50 years of the carnation revolution



In April 1974, this revolution began a process of dissolution of the State apparatus, the result of a worker and popular mobilization without parallel in post-war Europe.

Fifty years ago, in Portugal, the Carnation Revolution shook Europe and the world. In April 1974, this revolution began a process of dissolution of the State apparatus, the result of a worker and popular mobilization without parallel in post-war Europe. At the end of the year, the US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, informed the authorities of the main European powers of the United States' intention to invade Portugal, to prevent the emergence of a “new Cuba” in the middle of Europe.

The extreme intervention of the French president, Valéry Giscard D'Estaing, avoided this extreme, against the promise of containing the revolution through a reconstruction of the Portuguese Armed Forces. The revolutionary war in Vietnam was the central event of this era; it ignited panic in the USA about a worldwide expansion of communism. Kissinger even exposed a “vaccine theory”, which should be applied in Portugal to immunize Europe against communism.

The Portuguese regime, installed in 1926 under the leadership of António de Oliveira Salazar and headed half a century later by Marcelo Caetano, put an end to the sixteen years of the First Portuguese Republic. It was a corporatist-fascist dictatorship with a central role of the political police, the PIDE (International and State Defense Police), responsible for repressing opposition to the “Estado Novo” regime, a peculiar Portuguese form of corporatism, installed in the decade that witnessed worldwide the rise of fascist movements, when, in Portugal, “the time of conflicts and class struggle would end in favor of the 'national interest', the only one to give cohesion to all”.

In the Portuguese case, this path occurred, not through the creation of militias and brigades as in the fascist examples, but through the State. First through the Armed Forces, responsible for the overthrow of the 'anarchic republic'. “Then through the repressive apparatus of the State itself in the vigilant action of its political police”.[I] PIDE's activity covered even the most intimate places of the Portuguese, family disputes, but it intervened with particular force in labor conflicts. 200 thousand people, 3% of the country's population, worked in one way or another for PIDE, which had an archive with three million records, a number equivalent to almost half of the Portuguese population. Portugal was, therefore, a police state. PIDE had 2.286 agents in 1974, but it paid between 10 and 12 thousand people, including informants. The head of state granted a daily audience to the head of PIDE from 1962 onwards.

At the beginning of 1974, in February, however, the regime publicly showed its cracks, with the publication of Portugal and the future, by António de Spínola, by Editora Arcádia. The author, military man and former governor of Guinea-Bissau advocated, after thirteen years of the “Overseas War”, a political and non-military solution as a way out of the colonial conflict. The regime responded with the dismissal of generals António de Spínola and Francisco da Costa Gomes from the positions they held in the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Marcelo Caetano asked the President of the Republic to resign, who did not accept it.

Just two months later, with the beginning of the Carnation Revolution following a military action on April 25, which paved the way for a huge popular mobilization, forcing the government to resign, PIDE was extinguished and several of its main leaders were arrested. More than 1.500 arrests of PIDE/DGS members and informants occurred between April and October 1975. At the end of 1976, their trials began in the Military Court, with the judges being extremely benevolent towards former PIDE members.

The beginning of this sequence was a literal implosion of the State, which paved the way for the beginning of a social revolution. In April 1974, a process of dismantling the corporate State began due to the crisis in the Army, with its young officers forming the MFA (Armed Forces Movement), against the military hierarchy. The motivation of the group, initially called the “Capitães Movement”, was opposition to the police regime and the Portuguese colonial war. These wars were the largest in scale in African history.

The Portuguese military faced serious operational problems: there were three theaters of operations (four with Cape Verde). In Guinea: landlocked plains in Senegal and Guinea Conakry. In Cape Verde: mountains. In Angola and Mozambique, national liberation guerrilla movements with popular support. Neocolonialism clashed with guerrilla insurgencies. Portugal could not abandon direct colonial rule in exchange for maintaining economic domination; it was an economically dependent country, but with sources of colonial accumulation.[ii]

However, it was the military defeat in sight that caused the Armed Forces to abandon their colonialist commitment, turning against the regime. For the military, it was not initially about carrying out a revolution, but rather a military coup to save their “dignity” against a regime that exposed them to a dishonorable defeat and the shame of being responsible for the end of the colonial empire. On March 16, 1974, officers left Caldas da Rainha with the aim of overthrowing the dictatorship: the “Caldas Uprising”, however, failed.

