Two Days To Freedom – April 25th and the Carnation Revolution

Written By Zé Eduardo Penedo

Step back in time to the storied streets of Lisbon, where the air was electric with anticipation on that fateful day of April 25th, 1974. In the heart of this historic city, a nation on the brink of change stood poised for a revolution unlike any other. Picture the scene: cobblestone alleys lined with whispers of discontent, bustling squares pulsating with the rhythmic beat of a nation’s yearning for freedom. It was amidst this charged atmosphere that the Carnation Revolution blossomed into life.

But the story of this remarkable uprising stretches far beyond mere dates and events; it’s a tapestry woven with threads of resilience and defiance. Imagine the fervor of ordinary citizens as they took to the streets, armed not with weapons of war, but with delicate carnations-blooms of hope that would come to symbolize their unyielding resolve. Here, in the shadow of authoritarian rule, the people of Portugal forged a path toward a brighter future, one marked by democracy, liberty, and the promise of a new dawn.

Yet, the road to revolution is never without its twists and turns, its moments of triumph and tribulation. Join us as we unravel the intricate web of events leading up to that fateful day, from the discontent simmering beneath the surface to the spark that ignited a nation’s collective consciousness. Through the lens of history, we’ll explore the courage of individuals who dared to challenge the status quo, the unity of a people bound together by a common cause, and the indomitable spirit that ultimately prevailed against all odds.

Two Days Before the Revolution

On April 23, at 11 a.m., Santarém witnessed a crucial moment in Portugal’s history. Captain Candeias Valente, an officer from the Captains’ Movement, arrived in the city with the important mission of handing over the operations order for the Practical Cavalry School. This meeting was destined to play a significant role in the events that shaped the future of the country.

As soon as he arrived in town, Candeias Valente wasted no time in calling Lieutenant Ribeiro Sardinha’s house to inform him that he was already at Pastelaria Bijou. This phone call was a crucial link in the chain of events that followed. Ribeiro Sardinha, in turn, contacted Salgueiro Maia, as previously agreed, and the three of them decided to meet at the pastry shop to discuss the next steps.

At 11.30 a.m., Captain Salgueiro Maia went to Pastelaria Bijou, located in Largo do Seminário, to meet Candeias Valente and receive the long-awaited operations order. This symbolic meeting took place at a crucial moment, marking the beginning of a series of events that would change the course of Portuguese history.

At 11.40 a.m., inside Salgueiro Maia’s vehicle, parked near the EPC, the two captains finally exchanged the order of operations and agreed on the final details. However, this historic moment did not go unnoticed. A car from PIDE/DGS, the regime’s political police, prowled the area, observing the captains’ movements from a distance. This was a constant reminder of the danger and uncertainty that surrounded those who challenged the status quo.

The Morning Before

At the end of April 24, 1974, a group of soldiers, led by Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, carried out a revolutionary movement that would change the course of Portuguese history. This secret group set up a command post in the Pontinha barracks in Lisbon, marking the beginning of a journey that would culminate in the Carnation Revolution. The leaders of this movement included figures such as Commander Vítor Crespo, Major Sanches Osório, Lieutenant-Colonel Nuno Fischer Lopes Pires, and others.

Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho. Public Domain.

At 3 a.m., a liaison officer handed over the operations orders to Major Albuquerque, from the Auto Instruction and Conduct Center 1, regarding the units in the Northern Zone. This moment marked the beginning of the dissemination of vital instructions to military personnel throughout the country.

Two hours later, the operations order was received at the 14th Infantry Regiment in Viseu. Captain Ferreira do Amaral and Captain Aprígio Ramalho passed on the instructions to the units in Lamego and Guarda, respectively.

At 8 a.m., Captain Castro Carneiro and Ensign Pêgo, from CICA 1, embarked on a journey to hand over the operations orders to the units in Lamego, Vila Real, and Bragança, playing a crucial role in coordinating the actions throughout the territory.

Thirty minutes later, officers from the Practical Cavalry School, linked to the Armed Forces Movement (MFA), began to make secret contacts with graduates, informing them of the plans for the operation that would take place that morning.

