Machel, Samora Moïsès

Machel, Samora Moïsès

(səmôr`ə moizĕsh` məshĕl), 1933–86, president of Mozambique (1975–86). Machel joined the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) in 1962, led its guerrilla forces by 1968, and in 1969 became president of the organization. In 1975, Frelimo gained power in independent Mozambique without elections, and Machel became president. Committed to creating a Marxist state, Machel was faced with extreme economic difficulties, including dependence on a hostile South Africa, unreliable Soviet aid, civil war in neighboring Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and a South African supported guerrilla resistance. Popular throughout his rule, he died in a plane crash.