A coup d’etat, also called a coup, is a sudden change of government that is illegal and usually violent. We know many violent ones such as the ones in Chile or Cuba. Nonetheless we are going to see here that it is possible to change a violent regime in a relatively peaceful way. One of the best examples is the one that occurred in Portugal on April 25th of 1974. It was nicknamed Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos in Portuguese), a surprising name for a coup that marked the end of a bloody repressive Government.
Estado Novo was the Regime that was in power since 1933. It was first led by António de Oliveira Salazar until 1968, when his successor Marcello Caetano replaced him, as Salazar had to retire because of health issues. It was an authoritarian regime, characterized by censorship, repression, exiles and colonial wars. There was a first attempted coup in March of the same year that did not succeed.
The coup of April began at 10:55pm with the airing of Portugal’s song from the 1974 Eurovision competition, «Depois do Adeus» by Paulo de Carvalho, followed by «Grandola, Vila Morena», a song of José Afonso that was banned during the Regime.
The outcomes of what is known to be one of the most, or even the most, important date in Portuguese modern history were diverse. For instance, it marked the end of Portugal’s colonization of Africa, giving independence to Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé, and Mozambique. One of the most famous bridges switched its name from Salazar bridge to 25 April Bridge. This coup was marked by the flowers in the militaries’ guns. Those carnation flowers were offered by civilians who joined the rebel soldiers in a peaceful civil resistance. Even the officers’ guns had flowers poking out of them. Despite its reputation as a bloodless revolution, four men were killed by the PIDE, Estado Novo’s secret police
Therefore, this shows how important our liberty is. We also advise you to watch «Capitães de Abril», a movie directed by Maria De Medeiros, if you want to know more about the topic.