People's Republic of Mozambique

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People's Republic of Mozambique

República Popular de Moçambique
Flag of Mozambique
Flag (1975–83)
National Emblem
Motto: Unidade, Trabalho, Vigilância
(English: "Unity, Work, Vigilance")
Anthem: "Viva, Viva a FRELIMO"
(English: "Long Live, Long Live FRELIMO")
Location of Mozambique
Common languagesPortuguese
GovernmentMarxist–Leninist one-party socialist state
Head of State 
• 1975–1986
Samora Machel
• 1986
Political Bureau
• 1986–1990
Joaquim Chissano
Prime Minister 
• 1986–1990
Mário da Graça
Historical eraCold War
• Established
25 June 1975
• Disestablished
1 December 1990
CurrencyEscudo (MZE)
Metical (MZM)
Calling code258
ISO 3166 codeMZ
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Portuguese Mozambique

The People's Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: República Popular de Moçambique) was a communist state that existed in Mozambique from 1975 to 1990.

The People's Republic of Mozambique was established in Portuguese East Africa in 1975 by the Mozambique Liberation Front ("FRELIMO") led by Samora Machel, shortly after the country gained independence from Portugal. FRELIMO established a Marxist-Leninist one-party state with itself as the vanguard party, pursuing socialist policies such as widespread nationalization. The People's Republic of Mozambique held close ties with other communist states such as the People's Republic of Angola and the Soviet Union, which it aligned with in the Cold War, and was an observer of COMECON.[1][2][3][4] From 1977, the FRELIMO was engaged in the Mozambican Civil War with the Mozambique National Resistance ("RENAMO"), an anti-communist movement initially supported and financed by the Rhodesia and later by South Africa.[5]

In 1990, the end of the Cold War and a stalemate in the civil war led to a peace accord between FRELIMO and RENAMO, dissolving the People's Republic and making Mozambique a capitalist state, rejecting its former socialist, democratic policies.

Establishment of the regime[edit]

National flag from 1975–1983
National flag from April–May 1983

While FRELIMO came to power its official political policies remained vague, but were based in progressive ideas such as building a unified nation based on racial equality, universal literacy, and the empowerment of women. In the months preceding independence, FRELIMO consolidated its presence in the south and in urban areas. This was done through the work of militant groups (grupos dinamizadores or "dynamic groups"), which also included Mozambicans of Portuguese origin. The period prior to independence was also marked by the settling of scores and public trials against members FRELIMO who had strayed from the FRELIMO party line. "Traitors," "reactionaries," and real or suspected agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency or PIDE, the Portuguese security agency.[incomprehensible]

The Central Committee of FRELIMO adopted the constitution of the People's Republic of Mozambique on June 20, which established that power belongs to the workers and peasants "united and led by FRELIMO and by the organs of people's power." The country's independence was officially proclaimed five days later. Under the new system, FRELIMO was officially the "leading force of the state and society," the President was automatically president of the Republic, President of the People's Assembly, and, until in 1986, head of government. Mozambique had a planned economy. The state recognized private property, but stated that it "cannot be used against the interests defined the constitution." The territory was divided into provinces headed by governors appointed by the president and governed "in accordance with FRELIMO and the government." The governors had authority over the district administrators and local administrators.

The first months of the presidency of Samora Machel were marked by a series of radical measures: land, education and health were nationalized; three radio stations were abolished and replaced by a national state radio; and the press fell under the control of the government and the party. The independent state continued FRELIMO's policy of alliance with communist countries, which it considered its "natural allies."


In October 1975, FRELIMO created the Servicion Segurança Nacional Popular (SNASP, or National Service of Popular Security), a political security service with the responsibility to "suppress all activities hostile to the revolution" and was provided training by the Stasi, the secret service of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The SNASP engaged in intelligence, paramilitary, and secret police activities for FRELIMO until was dissolved in 1991 and replaced by the State Information and Security Service (Serviço de Informações e Segurança do Estado, SISE).


  • Priestland, David (2009). The Red Flag: a History of Communism. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 9780802145123.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angola: Communist nations
  2. ^ The New Communist Third World By Peter John de la Fosse Wiles
  3. ^ Soviet Union-Mozambique
  5. ^ D4 Mozambique