However, he showed MFA officials that their only option was a coup d'état, beginning preparations for the seizure of power. On April 25, Caetano's dictatorship was overthrown in less than 24 hours, with almost no bloodshed. Political prisoners were released from Caxias and Peniche prisons; PIDE, already renamed by Caetano as General Directorate of Security (DGS), was destroyed, as was censorship. Attacks were launched on the newspaper's headquarters The Season, the regime's official newspaper. The regime's symbols were destroyed by the population within a week, giving strong popular support to the MFA. The Armed Forces, former agents of repression, protagonists of a colonial war and defenders of the regime, seemed to side with the exploited people, including with the prospect of taking Portugal to socialism.

Decisive popular actions aimed to control the media and overthrow the government. The population took to the streets and changed the dynamics of the military coup, taking it beyond its initial intentions. His actions (release of political prisoners, occupation of daycare centers, companies, purification in universities) only had the support of the MFA because the popular sanction was exactly what restored, in practice, the lost military dignity. However, the resumption of the justification of the Armed Forces was achieved by breaking the military hierarchy and disobedience towards senior officials.

This was the crucial problem of the Revolution: carried out in the name of military dignity, it contrasted its popular legitimation with state legitimation. Since the State apparatus was temporarily disorganized, only the population was enough for MFA officials. However, this created a contradiction in the movement between the legitimacy of its actions and the hierarchy of the Armed Forces.

April 25th brought a wave of ideas and actions that were intended to go far beyond what the National Salvation Junta that took power in the name of the Armed Forces Movement could (or wanted). From vegetarians to Maoists, from homosexuals to ecologists, from feminists to Trotskyists, everyone was able (or believed they could) practice their hopes. The Maoist MRPP imitated the dazibaos, huge Chinese posters, with large wall newspapers.

The walls of Lisbon were filled with large paintings, as if the militants were in the midst of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Photographs of these murals reveal that they were made by various political groups. Publishers began to release banned or withdrawn books, translations ready but censored, and a wave of titles from the extreme left, from Mao to Guevara and Marx, essays on sociology, politics, overseas war, making the movement of sales suddenly increase by 60%.

Numerous grassroots organizations have emerged in civil society. Most of them around the revolutionary process. Ronald Chilcote scored 580.[iii] At least thirteen were political bodies made up of members of the Armed Forces, from associations of ex-combatants from overseas to relatives of military personnel or soldiers or officers on active duty or retired. Official bodies, such as the Armed Forces Movement itself, the Continental Operational Command, and others, were, in fact, political institutions of the Armed Forces. The 1st Artillery Regiment, for example, became known as the “red regiment” for the support it gave to Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho’s actions.[iv]

Several actions affirmed the autonomy of the social bases of the revolution: the popular movement that already on April 25th occupied homes, daycare centers and political prisons; the organized movement of rural and urban workers that often surpassed the limits imposed by their union and association representations; the MFA itself, whose soldiers and low-ranking officers put the Army's unity at risk as a guarantor of order. The popular movement was not the transmission belt of any party.

Charles Downs demonstrated that the political orientation of residents' committees, for example, had a radical or reformist political action due to their participation in mobilizations around basic problems that resulted in conflict with the government and not due to prior orientation from organizations of far left.[v]

The strikes exceeded the Communist Party's expectations, totaling 734 between April 25th and the coup attempt on September 28th. At the Lisnave shipyards, where 8.500 people worked in the main plant (and almost 13 in attached companies), the victories of the first strikes were spectacular. Partial strikes in Lisnave had begun in February 1974. Soon after April, workers obtained 7.200 escudos in minimum wage, and 5.000 for canteen staff, who earned 2.500 escudos (a 100% increase). Apprentices began to receive 6.800 escudos per month, 7.200 after six months. No salary adjustment above 15 thousand escudos, and reinstatement of all those dismissed for political or strike reasons. A total victory.

