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World

Why Portugal’s coup worked

25 April 2024

7:45 PM

25 April 2024

7:45 PM

Fifty years ago today, on 25 April 1974, Europe was stunned by an almost bloodless military coup that removed the continent’s most durable dictatorship: Portugal’s authoritarian ‘New State’ that had held the country in an iron grip since 1926.

Military coups have an evil reputation in Europe. We associate them with ham-fisted juntas, arbitrary arrests, torture, and reactionary politics: the sort of regimes that ruled Chile and Argentina in the 1970s, and left those countries drenched in blood.

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