At 9.30 a.m., Captain Santa Clara Gomes handed over the mission order to Major Cardoso Fontão, referring to Hunter Battalion 5 (BC 5), reinforcing the importance of coordination and communication between military units.

Half an hour later, Álvaro Guerra informed Carlos Albino that the national password “Grândola Vila Morena” had been chosen, thus guaranteeing its transmission. Meanwhile, Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho sent an encrypted telegram to Melo Antunes containing crucial information about the events.

At 11 a.m., in a symbolic gesture of preparation, Carlos Albino bought the record “Cantigas do Maio” at the Opinião bookstore, as a way of guaranteeing the transmission of the password, while Captain Costa Martins brought the signal forward by an hour, informing João Paulo Diniz of the change.

Just 30 minutes later, the Commander of the EPC, Colonel Augusto Laje, left for Lisbon for a medical appointment, unaware that the country was on the brink of a revolution that would change Portugal’s destiny forever.

The Afternoon Before

At 1:30 p.m., under the Santarém sky, the Practical Cavalry School witnessed the start of a sequence of crucial events. The surrender of the parade marked the moment when militia lieutenant Sousa e Silva took over as the unit’s officer of the day.

An hour later, at 2 p.m., Lieutenant Ribeiro Sardinha, in charge of guarding the EPC commander, saw his mission interrupted due to the absence of the guard. Meanwhile, the newspaper República published a brief note praising Rádio Renascença’s “Limite” program, unaware of the crucial role it would play in the coming hours.

At 3 p.m., a decisive meeting took place between Carlos Albino and Manuel Tomás, the Radio Renascença technician in charge of the “Limite” program, to plan the execution of the password and guarantee its transmission. Amid censorship restrictions, they decided to retreat to a safe place to discuss the details.

Then, at 3:30 p.m., in the tranquility of the Church of S. João de Brito, under the pretext of praying, Albino and Tomás finalized the technical details of the password. Meanwhile, at the Practical Cavalry School, Lieutenants Baluda Cid, Ramos Cadete, and Silva Aparício were preparing for a delicate mission in Lisbon, aimed at influencing some officers and deactivating armored vehicles in Cavalry Regiment 7.

At 5 p.m., an order resounded in the Practical Cavalry School, marking the start of a series of movements. The lieutenants set off in the direction of Cavalry Regiment No. 7 and the Military Police, in Ajuda, with a delicate mission on their hands.

Meanwhile, the militia graduates from the Practical Cavalry School finalized their preparations for the operation, ensuring that they were ready for the imminent events.

Finally, at 7 p.m., the censors at Rádio Renascença authorized the texts prepared by Albino, which included quatrains, poems, and the iconic song “Grândola, Vila Morena”, whose meaning was about to become historic. At the same time, Leite de Vasconcelos recorded the texts, unaware of the role they would play that night.

Thus, between secret meetings, meticulous preparations, and veiled messages, the unsung heroes of the Carnation Revolution were charting the course of history, leading the country toward a new dawn of freedom and democracy.

The Evening Before

As the clock struck 8 p.m., the Lisbon Engineering Regiment, located in the Pontinha barracks, was the epicenter of meticulous preparation. While the uprising officers, led by prominent figures such as Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, organized themselves, security measures were implemented. Tuning in and picking up signals inside the premises, blanketing windows, and making rounds in the Regiment were just some of the visible signs of the unrest that was taking place.

At around 9:30 p.m., preparations intensified. Captain Santos Coelho, from the 1st Engineering Regiment, joined the group of commandos while distributing weapons and ammunition. An atmosphere of tension hung in the air as the order of operations was read out and missions defined.

At 10 p.m., the iconic Captain Salgueiro Maia, destined to command the military column of the Practical Cavalry School in “Operation End of the Regime”, met with his officers. At the Command Post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces Movement, led by Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, was waiting, ready for the events that would unfold.

