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News > Portugal

Portugal Remembers the 1974 Carnation Revolution

  • Portuguese soldiers on APril 25, 1974.

    Portuguese soldiers on APril 25, 1974. | Photo: Twitter/ @ahinoablanco

Published 25 April 2023

On April 25, 1974, soldiers, workers, farmers, and students rebelled against a dictatorship that had ruled this European country for decades.

On Tuesday, the Portuguese commemorate the 49th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, a civil-military uprising which took place on April 25, 1974 and put an end to the dictatorship led by Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.


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On that day, the population flooded the streets of Lisbon carrying red carnations that they placed in the mouths of army rifles, thus seeking to create a symbol to achieve social change without shedding blood or engaging in violent acts.

Previously, De Oliveira Salazar led Portugal to become involved in colonial wars in which thousands of innocent civilians and pro-independence militants were killed in Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, and Guinea Bissau.

Clearly aligning itself against Portuguese colonialist policies, the Armed Force Movement (MFA) rebelled against the longest European dictatorship and peacefully advocated a transition to democracy with the support of workers, farmers, and students.

The tweet reads, "April 25, forever! Fascism never again!"

In the early morning of April 25, 1974, the fighters against the Portuguese dictatorship began their mobilization by broadcasting two "secret signals" on radio and television, the songs "And After Goodbye" and "Grandola, Vila Morena", which addressed to alert officers, soldiers and civilians to seize strategic points in the country.

After a massive citizen mobilization, the De Oliveira Salazar dictatorship relinquished power and gave way to the National Salvation Junta, which ruled during the "Ongoing Revolutionary Process," a period in which various factions of the Army and political parties vied for power.

Finally, Portugal's first free election was held on April 25, 1975 and gave rise to a political process to replace the 1933 Constitution. In 1976, centre-left socialist Mario Soares headed the country's first constitutional government.


Mario Soares
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