RECENT MOZAMBICAN HISTORY

For most of her life, Gra,ca Machel has lived in a nation at war. Once known as Portuguese East Africa, Mozambique won independence in 1975 after a ten-year armed struggle by the Mozambican Liberation Front (known by its Portuguese acronym Frelimo). Her husband, Frelimo leader Samora Machel, became the republic's first president and helped install an avowedly Marxist government.

``He was a very strong ideologue,'' says Michael Sinclair of the Kaiser Family Foundation, ``but people tend to think that Gra,ca was a moderating influence.'' Samora Machel's first wife left him when he joined Frelimo, and his second wife was killed in the war.

In 1976, Ian Smith's government in what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) helped establish the Mozambique National Resistance Movement (Renamo), a right-wing rebel group intended to destabilize the government.

The United States, after restoring sometimes rocky relations with the Machel government in the early 1980s, provided 350,000 tons of emergency food aid in 1984, making Mozambique the largest recipient of US emergency food aid in the world that year.

After officially abandoning Marxism in 1989, the more moderate replacement for Machel, President Joaquim Chissano, is seeking a negotiated end to Renamo's activities. But the 14 million Mozambicans, living in a nation the size of France and West Germany combined, remain impoverished: Illiteracy is estimated at 93 percent, and per capita income is among the lowest in the world.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK