This post essentially builds off TheIpleJonesion’s fantastic lore, explaining the situation which Portugal and her former territories find themselves in during the early 1980s. It is broken down along geographic lines.
The Metropolitan (Continental Portugal and the Outer Island Provinces of the Azores, Madeira, Cabo Verde and São Tomé & Príncipe):
With the removal of the Salazar regime in 1954, Portugal transitioned into a military-dominated presidential republic. Liberal market reforms made by the democratically-elected Fraternity Party saw an end to state interventionism in the Portuguese economy and a move away from corporatist macroeconomic organisation towards capitalistic free-market economics. This transformed the predominately-agricultural Portuguese economy into an industrial powerhouse, as factories popped up across the continental provinces in what is now jokingly referred to as the ‘Portuguese Industrial Revolution’. As Portugal modernised its economy, it attained a developmental trajectory similar to that of the Asian Tigers IOTL. This was only helped by the extremely cheap importation of primary resources from Portugal’s former colonies in Africa, and the discount export markets which the escudo africano monetary area had established in these nations. Portugal’s economic ascension was accompanied by huge progress in the fields of education and infrastructure, as bridges and roads were constructed and continental illiteracy abolished. Owing to its pro-business sympathies and dubious ties to the economic elite, the Fraternity Party ensured that no anti-trust measures were implemented as part of its economic reform strategy, allowing the influential ‘40 Families’ of Portugal’s south to expand their dominion over those sectors of the Portuguese economy that were privatised during the post-Salazar liberalisation. The result was an economic model that verged on plutocracy, as the anti-communist military conspired with powerful businessmen and corrupt Fraternity Party politicians to maintain the upper class’ hold on power. This alliance of convenience continued up until the late seventies when a cadre of disillusioned, left-leaning junior military officers led a mass of young conscripts to seize power in the infamous 1976 Carnation Revolution. The Revolution, which in many ways resembled the anti-Salazar coup 22 years prior, saw the passage of new anti-trust and anti-corruption laws after the democratically-socialist Movement for Democratic Unity’s (MDU) victory in the junta-supervised elections of 1977. Though the Revolution would establish a fairer two-party democratic system in which the Conservative Party (the successor to the Fraternity Party) would compete with the MDU in free elections, it also confirmed for a second time the military’s position as a powerful force in Portuguese politics. As such, despite the removal of plutocracy and the reinstatement of fair elections, the Portugal of the 1980s remains a “flawed democracy” according to most outside observer assessments. Though this chaos certainly had a negative impact on Portuguese standards of living, the nation remains a dynamic economic force in Europe and an over-achiever when it comes to developmental outcomes. As the 1980s continue on, Portugal is beginning its transition away from heavy industry towards a stronger services sector while it signs special trade agreements with its partners in the European Common Market and continues to pursue close economic ties with its former colonies of Guinea and Angola. From the sparkling beaches of São Tomé & Príncipe to the luscious fields of northern Portugal and the windswept hills of the Azores, there is no doubt that the Republic has become quite the enterprising nation.
The Outer Metropolitan (Portuguese India, Macau and Timor-Leste):
Portuguese India: Had the Indian subcontinent not fractured so easily in the late 1950s, it is difficult to see how Portugal would have been able to maintain any sort of presence in the territories of Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar-Haveli. The defeat of Indian forces in the Kashmir Conflict and the successful declaration of Dravidian independence after a bloody insurgency, however, created an opportunity for Portuguese policymakers. Years of economic development across Portuguese India and a deliberate policy of promoting an independent Portuguese-Indian identity strengthened Portugal’s claim to these territories, while deals signed with the US establishing an American naval base at Nova Goa and US protection over Portuguese India provided a strong deterrent. These gains were then solidified by deals with the Dravidian and Indian governments, which saw Portuguese sovereignty confirmed over Goa, Daman and Diu in return for Portugal ceding Dadra, Pani-Cola and Nagar-Haveli back to India, as well as the lending of strong military support to the Dravidians. Though there remains significant agitation across Portuguese India (now referred to as the Goa, Daman & Diu Province), Portuguese sovereignty over these increasingly productive and idyllic territories appears secure for the foreseeable future. What’s more, it is now not uncommon to see ethnic Indians roaming the streets of Continental Portugal as fully-fledged citizens. The long-desired union of Portugal to the Subcontinent finally appears complete. Macau: Macau is seen in the eyes of most as the crown jewel of Portugal’s Asian provinces. She is home to some of the most important banks in Asia and competes with Shanghai for the status of the financial capital of China. Not only that, but Macau competes with Bali, Jeju, Tokyo and Beijing for the most popular tourist destination in the Asian region, already being the destination of choice for the rich and famous, who flock to her many bars, casinos, prestigious restaurants and world-class designer fashion houses. The Macau of the 1980s is covered in stunning skyscrapers and jaw-dropping urban greenery. Indeed, the city boasts a population of nearly a million, with land reclamation projects having allowed for a vast expansion of the province’s urban domain. The city’s population includes tens of thousands of ethnic Portuguese residents, just as hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chiese now live in continental Portugal, being the second-largest ethnic minority community behind African migrants from Guinea, Mozambique and Angola, but ahead of Indian migrants from Goa. At any rate, just as Macau has in many ways become the financial and touristic centre of Asia, it has also become a centre for intrigue. The unsuccessful Chinese attempt to seize Macau by force in 1969, for example, only saw a further upgrade of the province’s military defences, with the permanent deployment of an extra submarine to Macau Habour alongside thousands of additional troops and another fighter squadron. Meanwhile, the ‘Bloody Game’ that started in the late 1950s between Portuguese and Chinese spies, local casino syndicates, corrupt local politicians and the four main triad groups continues to this day, with the southern portions of Macau city being known for violent crime and a dirty underworld. Indeed, it appears that the province is as vice-ridden as it is glamorous. Timor: A series of bilateral agreements in the 1950s saw Timor-Leste recognised as integral Portuguese territory by the Indonesians, just as the peninsula came under separate US/Australian/SEATO military protection, thus securing Portuguese rule over the territory indefinitely. Despite this, prohibitive travel times and ticket costs kept Timor physically isolated from the rest of the Portuguese Republic until the mid-1960s, when she suddenly gained access to far more state support as the African colonies achieved independence and international travel became easier. The Timor of the 1980s remains a quiet corner of the Portuguese world, although it has grown increasingly successful as a tourist and natural resource hub.