Photo of statue in homage of Salgueiro Maia in Santarem. Photo by Isabel Cruz (Flickr)

Meanwhile, at 10:30 p.m., a technical fault briefly suspended the transmission of Emissores Associados from Lisbon, causing apprehension among the military waiting for the first signal for action. However, communication was soon re-established, preparing the ground for what was to come.

At 10:55 p.m., the tension reached its peak when Rádio Renascença was due to broadcast the operation’s countersign. All eyes and ears were alert, anxiously awaiting the signal that would trigger a series of events that would change the course of Portugal’s history forever.

Meanwhile, in different strategic locations around the city, officers and soldiers were preparing, each playing their part in the coming revolution. The fate of a nation was about to be sealed on that memorable night of April 25, 1974.

The Night Of

In the dimly lit studios of Rádio Renascença, silence descended as the power abruptly cut off, plunging the room into darkness. It was a moment of uncertainty, a mere blip in the grand scheme of events that were about to unfold. Little did anyone know, this interruption would mark the prelude to one of the most pivotal moments in Portugal’s history.

At 12:10 a.m., the airwaves crackled back to life, signaling the resumption of broadcast at Rádio Renascença. Little did the listeners know that they were on the brink of witnessing a seismic shift in the nation’s destiny.

The clock struck 12:21 AM, a moment etched in the annals of Portuguese history as the definitive turning point. It was the transmission of the first stanza of “Grândola, Vila Morena,” the iconic anthem by José Afonso, during the program “Limite” on Rádio Renascença that served as the catalyst for what was to come. This signal, known as the definitive password, set into motion a series of events that would irreversibly alter the course of the nation.

“Grandola Vila Morena” song by Zeca Afonso. Public Domain.

As the melodic strains of the anthem echoed through the airwaves, a group of dedicated individuals, including Carlos Albino and Manuel Tomás, seized control of the narrative. Their actions, fueled by a shared vision of liberation, reverberated across the nation, igniting the flames of revolution.

In the heart of Lisbon, at the Batalhão de Caçadores 5 in Campolide, a cadre of officers meticulously laid out the plans of the Movement of the Captains. Under the leadership of Captain Bicho Beatriz and Major Cardoso Fontão, preparations were underway for the occupation of key strategic points, including the Government Military Headquarters and the safeguarding of Rádio Clube Português.

Across the country, from the Escola Prática de Administração Militar to the Carreira de Tiro da Serra da Carregueira, the wheels of the revolution were set in motion. The rallying cry for change echoed through the halls of power, as brave men and women took a stand against tyranny.

In the dead of night, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, a sense of purpose emerged. From the Escola Prática da Aeronáutica to the Escola Prática de Infantaria, individuals like Captain Santos Silva and Major Aurélio Trindade stepped forward, ready to defend the ideals of freedom and democracy.

As the clock struck 12:40 a.m., the momentum of the revolution continued to build. From the Campo de Tiro da Serra da Carregueira to the CIAAC in Cascais, the tide was turning. No longer would the people of Portugal be held captive by fear and oppression.

In the early hours of the morning, as whispers of revolution spread like wildfire, Captain Salgueiro Maia emerged as a beacon of hope. His unwavering determination and steadfast leadership inspired a nation to rise up against injustice.

At 2:00 a.m., the spirit of rebellion spread like wildfire across Portugal. In Viseu, the Regimento de Infantaria 14 began preparations for a company that would join others in forming the formidable “November” group. Meanwhile, at the Escola Prática de Infantaria in Mafra, Captain Rui Rodrigues led a company of interventionists on a mission destined to make history.

Their journey, winding through Malveira, Loures, Frielas, and Camarate, was no mere nocturnal excursion. Their destination: Portela Airport, a strategic stronghold to occupy and defend against the forces of oppression.

Back at the Battalhão de Caçadores 5, Major Cardoso Fontão orchestrated the distribution of weapons, ammunition, and radio equipment, rallying his troops for the impending battle. Simultaneously, from the Carreira de Tiro da Serra da Carregueira, a convoy of vehicles rumbled forth, carrying 47 determined souls toward their objective.