The workers' struggle was also political: on February 7, 1975, the workers' committees in Lisbon called for a street demonstration against NATO's naval maneuvers off the Portuguese coast. The demonstration was banned, but the soldiers who were supposed to guard it saluted it with their fists raised. On May 15, an MFA meeting declared that the February demonstration had been supported by the movement. But the Council of the Revolution, after a six-day closed meeting, issued a declaration stating that the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and the “workers’ militias” “do not coincide with Portugal’s pluralist socialism”. Struggles in companies and the emergence of factory councils led socialists and communists and the MFA itself to try to control the union movement. The MFA coup had been preemptive. Captain Maia, one of his executors, declared: “We had the feeling that we were heading towards an abyss that would end in civil war, in which the people would arm themselves”…[vi]

The fundamental objectives of the MFA were summarized in the so-called three “Ds”: Decolonization, Development and Democracy. Decolonization was the military's main demand. It was about putting an end to the empire and rescuing the legitimacy of the Armed Forces. To do so, they needed to change their function: stop being the mainstay of the empire and become the basis for the transition from colonialism in Africa to some new “European” political role. National goals conflicted with “imperial” ones, as the main national institution needed to maintain its corporate integrity without losing the war. The war was already strategically lost. Therefore, the MFA proposed some type of economic (and social) development that would be a substitute for the economy that had become a transmission link between the colonies and the central countries (Europe and USA).

Even though that economy was increasingly of interest to just a handful of colonialists who profited directly as owners of land and investments in Africa or as “transporters” or grantors of exploitation of African wealth, the majority of the nation found no safeguard in that structure. The development of the scarce productive forces of a semi-peripheral capitalism tended to find its possibilities for subaltern expansion in Europe (and not in Africa).

To the central countries and the colonies themselves (whose foreign trade increasingly dispensed with Portugal as a destination market) it seemed much more licit to remove the colonialist veil that covered the real exploitation of Portuguese Africa by international oligopolistic capital in order to leave two clear solutions: the anti-colonial social revolution or adaptation within the framework of a “dependent and associated capitalism”.

Democracy was the inevitable corollary of the end of the empire. She was the antipode of the fascist dictatorship. As the political superstructure was the obstacle to another form of expansion of modern or capitalist production relations (whether dependent on Europe or socialist transition), democracy was the battering ram that would bring down the colonial empire as a whole. But which democracy? Around its meaning, the chess pieces moved in the revolutionary process. A “popular democracy” under the leadership of the PCP; a council democracy; the coexistence of direct and indirect forms of action; a liberal representative democracy (with greater or lesser social content): these were the main options (although not the only ones).

The three “Ds” imposed the strategic framework for revolutionary action. It is within it that the political-military forces could establish their tactical maneuvers. But the strategic framework does not just impose limits, it also opens up possibilities. The Revolution is the acceleration of historical time in a space that suddenly becomes transparent. The options seem pushed to the limit and this allows us to see all the social contradictions. This is why revolutionary processes increase the political consciousness of millions of people overnight (or the opposite, in the case of April 25th: literally overnight…).

Not only organizational pluralism, but also that of ideas (especially those of the extreme left) entered the barracks. Thus, the Military Discipline Regiment was called “fascist”. The use of a single restaurant for officers and enlisted personnel became widespread. Indistinctly. This picturesque fact also revealed a spirit that could not survive without attacking the mentality that guaranteed military discipline. It was the ideology of “a democratic army”. With this title, the Armed Forces Movement newspaper intended to institutionalize a new understanding of hierarchy.

It was the institutionalization of the MFA itself, which defined itself as the “political vanguard of the Armed Forces”, and which now had its assemblies of unit delegates (ADU). Command advisory and support bodies. The commander was, due to his nature of hierarchical superiority, the head of the ADU. Also attended by delegates from AMFA – Assembly of the Armed Forces Movement. But who was in charge?

