“… The way to solve the problem is clear; recognition of the Mozambiquan people's right to independence.”

by Committee for a Free Mozambique
New York, New York, United States
Undated, early May 1974
5 pages
Type: Mailing
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Portugal
Language: English
The mailing includes an excerpt of a statement by the FRELIMO Executive Committee in Dar es Salaam on April 29, 1974. The mailing says there has been much speculation about independence for Mozambique and Angola, and recognition of Guinea-Bissau; but General Spinola soon made clear that while the junta is prepared to allow "self determination", independence would mean a failure for their new policy. It is within this framework the upheaval of the coup d'etat should be viewed; as outlined in the most recent issue of News & Notes, and reinforced by statements of the currently ruling junta in Portugal, the split in the Portuguese ruling class focuses on a disagreement over the most efficient means of maintaining exploitative economic control. Salazar, and his Caetano regime heirs, had compelled Portugal not only to spend up to 45% of its annual budget on the colonial wars, but to do so within an essentially mercantile economy; the backwardness of the Portuguese economy left Portugal outside the mainstream of international capitalism and meant the real profits from the colonies were being extracted by non-Portuguese companies; it appears that the two major Portuguese conglomerates, the Companhia Uniao Fabril (CUF) and Champalimaud, worried about the economic drain caused by the war and the adverse affect it has on investment, are closely aligned to the new junta; both companies have large investments in Africa and CUF is reported to control 10% of Portugal’s total corporate capital. The mailing says the untenable nature of the Salazar/Caetano rigidity has been exposed ever more blatantly by the military, political, and human triumphs of the liberation movements in each colony, and by the increasing legal and humanitarian isolation of Portugal from the international community. The mailing says within hours of the coup, the multi-racial Group for the Union of Mozambique, GUM, whose spokeswoman had been granted a Lisbon press conference in March by the Caetano regime, released the text of a cable of support which they had sent General Spinola; their program calls for "autonomy" with links to Lisbon, and the aid of Portuguese troops in the fight for stability and against Communism; it is precisely this new kind of colonialism with which Nixon might justify increased and open aid to Portuguese oppression, and it is precisely because of the myriad of new possibilities for exploitation and oppression that we must increase our support for FRELIMO and their just struggle for a liberated Mozambique. The mailing reprints newspaper articles including "PORTUGUESE JUNTA OPPOSES FREEING AFRICAN LANDS" by Henry Giniger, "PORTUGAL PARTIED SPLIT WITH JUNTA ON AFRICA POLICY" by Henry Ginger, "Rebels in Portuguese Guinea Oppose Spinola's Plan" by Thomas A. Johnson. "U.S. SEE NO CHANGE IN PORTUGUESE TIES", "U.N. Agency to Give Food to African Insurgents" by Eric Pace, and "S. Africa's Link to Portugal" by Edmond Marco. The mailing discusses the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), the World Food Program, Pik Botha, self-determination, A. M. Van Schoor, and Antonio de Spinola.
Used by permission of former members of the Committee for a Free Mozambique.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers