Captains' Revolution

Captains' Revolution,

coup staged (Apr. 25, 1974) by military officers who opposed Portugal's policy toward its African territories. By early 1974 dissatisfaction with the debilitating, seemingly endless war in Africa, and with compulsory four-year military service, together with political suppression and a deteriorating economy, resulted in growing unrest and increased urban guerrilla activity within Portugal. Inspired by Gen. António de Spinola's popular book Portugal and the Future, an organized group of officers toppled Prime Minister Caetano's government, encountering a minimum of resistance from loyal forces and widespread acceptance from the people. As head of the ruling military junta, Spinola implemented a policy of decolonialization. In 1975, the leftist government of Portugal granted independence to Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde. The Asian territory of Macao (now again part of China) was granted partial autonomy in 1976; the Chinese refused to accept the return of the territory in the mid-1970s.
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For a reader of Salminen's age, the allusions will bring back the past: the Czech self-immolator Jan Palach, the suicide of Hjalmar Gullberg, Allende, Moshe Dayan, Fanfani, Paul VI, the Captains' Revolution in Portugal, a picture from the White House in May 1975, with Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger rejoicing at Cambodia's return of the freighter Mayaguez, even the word "hippie.