Political Instability and Ceasefire (1974–75)
Back in Lisbon, the 'Armed Revolutionary Action' branch of the Portuguese Communist Party, which was created in the late 1960s, and the Revolutionary Brigades (BR), a left-wing organisation, worked to resist the colonial wars. They had carried out multiple sabotages and bombings against military targets, such as the attack on the Tancos air base that destroyed several helicopters on March 8, 1971, and the attack on the NATO headquarters at Oeiras in October of the same year. The attack on the Portuguese ship Niassa illustrated the role of the colonial wars in this unrest. Niassa (named after a Mozambican province) was preparing to leave Lisbon with troops to be deployed in Guinea. By the time of the Carnation Revolution, 100,000 draft dodgers had been recorded.
Fighting colonial wars in Portuguese colonies had absorbed forty-four percent of the overall Portuguese budget. This led to an obvious diversion of funds from necessary infrastructural developments in Portugal itself. This contributed to the growing unrest in the European nation. However, Portugal's GDP growth during the colonial war period (1961–1974), was strong and reached a 6% rate (a percentual GDP growth which weren't achieved in any other comparable period after 1974).
The African overseas provinces of Portugal's GDP growth was also widely notable and the construction of infrastructure were at a record high during the time war. The unpopularity of the Colonial Wars among many Portuguese, led to the formation of several magazines and newspapers, such as Cadernos Circunstância, Cadernos Necessários, Tempo e Modo, and Polémica, which had university support and called for political solutions to Portugal's colonial problems.
The growing unrest in Portugal culminated on April 25, 1974, when the Carnation Revolution, a peaceful leftist military coup d'état in Lisbon, ousted the incumbent Portuguese government of Marcelo Caetano. Thousands of Portuguese citizens left Mozambique, and the new head of government, General António de Spínola, called for a ceasefire. With the change of government in Lisbon, many soldiers refused to continue fighting, often remaining in their barracks instead of going on patrol. Negotiations between the Portuguese administration culminated in the Lusaka Agreement signed on September 7, 1974, which provided for a complete hand-over of power to FRELIMO, uncontested by elections. Formal independence was set for June 25, 1975, the 13th anniversary of the founding of FRELIMO.
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