By 2:30 a.m., the wheels of revolution were in full motion. In Figueira da Foz, Captains Dinis de Almeida and Fausto Almeida Pereira executed a flawless plan to secure the Heavy Artillery Regiment 3, neutralizing opposition forces with strategic precision. Meanwhile, at the Escola Prática de Infantaria, troops seized control of key points in Mafra, consolidating their hold over the town and its environs.

Ten minutes later, forces from the Escola Prática de Engenharia embarked from Tancos towards the Golegã-Chamusca bridge, where they would rendezvous with fellow comrades from Santa Margarida. Simultaneously, a column from the Escola Prática da Administração Militar, led by Captain Teófilo Bento, embarked on a mission of their own, marching resolutely towards their objective.

As the clock struck 3 a.m., the halls of power trembled as the Rádio Televisão Portuguesa (RTP), known in military parlance as “Mónaco,” fell under the control of revolutionary forces. Simultaneously, a convoy of military vehicles, including artillery units commanded by Captains Oliveira Patrício and Mira Monteiro, departed from Vendas Novas towards Lisbon, their mission clear: to usher in a new era of liberation.

In a coordinated effort, forces from the Escola Prática de Artilharia secured key positions near Montemor-o-Novo and Lavre, ensuring the safety of their comrades and disrupting enemy supply lines. Meanwhile, in Lamego, the Special Operations Instruction Center dispatched a company of elite troops toward the bustling city of Porto, their determination undaunted in the face of adversity.

In the north, lieutenant-colonel Carlos Azeredo led a force from the CICA 1 into the heart of the Região Militar do Porto (RMP), transforming it into a bastion of resistance against tyranny. And, as dawn approached, the column from the Escola Prática de Cavalaria stood poised to embark on Operation End Regime, a mission that would forever alter the course of Portuguese history.

In the early hours of April 25th, 1974, as Portugal slumbered in the embrace of the night, a wave of change swept across the nation. At 3:07 a.m., in the heart of Lisbon, a pivotal encounter unfolded at the intersection of Rua Castilho and Sampaio Pina. It was here that the 10th “commando group” converged with the second company of Battalhão de Caçadores 5, under the leadership of Lieutenant Mascarenhas. A terse exchange ensued, punctuated by the password “Courage!” issued by Major Fontão, met with the resolute response of “For Victory!” from Captain Mendonça de Carvalho, signifying their unity of purpose.

Moments later, triumphantly, they marched towards the entrance of Rádio Clube Português. With the deft negotiation of Lieutenant Mascarenhas, the gates swung open, ushering in a new era. Within moments, the station was secured, a bloodless victory that reverberated throughout the country. The message was clear: the tide of revolution could not be stemmed.

As the clock ticked to 3:14 a.m., Lieutenant-Colonel Henrique Sanches, the former second-in-command of the Escola Prática de Cavalaria, watched from his window as the streets below teemed with anticipation. Alongside him, Captain Garcia Correia maintained a vigilant watch, ensuring that no detail escaped their scrutiny.

Across the city, the Escola Prática de Cavalaria’s military force, led by Captains Frederico Morais and Oliveira Pimentel, arrived at the Emissora Nacional, securing yet another bastion of influence. The message was clear: the revolutionaries had seized control of the airwaves, amplifying their message of change.

But the revolution was not confined to Lisbon alone. From the northern reaches of Aveiro to the southern plains of Santarém, the spirit of rebellion blazed brightly. In Lamego, at the Special Operations Instruction Center, Lieutenant-Colonel Sacramento Marques rallied his troops, dispatching them towards Porto with unwavering resolve.

Meanwhile, at the heart of power, the forces of oppression scrambled to regain control. In Torres Novas, at the Grupo de Artilharia Contra Aeronaves 2, Captains Pacheco, Dias Costa, and Ferreira da Silva rallied their comrades to the cause, ensuring that even the most remote outposts echoed with the call for change.

But the momentum of the revolution was unstoppable. By 4:15, the dawn of a new era was imminent. As the regime’s forces mobilized in a futile attempt to quell the uprising, they were met with defiance at every turn. From Braga to Lisbon, from Torres Novas to Santarém, the people had spoken: the time for change had come.