“It is important to emphasize that the ADU in no way calls into question the command’s decision-making authority and responsibility.” However, “the commanders, in turn, must be the first militants of the MFA, always bearing in mind that the aim is not to restore an outdated military institution, but rather to create a new one, in order to move towards a competent, democratic and revolutionary army , placed at the service of the people and capable of corresponding to the socialist society that we want to build” (Directive for the democratic structuring of the MFA in military units and establishments).

This persistent ambiguity between corporatism and political leadership, between internal democracy and discipline, between tradition and revolution appeared in the expressions, in the words, in the creative combinations: “conscious discipline and dynamic hierarchy”, “consensual discipline”, “ persuasion prior to order”, “revolutionary will and discipline”.

What was being discussed was the “total integration of the Armed Forces in the spirit of the MFA”, which would be achieved through “enlightenment and politicization of the Armed Forces”. At the same time, this document spoke, paradoxically, of “a high level of discipline, cohesion and effectiveness”. Defining the MFA in the structure of the Armed Forces was just another of the impossible tasks of the Revolution. This would only be possible, it was thought at the time, when the MFA could be spread throughout the Armed Forces and there was a coincidence of political positions. In other words, “in the medium term”! An intellectual, ideologist of the so-called “group of nine”, Major melo Antunes, questioned this ambiguity of which he himself was a victim and agent: “The current situation of military anarchy was, to a certain extent, the result of our mistakes, or, more precisely, of our illusions; we believed that a democratic political structure could be installed in the Army”.

The revolutionary military fed on a poetry taken from the past, preaching some order, some hierarchy and some discipline; In order not to break with what the Armed Forces were and could not stop being, they eagerly looked for models, such as Velasco Alvarado's Peru. There were articles about the military coup in Peru and its military, nationalist and popular government. In the catalog of the publisher Prelo, there was the book Peru: two thousand days of revolution. Paradigms of revolutions made by military personnel. And also negative models, like Chile: a tragic military revolution.

For the MFA, the Chilean military committed crimes against its own people. They opposed the Peruvian military, who carried out “an original military revolution”. Another model was the revolution in Algeria. It is true that these models reflected more the spirit of the Fifth Division, where the officers closest to Colonel Vasco Gonçalves were housed. But Cuba was also discussed. The visit to Cuba by Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, photographed on a military car ride with Fidel Castro, caused a stir. Movement, the Armed Forces newsletter, ran a headline: “The MFA in Cuba.” In May 1974, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution appeared in several industrial companies in Lisbon (similar to their Cuban counterparts), linked to the Portuguese Communist Party.

There were six governments during the “Carnation Revolution”: I, II, III and IV had the participation of the PS (socialists), PCP (communists), PPD (popular-democrats) and the military, V was mainly supported by military personnel close to the PCP and VI had all parties, but were politically dominated by the PS and military allies. The first revolutionary phase witnessed three coup attempts, the first on July 10, 1974 and September 28 of the same year. The III provisional government, initiated in October 1974, was marked by the rise of popular struggles. The last coup attempt in this series, on March 11, 1975, also failed.

The three coup attempts, therefore, failed. After the frustrated coup in March, the revolution deepened: at PCP rallies, its militants complained, shouting while their leaders spoke, “out with PPD”, that is, the break with the policy of “national union”, which was the of his party since the beginning of the revolution. The revolution became politicized and began to show a less benign face, after the period symbolized by the nails on soldiers' rifles.

On April 25, 1975, the first anniversary of the revolution, elections for the Constituent Assembly took place, with 92% voter turnout. The PCP and the PS, the main left-wing parties, jointly obtained (but presented separately) 51% of the total votes. The CDS, which proposed a return to the old corporate regime, only obtained 7,65%. The elections reflected, albeit in an indirect and certainly distorted way, the power relations in the country. The MFA felt its impact.

