- Category : Political
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 1/4 - Investigating / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (17,43)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 1
António de Oliveira Salazar; 28 April 1889 – 27 July 1970) was a Portuguese professor and politician who served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo (New State), the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal from 1932 to 1974. In 1940, Life Magazine called Salazar "the greatest Portuguese since Prince Henry the Navigator".
Opposed to communism, socialism, anarchism and liberalism, Salazar's rule was corporatist, conservative, and nationalistic in nature. Its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental nation under the doctrine of lusotropicalism, with Angola, Mozambique, and other Portuguese territories as extensions of Portugal itself, with Portugal being a source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions.
The possessions of Goa, Daman and Diu were lost following Operation Vijay in 1961, prompting the international community to start opposing Salazar's colonial politics as well as initiating a lengthy struggle for the control of the colonies, involving hundreds of thousands of Portuguese soldiers, which ended only in 1975.
At home, Salazar's government and its secret police PIDE repressed civil liberties and political freedoms in order to remain in control of Portugal, including the 1965 PIDE shooting of Humberto Delgado, declared winner by the opposition in the 1958 presidential election, while Delgado and his secretary tried to illegally enter Portuguese territory from Spain. The political suppression, although less bloody than the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and over-all state repression in neighboring Francoist Spain, resulted in widespread migration, border control and isolation, although the regime co-founded the United Nations and NATO as well as other international organizations. Control of the economy, of citizens and of colonial policy were only cosmetically relaxed until the left-wing Carnation Revolution in 1974. The latter led to attempts to introduce democratic socialism and eventually allowed for the restoration of a full parliamentary democracy.
Despite the repressive character of his rule and controversial colonial policy, Salazar remains thoroughly popular among a significant section of the Portuguese public. In March 2007, Salazar was elected the "Greatest Portuguese of Ever" in the public poll, Os Grandes Portugueses.
Salazar was born in Vimieiro, near Santa Comba Dão (Viseu District), to a family of modest income. His father, a small landowner, had started as an agricultural labourer and became the manager for a distinguished family of rural landowners of the region of Santa Comba Dão, the Perestrelos, who possessed lands and other assets scattered between Viseu and Coimbra. He had four older sisters, and was the only male child of two fifth cousins, António de Oliveira (17 January 1839 to 28 September 1932) and wife Maria do Resgate Salazar (23 October 1845 to 17 November 1926), whose paternal grandfather was a landowner and a nobleman. Despite the knowledge of his ancestry, Salazar always preferred to claim humble origins. His older sisters were Maria do Resgate Salazar de Oliveira, an elementary school teacher; Elisa Salazar de Oliveira; Maria Leopoldina Salazar de Oliveira; and Laura Salazar de Oliveira, who in 1887 married Abel Pais de Sousa, whose brother Mário Pais de Sousa was Salazar's Interior Minister, sons of a family of Santa Comba Dão.
Salazar studied at the Viseu Seminary from 1900 to 1908 and considered becoming a priest, but changed his mind. He went to Coimbra in 1910 in order to study law at the University of Coimbra, during the first years of the republican government. During his student years in Coimbra he developed a particular interest for finance. Although becoming a law graduate with distinction and specializing in finance and economic policy at the Law School, Salazar was not an economist (economics in its modern sense was a relatively new academic discipline in Portugal and was not taught at the time as an independent field in the University of Coimbra (the first pure Portuguese university degree in economics was created in 1949 by the modern-day ISEG/UTL; the University of Coimbra founded its own autonomous School of Economics (FEUC) just in 1972). In 1914, he graduated with a 19 mark out of 20, and in the meanwhile became an assistant professor of economic policy at the Law School. In 1917, he became the regent of economic policy and finance by appointment of the professor José Alberto dos Reis. In the following year Salazar was awarded his doctorate.
Rise to power
As a young man, his involvement in politics stemmed from his Catholic views, which were aroused by the new anti-clerical Portuguese First Republic. Writing in Catholic newspapers and fighting in the streets for the rights and interests of the Church and its followers were his first forays into public life.
During Sidónio Pais's brief dictatorship from 1917 to 1918, Salazar was invited to become a minister, but declined. He formally entered politics in the following years, joining the conservative Catholic Centre Party. He was elected to Parliament in 1921 but left it after one session. He continued to teach political economy at the University of Coimbra.