As the first rays of dawn broke through the darkness, Portugal stood on the precipice of a new beginning. The events of that fateful night would forever alter the course of history, heralding the birth of a nation reborn. And as the sun rose on a new day, the echoes of revolution reverberated throughout the land, a testament to the power of the people to shape their own destiny.

At 4:20 on the historic morning of April 25th, 1974, the rhythm of Portugal’s destiny quickened. In the hushed corridors of power and on the streets pulsating with anticipation, a lone figure emerged as a harbinger of change. Captain Rui Rodrigues, at the helm of the Escola Prática de Infantaria column, seized control of the Figo Maduro and Lisbon airports.

Under the command of the resolute Captain Costa Martins, the airspace over Portugal was promptly closed, with all air traffic diverted to Las Palmas and Madrid. As the world awoke to a new reality, the bustling metropolis of New York found itself under the sway of the revolutionary movement. Amidst the chaos, a phone call from Silva Cunha’s wife hinted at the impending upheaval, signaling the dawning realization within the echelons of power.

At exactly 4:20 a.m., the Figo Maduro Military Airport fell under the sole stewardship of Captain Pilot-Aviator Costa Martins. Employing a strategic bluff, Martins leveraged the appearance of a surrounding company from the Escola Prática de Infantaria to commandeer the airport’s control tower. With decisive authority, he issued orders to ground all air traffic, formalizing the closure of Lisbon’s Flight Information Region and airspace.

Minutes later, the nation’s airwaves crackled with the first official proclamation of the MFA, voiced by journalist Joaquim Furtado on Rádio Clube Português. The message was clear: a plea for calm and restraint echoed across the land, urging citizens to remain within the safety of their homes.

The second MFA communication, broadcast at 4:45, reiterated the call for prudence among the military and police forces, emphasizing the movement’s commitment to minimizing bloodshed. As the nation held its breath, the unfolding drama played out against the backdrop of a country on the brink of transformation.

By 4:50, the Escola Prática de Cavalaria column, bearing the hopes of a nation, passed through the Sacavém tollbooth, marking another milestone on the journey towards revolution.

In these pivotal hours, as Portugal stood on the cusp of a new era, the wheels of history turned inexorably forward. From the corridors of power to the bustling streets, the echoes of change reverberated, heralding the dawn of a nation reborn. And as the first light of dawn broke across the horizon, Portugal awakened to a new reality, its destiny forever altered by the events of that historic morning.

The Dawn Of

In the quiet stillness of the early hours, the nation of Portugal stood on the precipice of history. As the clock struck 5:15 on April 25th, 1974, the heartbeats of a nation echoed with the resonance of imminent change. It was a pivotal moment as the MFA delivered its third communication, resonating with a call for calm amidst the tempest of revolution.

With measured words, the MFA urged military and police forces to exercise restraint, emphasizing the paramount importance of avoiding confrontation. The specter of needless bloodshed loomed large, prompting a fervent appeal to return to the barracks and await further instructions. In the dim light of dawn, a nation held its breath, awaiting the unfolding of events that would shape its destiny.

Amidst the uncertainty, the populace was urged to remain indoors, preserving an atmosphere of tranquility in the face of upheaval. The echoes of revolution reverberated through the streets, as military forces converged on strategic locations, poised to enact change.

In the halls of power, a flurry of activity ensued as government officials grappled with the rapidly evolving situation. Marcelo Caetano, the Prime Minister, received a sobering call from the director-general of the PIDE, Major Silva Pais, signaling the gravity of the moment. The specter of revolution loomed large, prompting urgent calls for refuge and protection.

Marcelo Caetano, PM at the time of the revolution. WIkimedia

In the unfolding drama, the support of the people emerged as a pivotal factor. As military columns made their way through the city streets, encountering pockets of resistance and moments of tension, the resolve of the people was put to the test.

At 5:18, as the EPC column reached the Campo Grande, frustration mingled with determination. Captain Salgueiro Maia, leading the charge, refused to yield to the absurdity of the situation, pressing forward with unwavering resolve.