The restructuring of the correlation of forces in the MFA in September 1975 led to the creation of a group coming from an alliance between the Socialist Party, the “Group of Nine” and the right, a second group coming from the military left, very favorable to third-party theories. -worldists, who proclaimed the objective of “reaching socialism”. A third group was made up of military personnel who were in favor of the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party) and its policy of rebuilding the MFA, as well as a PS-PCP-MFA coalition.

Thus, the impasse caused by civil disputes led the MFA to divide into three main sectors. The one guided by popular power was linked to COPCON (Continent Operational Command) and headed by Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, whose popularity grew due to the dissemination of his role in commanding the military operations of the 25th of April; the second was attached to the government apparatus headed by the charismatic Colonel Vasco Gonçalves, the only senior officer committed to the Captains Movement before the seizure of power; the third was close to the socialists and had a moderate view of the revolutionary process, he was allied with Major Melo Antunes, one of the authors of the MFA program.

In 1975, divisions within the MFA were accentuated with the publication, in August, of the Revolutionary Self-Criticism of COPCON, where popular power was defended. The streets were filled with protesters. Workers' committees began self-management experiments in some companies and several strikes were called, new occupations of houses in Lisbon, the demand for agrarian reform. At the end of 1975, 25% of Portugal's arable land was managed by cooperative production units. On January 13, 1975, the law of union unity was approved, proposed by the PCP, which recognized the Intersindical, dominated by the communists, as the only legitimate workers' central - the MFA looked to the PCP (which between June and September had doubled in size and had one hundred thousand members) the instrument for maintaining order in the effervescent “world of work”, prone to repressed wage demands.

The wage share in national income jumped from 34,2% in the year immediately before the revolution to 68,7% at the end of it.[vii] Political parties sought to organize, direct or control the autonomous initiatives of the working class: “There were several ways of having a force within this process, which is reflected in the councils created in Lisbon (the Popular Assembly/Lisbon Commune) and Setúbal (Comité de Luta) that articulated CTs and resident committees and then soldier committees. The most important will be the coordinator of CIL – Cintura Industrial de Lisboa. But there are also others more directly affected by the parties, such as the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs), linked to the PCP; of the Revolutionary Councils of Workers, Soldiers and Sailors (affiliated with the PRP-BR). And also the 1st National Congress of Workers' Committees (directed by the MRPP, but also with the presence of the PRT)”.[viii]

They were groups of different conceptions: the Proletariat Party Reorganization Movement was Maoist; the Trotskyist Workers' Revolutionary Party. The Portuguese Communist Party was more vocal in defending the political stability of the new order and acted to curb grassroots radicalism in defense of the “battle of production”.

On November 7 and 8, 1975, there was a meeting of the Workers' Committees of the Industrial Belt of Lisbon, where the issue of workers' control and national coordination of workers' committees focused attention. The IV Government (dominated by the PCP), and the Council of the Revolution, after taking control of the banking sector, placing under state protection a sector subject to workers' control, adopted the strategy of the “battle of production”.

Sworn in as Prime Minister of the V Provisional Government, Vasco Gonçalves was the target of growing opposition. Two days later, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho banned him from visiting the military units integrated in COPCON and asked the general to “rest, rest, be calm, meditate and read”. The country was on fire with political struggle and the escalation of violence against PCP headquarters and far-left parties, especially in the north and center of the country. Until the crisis of November 25, 1975, there was a struggle between the policies of each of the three political-military groups.

In the same period, “between September and November 1975, there was a gradual construction of embryonic forms of coordination of workers' control at a national level: exponential development of the strength of workers' committees and the preponderance of political demands, against the State, within companies: construction of socialism, abolition of mercantile relations, abolition of class society, refusal of the call for national reconstruction, control of profits. This situation gave added impetus to the creation of embryonic forms of coordination of workers' committees, which in Lisbon, where almost everything was decided by the high level of industrial concentration, came to fruition with force and with great internal controversies”.[ix]

On November 25th, a military confrontation took place between the left and other sectors of the Armed Forces. The “colonels” led by Lieutenant Colonel Ramalho Eanes, victorious, not only purged them of their radical left elements, but also stopped the careers of all MFA members, even the moderate ones, and definitively took control of the command. November 25th began with an action by paratroopers. The doubt whether Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho or COPCON officials gave the order for this is a mere detail.

