CFM News and Notes
by Committee for a Free Mozambique
New York, New York, United States
September 8, 1975
Contents: Independence Week in Mozambique • The newsletter says on June 25th of this year, the People's Republic of Mozambique was proclaimed an independent nation, climaxing a ten year armed struggle led by FRELIMO (The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) which brought the end of 470 years of Portuguese colonial presence in this East African country; in the course of the armed struggle, FRELIMO changed from a nationalist coalition of pro- independence forces into a mass-based revolutionary organization--an organization which is now in the process of transforming Mozambique into an egalitarian socialist society; although to an outside observer, the new Mozambique is well along the path to socialism, FRELIMO sees the present stage in much more modest terms; party leaders emphasize that the assumption of state control is only the beginning. The newsletter says ravaged by a decade of war and by a particularly vicious form of colonialism, which aimed at maximizing returns on labor, land, and resources while keeping real development to a minimum, the Mozambican economy was in a state of near-collapse when the FRELIMO-dominated Transitional Government was announced nine months prior to independence. He newsletter says FRELIMO's main political emphasis in the ex-colonial regions is on organizing hundreds of "grupos dinamizadores" (loosely translated as "activating groups"). The newsletter says in the liberated areas, FRELIMO-style socialism is already being implemented: production is organized collectively, mass participation (women included) is stressed, and every working adult is responsible for a variety of tasks, including production, defense, and child rearing. Moreover, educational and health care facilities were set up for the first time; FRELIMO is now faced with the task of bringing socialist development to the southern regions of the country, where it could operate only clandestinely during the colonial period. The newsletter says apart from its domestic program, FRELIMO's major area of concern is the vast web of economic and political links tying the new state to the white minority regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa; the Mozambican port of Beira continues to be Rhodesia's main link to the sea. The newsletter says the Committee for a Free Mozambique was invited by FRELIMO to send two representatives to Mozambique's independence celebration in June; other members of our Committee attended the independence week activities as press representatives or as delegates from other invited organizations; several groups, including churches and nongovernmental agencies, which had supported the work of FRELIMO over the past years, sent representatives as well. The newsletter says United States Government (and the French and West German Governments) which had given support to the former Portuguese colonial government's war efforts against FRELIMO were not invited. The newsletter says we also shared a minibus with representatives of FRELIMO support groups from West Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Canada. The newsletter includes quotes by President Samora Machel, FRELIMO Vice-President and Minister for Economic Development and Planning Marcelino dos Santos, and Minister of Education Graca Simbine. The newsletter discusses apartheid, the Organization of Mozambican Women (OMM), Deolinda Quezimane, Eduardo Mondlane and Josina Machel.
Used by permission of former members of the Committee for a Free Mozambique.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers