1975 Mozambique Gains Independence



A further consequence of the changes in government policy in Portugal was the granting of independence to Mozambique on June 25th. A Marxist state with Samora Moises Machel as President was declared..

The prolonged and complex history of Portuguese colonization in Mozambique culminated in a tenacious struggle for independence. The culmination of these efforts was largely influenced by global geopolitical shifts and changes in government policy in Portugal, leading to the eventual granting of independence to Mozambique on June 25, 1975.

A key factor that led to this monumental change was the Carnation Revolution in Portugal in 1974. This bloodless coup d'état resulted in the overthrow of the Estado Novo regime in Portugal. The new Portuguese regime, recognizing the global trend toward decolonization and understanding the unsustainable nature of their overseas colonial wars, began to seek peaceful solutions. This accelerated the independence process not only in Mozambique but also in other Portuguese colonies.

As Mozambique transitioned from a colony to an independent state, it was deeply influenced by the Cold War politics of the era. Many African liberation movements received support from either the Western bloc, led by the United States, or the Eastern bloc, led by the Soviet Union. FRELIMO, the Mozambique Liberation Front, which was the primary force against Portuguese rule, leaned towards the Eastern bloc. This alignment was primarily due to ideological synergy and the assistance provided by socialist countries during the liberation struggle.

With independence secured, FRELIMO, under the leadership of Samora Moises Machel, declared Mozambique a Marxist-Leninist state. Machel became the country's first president, setting it on a path of socialism. His policies focused on nationalizing industries, collective farming, and centrally planned economic activities. Education and healthcare were prioritized, and efforts were made to reduce the disparities created during colonial rule.

However, the transition to a Marxist state was not smooth. The Cold War backdrop meant that Mozambique's socialist inclinations placed it in direct opposition to Western interests, particularly those of the neighboring apartheid regime of South Africa. This resulted in a protracted civil war, with the anti-FRELIMO rebel group RENAMO receiving covert support from South Africa and Rhodesia. The civil war raged on for nearly two decades, causing immense suffering and hindering the nation's development.