After the 28 May 1926 coup d'état, he briefly joined José Mendes Cabeçadas's government as the 71st Minister of Finance on 3 June 1926, but quickly resigned, explaining that since disputes and social disorder existed in the government, he could not do his work properly. Later again, he became the 81st Finance Minister on 26 April 1928, after the Ditadura Nacional was consolidated, paving the way for him to be appointed the 101st Prime Minister in 1932. He remained Finance Minister until 1940, when World War II consumed his time.
His rise to power is due to the image he was able to build as an honest and effective Finance Minister, President Carmona's strong support, and political positioning. The authoritarian government consisted of a right-wing coalition, and Salazar was able to co-opt the moderates of each political current while fighting the extremists, using censorship and repression. The conservative Catholics were his earliest and most loyal supporters. The conservative republicans who could not be co-opted became his most dangerous opponents during the early period. They attempted several coups, but never presented a united front, so these coups were easily repressed. Never a true monarchist, Salazar nevertheless gained most of the monarchists' support, as the exiled deposed king was given a state funeral at the time of his death. The National Syndicalists were torn between supporting the regime and denouncing it as bourgeois. They were given enough symbolic concessions to win over the moderates, and the rest were repressed by the political police. They were to be silenced shortly after 1933, as Salazar attempted to prevent the rise of National Socialism in Portugal. Salazar also supported Francisco Franco and the Nationalists in their fight against the left-wing groups of the Spanish Republic. The Nationalists lacked ports early on, and Salazar's Portugal helped receive armaments shipments from abroad – including ammunition early on when certain Nationalist forces were virtually out. Because of this, "the Nationalists referred to Lisbon as 'the port of Castile.'"
The prevailing view, at the time, of political parties as elements of division and parliamentarism as being in crisis led to general support, or at least tolerance, of an authoritarian regime.
In 1933, Salazar introduced a new constitution which gave him wide powers, establishing an anti-parliamentarian and authoritarian government that would last four decades.
Salazar developed the Estado Novo (New State) regime. The basis of his government was a platform of stability. Salazar's early reforms allowed financial stability and therefore economic growth. Salazar's teachings and values where known as A Lição de Salazar (Salazar's Lesson).
Although Portugal had a high level of illiteracy and Salazar himself was a professor, his regime didn't consider education a high priority and for many years didn't spend much on it, beyond granting basic education to all citizens. In the final years of Salazar's rule and the six years from his incapacity to the fall of the Estado Novo regime in 1974, educational development was finally prioritized and there was substantial investment in educational infrastructure. At this stage, secondary, vocational/technical and university education reached record high enrollments. Many of the schools created by Salazar were still in operation many decades after the end of the regime in 1974.
Salazar's regime was rigidly authoritarian. He based his political philosophy around a close interpretation of Catholic social doctrine, much like the contemporary regime of Engelbert Dollfuß in Austria. The economic system, known as corporatism, was based on a similar interpretation of the papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII, 1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (Pius XI, 1931), which was supposed to prevent class struggle and supremacy of economics. Salazar himself banned Portugal's National Syndicalists, a more true Fascist party. Salazar's own party, the National Union, was formed as a subservient umbrella organisation to support the regime itself, and was therefore lacking in any ideology independent of the regime. At the time many European countries feared the destructive potential of communism. Salazar not only forbade Marxist parties, but also revolutionary fascist-syndicalist parties.
Salazar relied on the secret police, first the PVDE (Polícia de Vigilância e de Defesa do Estado – "State Defence and Surveillance Police") set up in 1933 and modeled on the Gestapo and later the PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) established in 1945 and lasting until 1969 (until 1974, under Marcelo Caetano, the Estado Novo's police would be called DGS – Direcção Geral de Segurança, "General Security Directorate"). The job of the secret police was not just to protect national security in a typical modern sense but also to suppress the regime's political opponents, especially those related to the international communist movement or the USSR which was seen by the regime as a menace to Portugal. The PIDE was efficient, however, it was less overtly brutal than its predecessor and the foreign polices that were the model for its creation. A number of prisons were set up by Salazar's right-wing authoritarian regime after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936), where opponents of Estado Novo were sent. The Tarrafal in Cape Verde archipelago was one of them. Anarchists, communists, African independence movements guerrillas and other opponents of Salazar's regime died or were made prisoners for many years in those prisons.
Salazar was able to stay in power because the political structure was heavily rigged in favour of regime candidates.