By 5:30 a.m., as the EPC encountered resistance from police forces, the resolve of the revolutionaries was put to the test. In the face of adversity, they pressed on, undeterred by the challenges that lay ahead.

As the sun rose higher in the sky, the Terreiro do Paço emerged as a focal point of the revolution. Occupied by military forces, it stood as a symbol of defiance against the old order, signaling a new dawn for Portugal.

In the corridors of power, directives were issued, orders relayed, and decisions made in the crucible of revolution. As forces mobilized and tensions mounted, the fate of a nation hung in the balance.

As the sun began its ascent on April 25th, 1974, Portugal was a nation teetering on the brink of profound change. At 6:20, amid the quiet hum of dawn, a pivotal moment unfolded at the Terreiro do Paço, marking a significant shift in the course of history.

The arrival of Ensign David e Silva, leading a reinforced squadron of AML/Chaimites bolstered with Panhards from RC 7, signaled a turning point in the unfolding drama. With brief words exchanged with Captain Salgueiro Maia, Silva pledged his allegiance to the cause, a sentiment echoed by two platoons from Regimento de Lanceiros 2 stationed at the Ministry of Defense.

Amidst the tumult, a fourth communication from the MFA reverberated through the airwaves, underscoring the gravity of the situation. Military and police forces were implored to heed the call of the revolution, refraining from opposition that could only lead to unnecessary bloodshed. The message was clear: the old order was crumbling, and any resistance would be met with resolute force.

As tensions mounted, the landscape of Lisbon transformed into a battleground of ideologies. The streets buzzed with activity as military units maneuvered into position, each movement a chess piece in the game of revolution.

At 6:30, the skies themselves seemed to echo the turmoil below as the Air Force sounded the alarm. The directive to deploy paratroopers to Monsanto underscored the gravity of the situation, yet even amidst the chaos, acts of defiance emerged. Fausto Marques’ refusal to comply with orders to intervene spoke volumes, a testament to the solidarity of the armed forces with the burgeoning revolution.

Meanwhile, within the hallowed halls of power, a game of cat and mouse played out as government officials sought refuge from the storm. Marcelo Caetano’s retreat to the Quartel do Carmo marked a symbolic shift in power, as the forces of the MFA tightened their grip on the city.

With each passing moment, the tide of revolution surged forward, unstoppable in its momentum. By 7, the streets of Lisbon had become a theater of defiance, as military and police officers alike pledged their allegiance to Salgueiro Maia and the cause of the revolution.

Yet amidst the chaos, moments of uncertainty lingered. The detainment of Colonel Chorão Vinhas and the tense standoff at Santarém underscored the precariousness of the situation. The outcome hung in the balance, the fate of a nation resting on a knife’s edge.

As the clock struck 7:30 a.m., the fifth communication from the MFA reverberated through the nation, a clarion call for unity and resolve. The people were urged to remain steadfast, to stand united in the face of adversity.

The Morning Of

The morning of April 25th, 1974, dawned upon Portugal with an air of uncertainty. By 8 a.m., pivotal events unfolded, shaping the course of the nation’s history in unforeseen ways.

At the Rádio Clube Português, the abrupt cutoff of electricity by the Legion Portuguesa in Porto Alto marked a symbolic shift in power. With emergency generators humming to life, the airwaves crackled with tension, reflecting the tumultuous state of affairs.

Meanwhile, in the city of Porto, the arrival of the CIOE, under the command of Captain Delgado da Fonseca, signaled a convergence of forces, each vying for control in the unfolding drama.

In the corridors of military command, conversations buzzed with urgency. General Luz Cunha’s directive to General Paiva Brandão hinted at strategic maneuvers to reclaim lost ground, while tensions simmered beneath the surface.

As the morning wore on, the streets of Lisbon became a battleground of ideologies. From the Campo das Cebolas to the Terreiro do Paço, forces clashed, each side vying for supremacy amidst the chaos.

