The Portuguese Communist Party declared its support for mutinous leftist troops as party leader Alvaro Cunhal rallied his supporters at a demonstration against the Government in Lisbon on Thursday (9 October).
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Communist sign in hall TO chanting crowd
SV People with clenched fists chanting and waving communist flags
TV Crowds clapping (2 shots)
SV Communist Party leader Cunhal receives roses
GV PAN Crowds clapping and chanting
SV Cunhal speaking to crowd and applause at end of speech
GV Crowds chanting
Initials CL/1621 1100/1230/1633 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Portuguese Communist Party declared its support for mutinous leftist troops as party leader Alvaro Cunhal rallied his supporters at a demonstration against the Government in Lisbon on Thursday (9 October).
With left wing soldiers refusing to quit their barracks in Lisbon and Oporto, the Communist Party has swung clearly to their side, describing their agitation as a "magnificent riposte to reactionary forces".
The Communist Party only has one member in the sixth provisional government which is otherwise dominated by Socialists, moderates and the Popular Democratic Party (P.P.D.).
Senhor Cunhal has appealed to President Francisco da Costa Gomes to kate "energetic action" gainst the P.P.D., which has been involved in demonstrations against the leftist elements in the armed forces.
The Communist and their allies have been sounding the alarm about a swing to the Right ever since the Government came to power.
However, the Government is standing firm. A Government statement charged it had ben the victim of a three week orchestrated campaign to undermine its prestige and cause its downfall. The present crisis began when the Government took action to crack down on crack down on indiscipline in the armed forces
The statement attacked fiercely the Communist dominated news media. It referred in glowing terms to recent pro-government demonstrations by the Socialist and P.P.D. And it reprimanded as "irresponsible" all parties that opposed its drive for law and order.