Neutrality during World War II
During World War II, Salazar steered Portugal down a middle path, but nevertheless provided aid to the Allies: naval bases on Portuguese territory were granted to Britain, in keeping with the traditional Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, and the United States, letting them use Terceira Island in the Azores as a military base, although he agreed to this only after the alternative of an American takeover by force of the islands was made clear to him by the British[verification needed]. Portugal, particularly Lisbon, was one of the last European exit points to the U.S., and a huge number of refugees found shelter in Portugal, many of them with the help from the Portuguese consul general in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who issued visas against Salazar's orders. Siding with the Axis would have meant that Portugal would have been at war with Britain, which would have threatened Portuguese colonies, while siding with the Allies might prove to be a threat to Portugal itself. Portugal continued to export tungsten and other goods to both the Axis (partly via Switzerland) and Allied countries.
Large numbers of Jews and political dissidents, including Abwehr personnel after the 20 July plot of 1944, sought refuge in Portugal, although until late 1942 immigration was very restricted.
The colonies were in disarray after the war. In 1945, Portugal had an extensive colonial Empire, including Cape Verde Islands, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola (including Cabinda), Portuguese Guinea, and Mozambique in Africa; Goa, Damão (including Dadra and Nagar Haveli), and Diu in India (the Portuguese India); Macau in China; and Portuguese Timor in Southeast Asia. Salazar, a fierce integralist, was determined to retain control of Portugal's colonies.
The overseas provinces were a continual source of trouble and wealth for Portugal, especially during the Portuguese Colonial War. Portugal became increasingly isolated on the world stage as other European nations with African colonies gradually granted them independence.
Salazar wanted Portugal to be relevant internationally, and the country's overseas colonies made this possible, while Salazar himself refused to be overawed by the Americans. Portugal was the only non-democracy among the founding members of NATO in 1949, which reflected Portugal's role as an ally against communism during the Cold War. Portugal was offered help from the Marshall Plan because of the aid it gave to the Allies during the final stages of World War II; aid it initially refused but eventually accepted.
Throughout the 1950s, Salazar maintained the same import substitution approach to economic policy that had ensured Portugal's neutral status during World War II. The rise of the "new technocrats" in the early 1960s, however, led to a new period of economic opening up, with Portugal as an attractive country for international investment. Industrial development and economic growth would continue all throughout the 1960s. During Salazar's tenure, Portugal also participated in the founding of OECD and EFTA.
The Indian possessions were the first to be lost in 1961. After India gained independence on 15 August 1947, the British and the French vacated their colonial possessions in India. Indian nationalists in Goa launched a struggle for Portugal to leave, involving a series of strikes and civil disobedience movements by Indians against the Portuguese administration, which were ruthlessly suppressed by Portugal. India made numerous offers to negotiate for the return of the colonies, but Salazar repeatedly rejected the offers. With an Indian military operation imminent, Salazar ordered Governor General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva to fight until the last man, and adopt a scorched earth policy. Eventually, India launched Operation Vijay in December 1961 to evict Portugal from Goa, Daman and Diu. 31 Portuguese soldiers were killed in action and a Portuguese Navy frigate NRP Afonso de Albuquerque was destroyed, before General Vassalo e Silva surrendered. Salazar forced the General into exile for disobeying his order to fight to the last man and surrendering to the Indian Army.
In the 1960s, armed revolutionary movements and scattered guerrilla activity had reached Mozambique, Angola, and Portuguese Guinea. Except in Portuguese Guinea, the Portuguese army and naval forces were able to effectively suppress most of these insurgencies through a well-planned counter-insurgency campaign using light infantry, militia, and special operations forces. Most of the world ostracized the Portuguese government because of its colonial policy, especially the newly-independent African nations.
At home, Salazar's regime remained unmistakably authoritarian. He was able to hold onto power with reminders of the instability that had characterized Portuguese political life before 1926. However, these tactics were decreasingly successful, as a new generation emerged which had no collective memory of this instability. In the 1960s, Salazar's opposition to decolonization and gradual freedom of the press created friction with the Franco dictatorship.
