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FILLING THE GAP
owering Qi new political parties and groupings hasluid political situation in Lisbon and has added lo the junta's difficulties in deC'ding who w'H participate in the provisional government it has promised to form by mid-May.
Thousands of ictuining political exiles and recently freed political prisoners havo joined with Other citizens in contributing their energy and political talentumbei of newly creates politicalajority of :hese new partieseftist orientation. Their organizers have emerged from hiding after years ofoperations.
Socialist Party leader Mario Soares. who has been very active since his return Iron exile, leveled to European capitals last week to rnee: with various heads of state and to drum usand technical support from EuropeanHe apparently met with someecause Georges Dubunne, the vice president o< the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, has said that he and other European labor leaders will visit Portugal soon to demonstrate
Soares is in favor of including Communists in the provisional government on grounds that it will be better to have the Communists shareresponsibility than leave them on the outside to criticize. He emphasized that the Communists would be denied sensitive portfolios sucrt as the foreign, defense, and interior ministry posts. Soares implied that he would become prime
Meanwhile, the climate of political tolerance in Lisbon hasash of politicaland seizures of public inst tutions. One laige group demonstiated in front of junta headquarters for better pay and shorte' hours.
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The junta reacted to this activity onyoughly worded statement warning that such acts will be considered "insubordinationrime against the Armed ForcesThe Portuguese Communist Partyimilar warning, but it has become apparent that the party is unable to exercise effective control over the extreme left.
Demonstrations and seizures havethis week, but concern is growing within the business community that the country is headederiod of economic disorder. To reduce the flow of wealth abroad, the junta on May aa series of belt-tightening economicreinforced by the threat of heavy jail terms for violations.
STRATEGY IN AFRICA
During the past week the junta leaders began to amplify their policy toward Portuguese Africa. The immediate objectives are to put theon the political defensive and to reassure the sizable white populations of the majorthat Lisbon will not abandon them.
In press conferences in Angola and Lisbon. General Costa Gomes, the number two man in the junta and chief of staff of the armed forces, urged the insurgents to stop fighting and participateree political "dialogue" along with other political forces in the territories and the metropole. His offerhallenge to the rebels to prove in the open their long-held claims of wide popular support. It also was apparently intended to let the insurgents know they cannot expect Lisbon to defer to them on the basis of their alleged military strength or control of territory.
Although insurgent leaders immediately re-jected Costa Gomes' offer, they clearly have been put off balance by the sudden switch in Lisbonegime advocating major changes in African policy. They are under strong pressure towith the junta from independent African leaders who have supported them over the years and who nowossible way outlack-white military confrontation. At the same time,umber of insurgentcannot afford to have the actual amount of territorial control and public support they command, which is much less than claimed, brought out into the open.
Rather than risk such exposure they may try to force Lisbon to the negotiating table,in Portuguese Guinea and Mozambique, where the rebels have strong military positions. In Angola, however, rebel groups are internally divided and in sharp competition with each other. The level of insurgency has been low for several years, and the rebels may be forced by their own limitations, and by African pressure, to enter the political arena as their only hope.
Costa Gomes' press conference in Angola was in part an attempt to "show the flag" in Africa and calm fears of local whites in both Angola and Mozambique that Lisbon mightthem. The liberal policies o' the junta have sharpened misgivings long held by whites over the strength of Lisbon's commitment to stay in Africa.
White apprehension has been particularly noticeable recently in Mozambique.ingle unified insurgent movement has been making slow but steady military gains, which have now brought them into areas of heavy white settler concentration, leading the whites in recent months to demonstrate for stronger military
Costa Gomes' visit to Angola was marked by reassuring public speeches and was followed up by warnings from local officials that civilwould not be tolerated. In the present period of political euphoria, the junta is anxious to avoid clashes among social and political organizations that are certain to emerge in response to the junta's desire for political liberalization.
Just prior to Costa Gomes' arrival in Angola.
the juntapecial representative to
Mozambique to serve as an adviser to the local
administration. Costa Gomes is planning to visit
Mozambique shortly. Lisbon announced on May
8 that General Spinola will visit Angola in the near future.
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