Mozambique: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Mozambique, trading point between India and Portugal, political prisoners, history of race problems between black and white.



The coast of Mozambique was Portugal's logical choice for a halfway point for her fleets trading with India, because Mozambique had citrus fruits (introduced earlier by the Arabs), which would treat crews' scurvy. The coast protected ships from winter monsoons and its ports had the gold the Arabs had been extracting from Rhodesia. But as Portugal's trading empire declined so did Mozambique's value to it. In the early 1900s Portugal offered its colony to Britain for pound 3 million. Evidently Britain did not need it. With the rise of black African nationalism, the U.S.-educated Dr. Eduardo Mondlane founded the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO. He was later assassinated at his home in Dar es Salaam in 1969. In 1974 Portugal announced its decision to grant Mozambique full independence the following year. White settlers tried to sabotage the process by staging a coup in Lourenco Marques. The Portuguese Army did not support the whites, however, and the aborted coup led only to violence, bloodshed, and a backlash against the whites that sent many scurrying across the borders to the white-dominated countries of Rhodesia and South Africa.

Between 1971 and 1974, 865 black political prisoners died in Portuguese secret jails.

The new black administration evidently believes Mozambique should be a multi-racial society and many whites have decided to stay. "There is a place for everybody in Mozambique," the Premier said shortly after the formation of the interim government.

"We're not fighting the color of whites; we are fighting against their laws...."-Raimundo Dalepa, FRELIMO guerilla, described by villagers as a black James Bond.

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