Yet amidst the turmoil, moments of restraint emerged. The attempted incursion of GNR forces towards Terreiro do Paço met with resistance from Salgueiro Maia, a testament to the calculated precision of the revolution’s architects.

Commerce Square. Photo by João Reguengos (Unsplash)

At 8:45, the sixth communication from the MFA reverberated through the airwaves, urging calm amidst the storm. The people were implored to remain steadfast, to heed the call of liberation echoing through the streets.

As the clock struck 9, the nation stood at a crossroads, the fate of a nation hanging in the balance. The arrival of the frigate Almirante Gago Coutinho served as a stark reminder of the stakes at hand, while behind closed doors, political machinations unfolded in the halls of power.

With each passing moment, the tension mounted, the weight of history bearing down upon the shoulders of all who bore witness to the dawn of revolution. From the corridors of power to the streets below, Portugal stood on the precipice of a new era.

At 10 a.m., the scene at Terreiro do Paço unfolded with a tense negotiation between Lieutenant Alfredo Assunção of the EPC and the military brass loyal to the old regime. A dramatic confrontation ensued as the emissary of the revolt faced the wrath of his superiors. Three resounding slaps echoed across the square, a visceral symbol of defiance in the face of tyranny. Yet, amidst the chaos, a glimmer of hope emerged as Salgueiro Maia, the indomitable leader of the revolution, extended an olive branch, beckoning for dialogue amidst the clamor of conflict.

In the ensuing moments, the landscape of Lisbon became a theater of defiance, as soldiers grappled with the weight of their loyalties. At precisely 10:06, the deafening silence of indecision permeated the air, as orders were met with resistance and bullets hung suspended in midair, poised to alter the course of history.

Amidst the chaos, a beacon of hope emerged, as Lieutenant-Colonel Correia de Campos arrived on the scene, tasked with coordinating the ever-evolving theater of war. With each passing minute, the balance of power shifted, as soldiers defected, allegiances wavered, and the will of the people became an unstoppable force.

At 10:30, the echoes of negotiation reverberated through the streets of Lisbon, as emissaries sought common ground amidst the cacophony of conflict. Yet, even as the tide turned in favor of the revolutionaries, the specter of resistance loomed large, as the old guard clung to the vestiges of power with white-knuckled determination.

As the clock struck 11 sharp, the nation stood on the precipice of transformation, as the forces of change converged upon the bastions of oppression. With each passing hour, the streets of Lisbon became a battleground of ideals, as soldiers and civilians alike rallied to the call for liberation.

The Afternoon Of

As the clock struck noon on April 25th, 1974, Portugal stood at a pivotal moment in its history. The sun hung high in the sky, casting a hazy glow over the bustling streets of Lisbon, where the fate of a nation hung in the balance.

Loyalist forces of the GNR made their presence known, positioning themselves strategically to counter the advance of Salgueiro Maia’s revolutionary troops. The city echoed with the tension of impending conflict as both sides braced for the inevitable showdown.

Just half an hour later, the stage was set for a dramatic confrontation as the GNR headquarters at Largo do Carmo became the focal point of the struggle. Inside, President Marcelo Caetano, the embattled leader of the old regime, found himself besieged by the forces of change, his fate hanging in the balance.

As the hours wore on, the battlefield expanded, engulfing the entire city in a maelstrom of chaos and uncertainty. Yet, amidst the turmoil, moments of humanity emerged, as the MFA issued a heartfelt statement to reassure the families of those involved in the uprising, offering solace in the midst of the storm.

At 1 p.m., the tides of battle shifted once more as Brigadier Junqueira dos Reis made a desperate bid to free President Caetano from the clutches of the revolutionaries. Yet, his efforts were in vain, as the forces of change tightened their grip on the city, their resolve unyielding in the face of oppression.

By 1:30, the streets of Lisbon had become a battleground, as protesters clashed with loyalist forces, their voices raised in defiance against the remnants of the old regime. In the midst of the chaos, a sense of unity emerged, as civilians and soldiers alike rallied behind the cause of freedom.

