dream of
freedom for the peoples of Europe. How can communism at-
tract those who want to have a say in the decisions affecting
their workplaces, who want to develop local autonomy, want
to broaden their sphere of activity and get more and more
people involved in political life? And how can capitalism
attract those wlho want to replace the injustices of the indus-
trial society with economic democracy, the rapacity of the
market forces with solidarity and a healthy environment, for
those who see how repressive regimes draw their strength
from multinational corporations, how capitalism opposes the
struggle for liberation from colonial rule? . Were [the
reassessment of West European Communists] to go so far as
that they in deed as well as in word live up to their proclama-
tions of "no democracy without socialism, no socialism with-
out democracy," then they will have accepted not only Rosa
Luxemburg's basic doctrine on socialism but also the funda-
mental values of the Socialist International.
In Portugal, to be sure, a more openminded approach to Communist
participation would not necessarily have produced a dramatically
different American policy. For ultimately the tactics of the Portu-
guese Communists did not meet the test of democratic commitment.
uch an approach might, however, have precluded the negativism that
suffused the attitudes of U.S. officials virtually from the revolution's
beginning. It might, instead, have prompted judgment to be withheld
and inspired an objective curiosity about the complexity of an extraor-
dinary human event, as opposed to a pessimistic presumption of under-
standing. It might, in short, have caused Portugal to be viewed in its
own perplexing and poignant terms, rather than through the lens of
superpower rivalry-and might, for example, have caused Secretary
Kissinger some hesitation before discounting Mario Soares as Portu-
gal's unwitting Kerensky and prevented still other affronts which for
determined Portuguese democrats became an embittering provocation.
And, finally, it might have allowed more naturally of the possibility
that the Portuguese people themselves could, with support from mag-
nanimous allies, find their own way to a better life.
Eventually, in Portugal, the question of Communist participation
was-at least for a period-decided by the ebb and flow of internal
events. But for Western Europe as a whole, the issue is unlikely to
disappear. And so the question remains whether American inter-
ests will truly be served by a policy based upon adamant and uncondi-
tional opposition to government participation by any European
party-however popular, efficient, and committed to democratic prac-
tice-which, for reasons of historical origin and socialist belief, bears
the name of Communist. Would not a wiser course be to focus far less
on whether Communists participate and far more on what they stand
for when they do? In posing the question of Communist participation
in the governments of NATO, the Portuguese revolution had only
l)roached this rising issue, whichli will. in the not distant future, demand
the most creative and prudent response from American foreign policy.
2 RTPcpnr ppr capita Income statistics put Sweden and Switzerland in first place, while
the United States shares fourth place with Denmark.


CDS-Center Social Democrat Party (Centro Democratico Social).
COPCON-Operational Command for the Continent (Comando Oper-
ational do Continente).
DGS-Directorate General of Security (Direccao Geral de Secur-
anca, successor of PIDE).
FNLA-National Front for the Liberation of Angola (Frente Na-
cional de Libertacao de Angola).
FRELIMO-Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente de
Libertacco de Mocambique).
MFA-Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forcas Armadas).
MPLA-Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. (Movi-
mento Popular de Libertacao de Angola).
PAIGC-African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape
Verde Islands (Partido Africano Para a Independencia da Guine
e de Cabo Verde).
PCP-Portuguese Communist Party (Partido Communista Portu-
PIDE-International Police for Defense of the State (Policia Inter-
nacional e de Defesa do Estado).
PPD-Popular Democratic Party (Partido Popular Democratico).
PS-Socialist Party (Partido Socialista).
UNITA-National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
(Uniao Nacional Para a Independencia Total de Angola).


(Proclaimed April 25,1974)
Whereas. after 13 years of fighting in the overseas territories, the
prevailing political system was unable to formulate, concretely and
objectively, an overseas policy which would lead to peace among
Port iuguese of all races and creeds;
Whereas, the definition of that policy is only possible through the
revision of the present domestic political system and its institutions,
by turning them, through democratic process, into unquestioned rep-
reeVjltatives of the Portuguese people;
Whereas, the replacement of the present political system should be
pursued without internal disturbances that affect the nation's peace,
progress and welfare;
The Portuguese Armed Forces Movement, in the deep conviction
that it interprets the aspirations and interests of the overwhelming
majority of the Portuguese people and that its action is fully justi-
fied on behalf of the salvation of the fatherland, does, making use of
the strength which is conferred on it by the nation through its
soldiers, proclaim and pledge to guarantee the adoption of the fol-
lowinilg measures, a platform which it understands to be necessary
for the resolution of the deep domestic crisis which Portugal is now
1. A Junta of National Salvation shall exercise political power until
the formation, within a short period of time, of a civil provisional
government. This junta shall choose the President and Vice President.
2. The Junta of National Sal-at ion shall decree:
(a) The immediate removal of the President of the Republic
and of the present Government; the dissolution of the National
A.senmbly and of the State Council; and measures that will lead
to the convocation, within a period of 12 months, of a Constituent
Nation-al Assembly, elected by universal suffrage, direct and
secret. ini accordance with an election law to be drawn up by the
provisionaIl government.
(5) The removal of all civil governments on the continent,
governors of the autonomous districts on the outlying islands,
and the governors-general in tlhe overseas provinces, as well as
the immediate abolition of the National Action Party [the gov-
ernment-sponsored party].
(1) The governments in the overseas provinces will be
taken over )by the respective general secretariats, until the
in riing of governors-igreneral by the provisional government.
(2) TIe affairs of these civil governments will be handled
by tlie respecti-ve legal substitutes, until new governors are
lim:rIed by the provisional government.

