Popular Movement For The Liberation Of Angola
- The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola—MPLA) was inaugurated in 1956 to work for Angolan independence from Portugal. That aim achieved in 1975, the MPLA set up the People’s Republic of Angola, and under the leadership of Agostinho Neto pledged itself to “scientific” Marxism–Leninism. The MPLA had won control of post-independence Angola with aid from Cuba and the Soviet Union, and this proximity to the two communist states led to the organization’s 1977 transformation from a movement of national liberation into a vanguard party. But its commitment to orthodox Marxism–Leninism was always undermined by the practical realities facing Angola, with its proximity to the anti-communist South Africa and a civil war–burdened economy which meant that private enterprise continued to exist and foreign companies retained considerable economic influence. In this context, Neto’s 1979 replacement as party leader and president, the moderate José Eduardo dos Santos, began moving the MPLA toward reform. This renewal was hastened by the collapse of the Soviet Union, and by the 1990s, the MPLA had abandoned Marxism altogether, reemerging as a social democratic party with consistent electoral success.
Historical dictionary of Marxism. David Walker and Daniel Gray . 2014.
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