The “Carnation Revolution” 25th April, 1974
40 Years ago today my wife woke to the sounds of military vehicles driving through the streets of Lisbon. The left-wing Movimento das Forças Armadas (Armed Forces Movement) had led a successful military coup ousting the right-wing Estado Nôvo (New State) dictatorship founded by António Oliveira de Salazar and led, since the demise of Salazar in 1968, by Marcello José das Neves Alves Caetano.
The name “Carnation Revolution” comes from the fact no shots were fired and when the population took to the streets to celebrate the end of the dictatorship and war in the colonies, carnation flowers were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army. People took to the streets in an unprecedented show of support for the coup greeting the military with rejoicing and cries of “Liberdade, Liberdade”! (Freedom, Freedom). Overnight Portugal was transformed from 60 years of dictatorship to a democracy.
The reason for the coup was ostensibly to bring about an end to Portugal’s years of fighting against the rebels in her African Colonies. Thousands of Portuguese soldiers had been conscripted into military service and were sent to the colonies to fight against the communist led rebels. Many bloody battles were fought leaving casualties on both sides. Left-wing elements in the military had been gathering support and on 25th April, 1974 (Led by a group of Captains in the Portuguese army) military bases around the Portuguese capital were occupied and an large force of armoured vehicles and troops, transported in military trucks, drove into the Capital laying siege to the offices of the government.
The years that followed the coup was characterized by social turmoil and power disputes between left- and right-wing political forces, and the country was plunged into political and economic instability.
Today Portugal celebrates 40 years of democracy, sadly Portugal is also reeling from a protracted financial crisis that has left the country almost bankrupt and owing Billions of Euros to the Troika (a combined group of three; The IMF, the Central Bank of Europe and the European Commission) as a result of which the Portuguese government enacted a programme of financial austerity unprecedented in Portuguese history!
The Revolution of the Carnations brought with it the hope of Peace and Prosperity to the Portuguese people. Today (40 years on) many feel that the Revolution has been betrayed, while yet others look back at the years of dictatorship with nostalgia.
Can Portugal rise out of the flames of financial ruin as the proverbial Phoenix? I cannot say. All I know is that in the years to come the entire world will face immense problems financially, politically and environmentally. There will be wars and rumours of war. The situation in the Middle East will become even more tense. All these things combined we cause the nations of the world to cry out for someone who will have a political and social theory that will bring about peace and security to the nations. The Bible speaks of such a person to whom the nations of the world will hand over power. Someone who will bring about a seven year Peace settlement between Jew and Arab where the Jews will be permitted to build a third Temple in Jerusalem to which, not only Jews from all over the world will come, but religious leaders from every nation under the sun will bring their followers to as a House of Prayer for ALL Nations!
However he will turn against this settlement, turn on the Jews and set himself up in the temple declaring himself to be the only god that people should worship!
When will these things be? Only God knows the answer! But these things MUST happen before the return of Jesus Christ!
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. (Daniel 11:31)
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
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