(c) The immediate abolition of the domestic D.G.S., Portu-
guese Legion, and youth political organizations. Overseas the
D.G.S. will be restructured by being organized as police for mili-
tary intelligence, as long as military operations require it.
(d) The surrender of individuals guilty of crimes against the
established political order to the armed forces for trial and
sentencing process.
(e) Measures that permit rigorous vigilance and control over
all international economic and financial operations.
(f) Immediate amnesty for all political prisoners, except
those guilty of common crimes who will be handed over to the
appropriate forum, and the voluntary reinstatement of state
servants who were removed for political reasons.
(g) The abolition of censorship and preexamination.
(1) Recognizing the necessity of safeguarding military
secrets and preventing disturbances in public opinion caused
by ideological aggrtssion by the more reactionary media, an
"ad hoc" commission will be created for the control of the
press, radio, television, theater and cinema. The commission
will be directly dependent upon the Junta of National Sal-
vation and will be kept in operation until the publication of
the new press, radio, television, theater, and cinema laws by
the provisional government.
(h) Measures for the reorganization and revision of the armed
(i) Measures for the control of the borders, which shall be
among the duties of the armed forces until a suitable service is
(j) M.easures that lead to the effective fight against corruption
and speculation.

1. Within 3 weeks after taking power, the Junta of National Sal-
vation shall choose, from among its members, the person who will
exercise the functions of President of the Portuguese Republic and
will hold powers similar to those provided in the present Constitution.
The remaining members of the Junta of National Salvation will exer-
cise the functions of chief of staff of the armed forces, chief of staff
of the navy, chief of staff of the army. and chief of staff of the air
force: and they will be part of the Council of State.
2. After assuming his duties, the President of the Republic will
name the provisional civil government, which will be compoed of
representative persons from political groups and trends and inde-
pendent personalities who identify with this proiIram.
3. During the period of emergency, imposed by the historical neces-
sity of political transformation, the Junta of National Salvation shall
be maintained for safeiguarding the objectives herein proclaimed. The
period of einmeriency will end as soon as. in accordance with the new
Political Constitution, the President of the Republic and the legisla-
tive assembly are chosen.
4. The Provisional Government will govern through Decree Laws
which will abide by the spirit of this proclamation.


5. The Provisional Government, having in mind that fundamental
reforiis can only be adopted under thle auspices of the future con-
stituent National Assembly, will immediately promote:
(a) The study and application of preparatory measures of an
economic, social and cultural nature to guarantee the future exer-
cise of true political freedom by citizens.
(b) The freedom of assembly and association. In the applica-
tion of this principle there will be permitted the formation of
political associations. possible embryos of future political parties;
and syndical freedom will be guaranteed in accordnace with a
special law that will regulate its practice.
(c) The freedom of expression and thought of any form.
(d) The enactment of a new press, radio, television, theater,
and cinema law.
(e) Measures and provisions aiming to assure, within a short
period, the independence and the dignification of the judicial
(1) The special courts shall be abolished and the criminal
process in all its pases shall be dignified.
(2) The crimes committed against the State in the new
regime will be heard by a judge who considers only questions
of law, and will be tried in common courts, with the defend-
ants being given every guarantee.
Investigations will be entnirusted to the judicial police.
6. The Provisional Government will create the foundations of:
(a) A new economic policy, geared to the interests of the
Portuguese people, in particular to those strata of the population
less favored until now, having as its immediate concern the
struggle against inflation and the excessive size of the cost of
living, which will of necessity imply an antimonopoly strategy.
(b) A new social policy which, in every field, will have as its
essential objective the defense of the interests of the working
classes and the progressiv-e, but accelerated, increase in the quality
of living of all Portuguese citizens.
7. The Provisional Government will be guided in the matter of
foreign policy by the principles of independence and equality between
States. of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries,
and of the defense of peace, by broadening and diversifying interna-
tional relations based( on friendship and cooperation.
(a) The provisional government will respect international
commitments resulting from treaties which are in force.
8. The overseas policy of the provisional government, having in
mind that its definition will be up to the nation, shall be guided by
the following principles:
(a) Recognition that the solution to the overseas wars is
political and not military.
(b) Creation of conditions for a frank and open discussion, at
the national level, on the overseas problem.
(c) Creation of the foundation for an overseas policy that
will lead to peace.
* *
1. As soon as the Constituent National Assembly and the Presi-
dlent of the Republic are elected by the nation, the Junta of National