It is known that the military right and the moderates of the MFA were prepared to take military control of the country, and that they had an Operational Plan to do so. This plan involved the organized support of the Socialist Party and foreign powers (England and the United States). It can be argued that the left was also preparing. And accusations later appeared that the PCP had woken up that day with nostalgia for the lost Revolution and that it had mobilized armed militants, only to be collected at night. It would have been a retreat by the party in exchange for maintaining its legality. It is difficult to imagine such amateurism from the PCP CC. Still, even though the PCP was preparing a coup and Othello was its military leader, there had been no left-wing unity since the fall of the Fifth Government. Coup presupposes unity of command.

The idea that November 25th was a military action against radicals and moderates simultaneously remains valid. The attack officially targeted the far left and had the support of moderates. But they realized on November 25th that that military action was beyond them. Both the new head of the Lisbon Military Region, Vasco Lourenço, and President Costa Gomes were upset, and passively watched the handover of military and political command of the situation to the conservative Ramalho Eanes.

An anecdote paints this officer in full view: in the May 1, 1977 parade in Lisbon, after his inauguration, he watched the celebration on the official stage. A woman nearby asked him why he remained so serious, not smiling, to which Eanes replied: “Because I am not obliged to do so by the new Constitution, ma'am”… In his speech in the Assembly of the Republic, Eanes paid tribute to the entire trajectory of the Army and the police, warning: “Every day we witness [social] conflicts that, strictly speaking, should be classified as sabotage. It is urgent to regulate the right to strike.”[X] The VI government, after November 25th, was a type of “government of national unity”, with a majority of MFA ministers in the cabinet. If April 25, 1974 began the dismantling of the State, November 25, 1975 and the VI government began the dismantling of the revolution, although with a good path ahead.

The colonels were unable to eliminate the MFA from the history of the Armed Forces, although they eliminated it from their structure. April 25th became freedom day; the soldiers were sent back to their barracks; the MFA and COPCON were extinguished; and the Revolution became an “evolution” led by the recovered bourgeoisie. But not without popular protests. For Vasco Gonçalves, November 25th crowned a long process of changing the correlation of military forces and took on the shape of a provocation and a counter-revolutionary coup.[xi]

It was the Socialist Party, led by Mário Soares, that played a key role in the reconstitution of the State, notably benefiting from subsidies from German social democracy, and consolidating itself as the main electoral force after the failure of the coup-insurrection of November 1975. In the elections for the Assembly of the Republic on April 25, 1976, the PSP obtained 35% of the votes, followed by 24% for the PPD, 15,9% for the CDS and 14,6% for the PCP. The extreme left parties (MRPP, PCP-ML, PDC and PRT), combined, barely exceeded 1,5% of the electoral flow. For many, the revolution had concluded.

At the end of 1976, one of the authors of this text (the oldest, of course) participated, in Paris, in a broad international Trotskyist meeting (he even, despite being very young, presided over one of its sessions),[xii] in which Portugal was a central point on the discussion agenda. The title of the report, carried out by a Portuguese activist, was significant: “Balance of the Portuguese Revolution”…

Was the April 1974 revolution a February Revolution not followed by an October Revolution? The battlefield of interpretations remains open. The Carnation Revolution was possible within the general framework of African decolonization; the indirect confrontation between the USSR and the USA; of the US retreat in the face of the rise of class struggles since the 1960s (but especially due to its imminent defeat in Vietnam). But it was limited by the secular structures of the Portuguese economy, by its demographic distribution, agrarian arrangement, ideological limits of its political elites and, above all, by the fact that it was led by an Army incapable of transmuting itself into a decidedly revolutionary body.

