A military coup -- smoothly planned and virtually without bloodshed -- took place in Portugal on Thursday (25 April), toppling Dr.
A military coup -- smoothly planned and virtually without bloodshed -- took place in Portugal on Thursday (25 April), toppling Dr. Mercello Caetano and his Cabinet and making General Antonio De Spinola the country's new leader. Visnews' cameraman, Michael Gore, took this film as the coup happened in the streets of Lisbon.
The rebel troops moved quickly into Lisbon, taking over key ministries and the radio stations. There was little resistance. Only three deaths were reported in the city.
Despite appeals to stay off the streets, civilians gathered to cheer the troops. When it became clear that the troops were led by General Spinola, there were displays of overwhelming support.
General Spinola was dismissed last month from his post of Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces' General Staff for writing a book in which he advocated a political -- rather than a military -- solution to the struggles of nationalist guerrilla movements in Portugal's African colonies. He has already made a complete break with the past by promising new elections within a year, the release of political prisoners and the relaxation of censorship.