António de Spínola, the first president of revolutionary Portugal


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On April 11, 1910, António de Spínola was born, a military man who played a prominent role in the end of the colonial wars and the demise of the Salazarist dictatorship. He was the first president of Portugal after the Carnation Revolution.

Who was António de Spínola?

António de Spínola stood out in his beginnings in the military cavalry, participating in several equestrian competitions, until he was sent to Angola in 1963. At the end of that decade he returned to the African continent, and this time his destination was Guinea-Bissau. The reforms carried out in this territory earned him a decoration upon his return. But after publishing the book Portugal and the Future, in which he proposed a political solution instead of the military one used until then to solve the conflicts in the Portuguese colonial possessions, he was dismissed from his position as deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. This precipitated the so-called “Movement of the Captains”, which led to the Carnation Revolution on April 25, 1974.

With the end of Marcelo Caetano’s dictatorship, the Portuguese ended the Salazar regime. The Junta of National Salvation elected António de Spínola as President of the Republic. During the few four months he was in power, he made the important decision to allow the independence of the colonies. The opposition of communists and socialists caused his resignation. On March 11, 1975, confronted with the reformists who had taken control of the country, he attempted a coup d’état, but failed and had to flee first to Spain and then to Brazil. He was allowed to return to Portugal, but was sent to the reserves. In the following years – in which politicians relieved the military in the positions of responsibility in the country – his figure was recognized with the title of marshal and chancellor of the Ancient Portuguese Military Orders.

Other historical anniversaries of April 11th
On April 11, 1241, the Battle of Mohi took place, which resulted in the defeat of Bela IV of Hungary.

On April 11, 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht was signed between the opposing factions in the War of the Spanish Succession.

On April 11, 1945 the American army liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp.

On April 11, 1951 Douglas MacArthur was relieved as commander-in-chief of US troops in the Korean War.


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