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50 Years of April: - Message from the Grand Master of the GLNP


The Revolution of April 25, 1974 marked a turning point in the history of Portugal and had a significant impact on Europe and its relations with its African colonies.

This movement not only overthrew a nearly half-century dictatorship but also reflected long-repressed Masonic ideals, principles that guided the Portuguese committed to the struggle for democracy and social justice.

The Estado Novo, led by Oliveira Salazar and later by Marcello Caetano, was characterized by oppressive censorship, political repression, and economic isolationism. Portugal was economically lagging behind the rest of Europe and immersed in exhausting colonial wars in Africa.

These wars, against the independence movements in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, were extremely unpopular both inside and outside the country and triggered a crisis that challenged the sustainability of the regime.

The April Revolution was led by dissatisfied military personnel, many of whom were positively influenced by Masonic ideals.

These Masonic principles, centered on the valorization of freedom, equality, and fraternity, resonated within the armed forces and the population, driving the revolutionary movement.

The events of April 25 culminated in the peaceful surrender of the regime, with the military welcomed by civilians offering red carnations, a symbol that became emblematic of the revolution.

The influence of the Carnation Revolution extended beyond Portuguese borders, resonating throughout Europe.

At a time when the European continent was still divided by the Cold War, Portugal's peaceful transition to democracy represented a glimmer of hope and an example that profound political changes could occur without violence.

This event strengthened democratic movements in other European countries and contributed to the reinforcement of the idea of European unity, based on the values of freedom and democracy.

Portugal's relationship with its African colonies was also profoundly transformed by April 25, as the revolution accelerated the decolonization process, leading to the independence of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

This process was not only the end of the Portuguese colonial empire but also the recognition of the right of peoples to self-determination and independence.

The Masonic influence on the Carnation Revolution can be seen in the emphasis placed on freedom of expression, political pluralism, and social justice in the new democratic regime.

The ideal of fraternity was manifested in international solidarity and Portugal's efforts to establish peaceful and cooperative relations with the new independent African nations.

In summary, the April Revolution of 1974 was a fundamental milestone in Portugal's history and had a considerable impact on Europe and Africa.

Its realization, inspired and driven by Masonic ideals, not only ended decades of dictatorship but also ushered in a new chapter in Portuguese history, characterized by democracy, development, and international cooperation.

This unique event in our recent history unequivocally highlights the importance of Masonic values in the relentless struggle for a fairer and more fraternal world.

Lisbon, April 25, 2024

Nuno Tinoco

XV Grand Master of the Grande Loja Nacional Portuguesa


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