War for Independence of Angola
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War of Independence of Angola.

The war for the independence of Angola from Portugal, during which such players of the African political scene as UNITA and MPLA emerged, became part of the struggle for the independence of the Portuguese colonies in Africa. See also “Guinea-Bissau War of Independence” and “Mozambique's War of Independence”.

Under the “New State”, which rule Portugal for a good three decades, Salazar’s Angola, like the other African colonies of Portugal, survived on its own, and in the circumstances it means not enough funds for neither maintenance of infrastructure nor its improvement. Serious efforts was put into the rhetoric about integration - it was supposed that over time, through the merger of the Portuguese and local residents, a race will be created that is remarkably adapted to local conditions and at the same time takes on all the advantages of European civilization. Soviet literature wholeheartedly and fairly legitimately laughed at the results of integration policy: in the early 70s in rural areas only 6.5% of the heads of families surveyed were able to correctly say who Salazar and Caetano were, and less than 1% correctly named the capital of Portugal, 85 % did not know what Mozambique was and only 0.6% said that it was Portuguese territory. In general, the situation in Angola, apparently, was similar to the cases in Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, but in Angola, which is important for us, another factor was observed: in addition to the first two series of immigrants, in 1955-60, the government resettled here 55,000 white colonists from both Cape Verde and Portugal 55,000 in the times of coffee boom. Although it was assumed that all settlers would live in rural areas, in fact, many of them went to cities, and there fought for a place in the sun with assimilados and blacks, which did not reduce the degree of tension in society, fueled by racist sentiments. It was noticed that in no other colony there is such a category as poor white people, and in Angola one could meet porters, drivers, laborers from Europe. By 1970, 400 thousand Portuguese lived in Angola (of which 21 thousand were military), i.e. twice as much as in Mozambique, which, apparently, explains the great stubbornness of the Portuguese in defending Angola.

From the mid-1950s, nationalist organizations began to form in Angola, moreover, on an explicit ethnic basis. The main three groups gave rise to three major rebel movements: the MPLA relied on the kimbundu, the FNLA on the bakongo in the USA, and the UNITA on the ovimbundu. All three adhered to the various international political blocs: the MPLA received support from Cuba, the USSR and the countries of the socialist camp, the FNLA adhered to a conditionally pro-American orientation, and UNITA first focused on China, and, a little, Egypt), but when it became clear that in addition to nominal support there is nothing to achieve, turned to South Africa. To be continued.  


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