Economically, the Salazar years were marked by a period of modest growth and the country remained largely underdeveloped and its population relatively poor and with low education levels until the 1960s. From 1950 until Salazar's death, Portugal saw its GDP per capita rise at an average rate of 5.66% per year. The Salazar era was marked by an economic program based on the policies of autarky and interventionism, which were popular in the 1930s as a response to the Great Depression. During his tenure, Portugal was co-founder of OECD and EFTA. After the chaotic years of the Portuguese First Republic, financial stability was Salazar's highest priority. His first incursions into Portuguese politics as a member of the cabinet were during the Ditadura Nacional, when Portugal's public finances and the economy in general were in a dreadful mess due to the continuous state of imminent default since at least the 1890s. After has become Prime Minister, in order to balance the Portuguese budget and pay off external debts, he instituted numerous taxes. Having adopted a policy of neutrality during World War II, Portugal could simultaneously loan Lajes Air Base in the Azores to the Allies and export military equipment and metals to the Axis powers. In 1960, at the initiation of Salazar's more outward-looking economic policy due to the influence of a new generation of technocrats with a background in economics and technical-industrial know-how, Portugal's per capita GDP was only 38 percent of the European Community (EC-12) average; by the end of the Salazar period, in 1968, it had risen to 48 percent; and in 1973, under the leadership of Marcelo Caetano, Portugal's per capita GDP had reached 56.4 percent of the EC-12 average. On a long term analysis, after a long period of economic divergence before 1914, and a period of chaos during the Portuguese First Republic, the Portuguese economy recovered slightly until 1950, entering thereafter on a path of strong economic convergence until the Carnation Revolution in April 1974. Portuguese economic growth in the period 1960–1973 under the Estado Novo regime (and even with the effects of an expensive war effort in African territories against independence guerrilla groups), created an opportunity for real integration with the developed economies of Western Europe. Through emigration, trade, tourism and foreign investment, individuals and firms changed their patterns of production and consumption, bringing about a structural transformation. Simultaneously, the increasing complexity of a growing economy raised new technical and organizational challenges, stimulating the formation of modern professional and management teams.
His reluctance to travel abroad, his increasing determination not to grant independence to the colonies and to stand against the "winds of change" announced by the British in their move to liberate their major colonies, and his refusal to grasp the impossibility of his regime outliving him, marked the final years of his tenure. "Proudly alone" was the motto of his final decade. For the Portuguese ruling regime, the overseas empire was a matter of national identity.
In order to support his colonial policies, Salazar adopted Gilberto Freyre's notion of Lusotropicalism, maintaining that since Portugal had been a multicultural, multiracial and pluricontinental nation since the 15th century, if the country were to be dismembered by losing its overseas territories, that would spell the end for Portuguese independence. In geopolitical terms, no critical mass would then be available to guarantee self-sufficiency to the Portuguese State. Salazar had strongly resisted Freyre's ideas throughout the 1930s, partly because Freyre claimed the Portuguese were more prone than other European nations to miscegenation, and only adopted Lusotropicalism after sponsoring Freyre on a visit to Portugal and its colonies in 1951-2. Freyre's work "Aventura e Rotina" was a result of this trip.
Salazar was a close friend of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith: after Rhodesia proclaimed its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain, Portugal – though not officially recognizing the new Rhodesian state – supported Rhodesia economically and militarily through the neighbouring Portuguese colony of Mozambique until 1975, when FRELIMO took over Mozambique after negotiations with the new Portuguese regime which had taken over after the Carnation Revolution. Ian Smith later wrote in his The Great Betrayal that had Salazar lasted longer than he did, the Rhodesian government would have survived to the present day, ruled by a moderate black majority government under the name of 'Zimbabwe-Rhodesia'.
Salazar and the Catholic Church
Salazar's goal was to establish a Catholic Social Order even in a nominally secular state. In this process, Salazar dissolved Freemasonry in Portugal in 1935. He permitted the Catholic religion to be taught in all schools, not just parochial schools (however, non-Catholic parents who did not wish their children to receive this instruction could have their children removed from these classes); but throughout Portugal, the Catholic education of the youth was greatly favored. Another policy at this time was Salazar's legislation on marriage which read “The Portuguese state recognizes the civil effects of marriages celebrated according to canonical laws.” He then initiated into this legislation articles which frowned upon divorce. Article 24 reads, “In harmony with the essential properties of Catholic marriages, it is understood that by the very fact of the celebration of a canonical marriage, the spouses renounce the legal right to ask for a divorce.” Divorce was only allowed if it has been purely a civil marriage. The effect of this law was that the number of Catholic marriages went up, so that by 1960 nearly 91 percent of all marriages in the country were canonical marriages.
On 4 July 1937, Salazar was on his way to Mass at a private chapel in a friend's house in the Barbosa du Bocage Avenue in Lisbon. As he stepped out of the car, a Buick, a bomb exploded only 10 feet away (the bomb had been hidden in an iron case). The bomb-blast left Salazar untouched (his chauffeur was rendered deaf). The bishops argued in a collective letter in 1938, that it was an "act of God" that had preserved Salazar's life in this attempted assassination. Emídio Santana was the anarcho-syndicalist, founder of the Metallurgists National Union (Sindicato Nacional dos Metalúrgicos), behind the assassination attempt. The official car was replaced by an armoured Chrysler Imperial.
