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  PORTUGAL: Western Europe's First Communist Country?
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ContributorPicimpalious 
Last EditedPicimpalious  Feb 26, 2010 08:43pm
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CategoryNews
MediaWeekly News Magazine - TIME Magazine
News DateTuesday, August 12, 1975 02:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description"A Happy Revolution!" proclaimed the slogans hastily scrawled on the walls in Lisbon. So it seemed to many Portuguese, as optimism and euphoria marked the weeks immediately following the coup of April 25, 1974, when a group of young military officers ended nearly five decades of fascist dictatorship in Portugal. Jubilant citizens lionized the soldiers, plopping long-stemmed red carnations into the muzzles of their rifles. Political exiles returned home to tumultuous welcomes. Amnestied political prisoners walked out of their jails to the embraces of ecstatic relatives and friends. Freedom of the press and assembly was proclaimed, the hated secret police was abolished and a reign of democracy was vowed. At mass rallies, crowds roared, "The people united shall never be vanquished!"

Fading Dream. Those buoyant days are now long gone. Literally and symbolically, the carnations have wilted. The wall slogans have grown strident. A revolution that began by freeing Portugal from a dictatorship of the far right is rapidly evolving into a dictatorship of the far left. In Portugal, the dream that the April revolution would lead to a democratic and pluralistic society is fast fading, and the nation's 8 million people have only sum hope of seeing a centrist or even moderately socialist civilian government. As a mechanic in the rural town of Benedita recently put it: "The revolution is being betrayed!"
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