MOZAMBIQUE: Dismantling the Portuguese Empire

A few minutes past midnight on a rainy Wednesday morning in the Mozambican capital of Lourenço Marques, the Portuguese flag was lowered by an unsmiling Portuguese sailor, folded by a Portuguese airman and entrusted to a Portuguese soldier. Then three African soldiers in starched fatigues ran up the new flag of the People's Republic of Mozambique. As tribal dancers beat animal-skin drums and a 21-gun salute boomed outside Machava Stadium, the militantly Maoist President of the new state, Samora Moises Machel, 41, embraced Portuguese Prime Minister Vasco Gonçalves. Thus ended 477...