On 13 May 1938, when the bishops of Portugal fulfilled their vow and renewed the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cardinal Cerejeira acknowledged publicly that Our Lady of Fatima had "spared Portugal the scourge of Communism". After Portugal avoided the devastation of both the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, Salazar's propaganda machine and the Catholic Church also connected this to a miraculous dimension which made them profit from the Catholic fervor of the masses. The Cristo-Rei, a Catholic monument in Almada, was inaugurated on 17 May 1959 by Salazar. Its construction was approved by a Portuguese Episcopate conference, held in Fátima on 20 April 1940, as a plea to God to prevent Portugal from entering World War II. However, the idea had originated on a visit by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, soon after the inauguration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in 1931.
The relationship of Salazar with some sectors of the Catholic Church, more in accordance with the social doctrine of the Holy See, worsened after World War II. Some prominent oppositionist priests, like Abel Varzim and Joaquim Alves Correia, openly supported the MUD in 1945 and the granting of more social rights to the workers. Abel Varzim, who had been a supporter of the regime, had his newspaper closed, while Joaquim Alves Correia was forced into exile in the United States, where he died in 1951. The Democratic Opposition main candidate in the 1958 Presidential Elections, General Humberto Delgado was a Roman Catholic and a dissident of the regime, who quoted Pope Pius XII to show how the social policies of the regime were against the social teachings of the Church. The same year, Salazar suffered a severe blow from the bishop of Porto, Dom António Ferreira Gomes, who wrote a critical letter to the Council President in July 1958 being forced to exile for 10 years. After the Second Vatican Council, a large number of Catholics became active in the Democratic Opposition.
In 1968, Salazar suffered a brain hemorrhage. Most sources maintain that it occurred when he fell from a chair in his summer house. In February 2009 though, there were anonymous witnesses who confessed, after some research about Salazar's best-kept secrets, that he had fallen in a bathtub instead of from a chair. Despite the injury, Salazar lived for a further two years; as he was expected to die shortly after his fall, President Américo Thomaz replaced him with Marcello Caetano. When Salazar unexpectedly recovered lucidity, his intimates did not tell him he had been deposed, instead allowing him to "rule" in privacy until his death in July 1970. Tens of thousands paid their last respects at the funeral and the Requiem Mass that took place at the Jerónimos Monastery and at the passage of the special train that carried the coffin to his hometown of Vimieiro near Santa Comba Dão, where he was buried according to his wishes in his native soil, in a plain ordinary grave. As a symbolic display of his views of Portugal and the colonial empire, there is well-known footage of several members of the "Mocidade Portuguesa," of both African and European ethnicity, paying homage at his funeral.
Post-Salazar Portugal and interpretation
After Salazar's death, his Estado Novo regime persisted under the direction of Thomaz as well as his successor and longtime aide, Marcelo Caetano, who co-wrote the Constitution of 1933. Despite tentative overtures towards an opening of the regime, Caetano balked at ending the colonial war, notwithstanding the condemnation of most of the international community. Eventually the Estado Novo fell on 25 April 1974, after the Carnation Revolution. The retreat from the colonies and the acceptance of their independence terms which would create newly-independent communist states in 1975 (most notably the People's Republic of Angola and the People's Republic of Mozambique), which promptly started to expel all white Portuguese citizens from the nearly-independent Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique), created over a million destitute Portuguese refugees — the retornados.
The Estado Novo regime has been described by the American socialist author David L. Raby as a far-right leaning regime of para-fascist inspiration, although general labeling of Portugal as "fascist" declined after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in World War II, in which Portugal remained strictly neutral. According to some Portuguese far-right leaning or conservative scholars like Jaime Nogueira Pinto and Rui Ramos, his early reforms and policies allowed political and financial stability and therefore social order and economic growth, after the politically unstable and financially chaotic years of the Portuguese First Republic (1910–1926). Other historians, like far-leftist politician Fernando Rosas, point out that Salazar's policies from the 1930s to the 1950s led to economic and social stagnation and rampant emigration, turning Portugal into one of the poorest countries in Europe, one that was also thwarted by scoring lower on literacy than its peers of the Northern Hemisphere.