The former African colonies (Guinea, Angola, Cabinda and Mozambique):
Guinea: Having achieved her independence in 1965, the Guinean Republic maintained a slow but steady trajectory of economic development under close Portuguese supervision. Indeed, the nation remained remarkably stable throughout her first decades of independence, developing a fully-fledged democratic system over time which afforded it one of the highest standards of living among the continent’s independent states. Portugal’s close geographic proximity to Guinea, coupled with its near-identical struggle for democratic governance, has rendered the two nations close allies. Guinea remains the first port of call for Portuguese firms looking to establish a presence in Africa, with the nation functioning as the flagship model for Portuguese-African influence under the Silvestre Doctrine. Angola (and Cabinda): Though the Silvestre Doctrine had originally intended for the agricultural Ovimbundu people of Angola’s central plateau to dominate the Federal Angolan Republic post-independence (in a close alliance with the Portuguese), the unexpected strength of the rival Kimbundu people saw the two ethnic groups clash in a violent struggle for political power that lasted between 1964 and 1967. With Portuguese assets sustaining increasing damage during the bloody affair, Lisboa turned to its Kikongo allies in Angola’s north for assistance. United by its staunchly pro-Portuguese and anti-Communist leader from the nearby Ngbandi people of the then Belgian Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko, a powerful Kikongo army marched south and captured Luanda from the leftist Kimbundu militias. This placed Angola under the rule of Portugal’s Kikongo allies, who then turned to the Ovimbundu for additional political support, as well as the ethnic Portuguese and minority tribes of Angola’s south. Seko now rules Angola with an iron fist, using Portugal, the Ovimbundu, Portuguese-Angolans and the minority tribes to maintain power. His ties to Portuguese commercial interests have proven an immense asset for the Portuguese economy, which sees its manufacturing sector and domestic consumption fueled by cheap primary resource imports from Angola. Using his ethnic ties to the north, Seko became a major player in the war for Congolese independence, leveraging this assistance to become the political kingmaker in the newly-independent Republic of Zaire. This has resulted in Zaire effectively becoming a joint Luso-Angolan puppet state, with its government ministries littered with Portuguese and Angolan advisors, and the nation having joined the escudo africano monetary zone. Moreover, though it voted for independence in 1960, the Cabindan Republic was quickly subsumed into the Federal Angolan Republic as one of the conditions for an alliance between Seko’s Kikongo faction and the Portuguese. As a result, Luso-Angolan influence now runs from Luanda, past Zaire, into Cabinda and beyond towards the Republic of the Congo, making Angola one of the most powerful forces in the new Africa. Mozambique: The post-independence climate in the Mozambican Republic of 1965 resembled that of Angola at first. Rival ethnic groups clashed for power as election after election failed to yield clear results and cultural entities with little in common began to embrace armed struggle instead of the ballot. Unlike in Angola, however, Portugal was unable to salvage the situation and was forced to withdraw from the chaotic banana republic. Those ethnic Portuguese who had for centuries called Mozambique home largely fled to southern Angola or accepted government offers for free land in São Tomé & Príncipe, as Tanzanian-Arabian-backed Islamic militias fought for control in the north, and the African nationalist factions from the Shona tribes clashed with the leftist Shangaan in the south. Eventually, the Shona managed to secure national control, establishing a pan-African state under the dictatorial rule of Gondo Matombo. Without the support of sympathetic regimes in Rhodesia, Moscow or Beijing, the Free Nation of Mozambique is an isolated state. It maintains rivalries with Tanzania (as a result of Dodoma’s support for Salafist rebels in the north), North Rhodesia and Nyasaland (after the preceding Shangaan regime seized the Likoma and Chizumulu islands in 1966), South Africa and Rhodesia (for Mozambique’s support of radical pan-African insurgent groups) and Seko’s Angola (which obviously opposes the Matombo regime on ideological grounds). President Matombo’s chaotic economic policies have driven away foreign investors, while Mozambican civilians are organised en masse into autonomous units of the “African People’s Defence Militia” to defend against “Islamic subjugation, Boer segregation, Portuguese neocolonisation and the enslavement of the African people”. Sadly, it seems Mozambique’s violent decline managed only to produce the very worst kind of basket case dictatorship. A huge thanks to guyfromvault11 for being an amazing teammate, to the mods for a season well-run, and to all the other players for making this such an engaging season. I can’t wait for the next one!
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