Reflecting on 50 Years Since Portugal’s Carnation Revolution: Legacy and Challenges

Fifty years after the Carnation Revolution, France 24 revisits the significant event that ended Europe’s longest dictatorship in Portugal and led to the independence of its African colonies. The military coup, initially led by a small group of left-leaning young military captains, quickly turned into a popular uprising with the support of the people. The revolution, marked by the symbolic image of carnations in the barrels of guns and tanks, inspired democratic movements across Europe and Africa. However, the report also explores the contemporary political landscape in Portugal, where the far-right party Chega has gained significant traction, raising questions about the lasting impact of the Carnation Revolution’s legacy on democracy and freedom in Portugal.

  • The Carnation Revolution ended Europe’s longest dictatorship in Portugal and led to the independence of Portuguese colonies in Africa.
  • It was a military coup that quickly gained popular support, turning into a peaceful uprising against the regime.
  • The revolution inspired democratic movements in other parts of Europe and Africa.
  • Portugal is currently experiencing a resurgence of the far right, with the party Chega becoming the third largest political force in the country.
  • The report raises concerns about the fading memory of the Carnation Revolution among younger generations and the challenges to democracy and freedom in Portugal.
  • Survivors and participants of the revolution, like Aurora Rodriguez and Carlos Matos Gomes, share their personal experiences to educate younger generations about the importance of democracy and freedom.
  • Portugal’s economic growth contrasts with persistent social inequalities, which some political forces are exploiting to gain support.
  • The descendants of the April captains and other activists are fighting to preserve the rights and freedoms achieved with the Carnation Revolution, amidst fears of regression.

France 24 is an international television network and news website owned by the French state.

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