The MFA carried out a military coup, which was followed by an urban insurrection in a country that still had a large rural and Catholic influence. Its rapid ideological evolution occurred in conjunction with that of the urban population (or a significant part of it). In this sense, he was not a vanguard. At the same time, political parties did not have the legitimacy of arms and April 25th to replace the MFA.[xiii]

The MFA, as an integral part of the Armed Forces, could only become the leader of a radical, revolutionary process, if it crossed the Rubicon and annihilated the rest of these Forces. Being a minority faction, he would have to use violence (or the threat of it) against people linked to members of the MFA through bonds of camaraderie forged in military schools/academies or in the colonial war; break with its own strictly military training; arm civilians and risk being submerged in a civil-military struggle and losing control of the State apparatus.

In the absence of a revolutionary party, the MFA would have to fulfill a role for which its rapid creation (in a short time) might have allowed it, but its slow formation (in the long time of the national Armed Forces) made it impossible. As for the proletariat, urban workers and peasants, they were capable of unprecedented organizational initiatives – especially in the radicalization of the “hot summer” until the end of November 1975 –[xiv] without parallels in post-war Europe, but without being able to overcome the absence of a unified political orientation and a political direction capable of taking it forward.

The social organisms of a revolutionary power were outlined and developed, without being able to present themselves as a political alternative for the country, which would have promoted the disintegration of the State's armed bodies. The main European revolution of the second post-war period was exhausted in its first phases, without reaching its final potential consequences. After three years, with the revolution reaching a political impasse, NATO and Cold War Europe began to breathe a sigh of relief. But the scare had been enormous, crossing the Atlantic and expanding throughout the world.

* Lincoln Secco He is a professor in the Department of History at USP. Author, among other books, of History of the PT (Studio). [https://amzn.to/3RTS2dB]

*Osvaldo Coggiola He is a professor at the Department of History at USP. Author, among other books, of Marxist economic theory: an introduction (boitempo). [https://amzn.to/3tkGFRo]


[I] Francisco Carlos Palomanes Martinho. Authoritarian thinking in the Portuguese Estado Novo: some interpretations. locus. History Magazine, Juiz de Fora, vol. 13, no. 2, 2007.

[ii] Perry Anderson. Le Portugal et la fin de l´Ultra-Colonialisme. Paris, Francois Maspero, 1963.

[iii] Ronald Chilcote. The Portuguese Revolution of 25 April 1974. Annotated bibliography on the antecedents and aftermath. Coimbra, University – Documentation Center April 25, 1987.

[iv] Paulo Moura. Othello: the Revolutionary. Lisbon, Don Quixote, 2012.

[v] Charles Downs. Revolution at Grassroots. Community organizations in the Portuguese Revolution. New York, State University of New York, 1989.

[vi] apud 25 April. La dictature fasciste s'effondre à Lisbonne, problems de la révoluton portuguaise. Paris, SELIO, 1974.

[vii] Lincoln Secco. The Carnation Revolution. Savings, spaces and awareness. São Paulo, Ateliê, 2024.

[viii] Raquel Varela, António Simões do Paço and Joana Alcântara. Workers’ control in the Portuguese Revolution 1974-1975. Marx and Marxism, vol. 2, nº 2, São Paulo, January-July 2014.

[ix] Raquel Varela, António Simões do Paço and Joana Alcântara. Op. cite.

[X] Sergio Reis. Portugal: the moment of the situation. Truth no. 581, Paris, April 1978.

[xi] Vasco Gonçalves. A General in the Revolution. Interview with Maria Manuela Cruzeiro. Lisbon, Editorial Notícias, 2002.

[xii] It was the Organization Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (CORQI), which had recruited socialist deputies Carmelinda Pereira and Ayres Rodrigues to its ranks. The Unified Secretariat (SU) of the Fourth International was also present.

[xiii] Maria I. Rezola. 25 April. Myths of a revolution. Lisbon, The Sphere of Books, 2007.

[xiv] Miguel Ángel Pérez Suárez. Down with Capitalist Exploitation! Workers' commissions and workers' struggle in the Portuguese revolution (1974 -1975). São Paulo, Anticapital Struggles, 2023.

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