As the afternoon wore on, tension reached a fever pitch, culminating in a dramatic standoff at the Quartel da GNR. With each passing minute, the fate of the nation hung in the balance, as Salgueiro Maia and his forces stood poised to deliver the final blow to the old regime’s stronghold.

By 3 p.m., the moment of reckoning arrived, as Salgueiro Maia issued a final ultimatum to the defenders of the Quartel do Carmo. Yet, even as the deadline loomed, hope emerged from an unexpected quarter, as Major Fernando Bélico Velasco of the GNR took the courageous step of stepping out from the shadows of the old regime, signaling his support for the cause of change.

As the clock struck 4 on that fateful April afternoon in 1974, Portugal found itself at a crossroads of history. Across the nation, hearts pounded with anticipation as the struggle for freedom reached its climax. In the city of Porto, the RTP broadcasting station at Monte da Virgem fell under the control of CIOE forces, marking a significant victory for the revolutionaries.

Meanwhile, in the heart of Lisbon, the Quartel do Carmo stood as a symbol of the old regime’s defiance. Inside, President Marcelo Caetano and his loyalists braced themselves for the inevitable confrontation with Salgueiro Maia and his revolutionary forces.

At 4:05 p.m., Captain Salgueiro Maia issued a decisive order to Alferes Miliciano Carlos Beato, directing him to position his men atop the balconies of the Companhia de Seguros Império building. From there, they would unleash a hail of gunfire upon the Carmo, armed with G-3 automatic weapons.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, a dramatic negotiation unfolded. António de Spínola, a key figure in the military uprising, received a request from Marcelo Caetano himself to oversee his surrender. With the blessing of his peers, Spínola accepted this weighty responsibility, setting the stage for a historic moment of transition.

As the afternoon wore on, tensions mounted both inside and outside the Quartel do Carmo. Negotiations between Salgueiro Maia and Marcelo Caetano reached a critical juncture, with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance.

By 5, the wheels of history were set in motion as Marcelo Caetano made the momentous decision to surrender, but only to a senior military officer. With the stage set for his capitulation, emissaries were dispatched to escort him to safety, accompanied by the watchful gaze of Salgueiro Maia and his comrades.

At 5:45 p.m., the Quartel do Carmo bore witness to a historic scene as General António de Spínola arrived to oversee Marcelo Caetano’s surrender. Amidst the cheers of the crowd, the torch of revolution was passed from the old guard to the new, signaling the dawn of a new era for Portugal.

Outside the Quartel, the streets erupted in jubilation as news of Marcelo Caetano’s surrender spread like wildfire. From Lisbon to Porto, from the mountains to the sea, the people of Portugal rejoiced as the shackles of tyranny were finally cast aside.

The Evening Of

As the sun dipped low over the horizon, casting a golden hue over the streets of Lisbon, the fate of a nation hung in the balance. It was 7:30 p.m. on April 25th, 1974, and Portugal stood on the spit of a new era. In the heart of the city, Marcelo Caetano and his ministers found themselves on a journey into the unknown, whisked away in a Chaimite to the MFA command post in Pontinha.

But even as the old regime crumbled, the spirit of revolution burned brightly in the hearts of the people. In the bustling streets of downtown Lisbon, crowds swelled by the hundreds, chanting slogans and cheering for the Armed Forces. It was a scene of jubilation, a collective celebration of newfound freedom.

At 7:50 p.m., a formal announcement from the MFA heralded the downfall of the government, signaling the end of an era. And as the clock struck 8:00 PM, the airwaves crackled to life with the proclamation of the Movement of the Armed Forces. Twenty-one hours after the first signs of uprising, the regime had fallen.

Meanwhile, General António de Spínola arrived at the Quartel da Pontinha, ready to assume command of the new order. With resolve in his voice, he addressed his fellow officers, setting the tone for the tasks ahead.

As night fell and the city erupted in celebration, Marcelo Caetano made his quiet exit, bound for exile in Madeira and later Brazil. But even amidst the revelry, tragedy struck. Agents of the feared PIDE, driven by desperation, opened fire on the unarmed crowds gathered outside their headquarters. The streets ran red with blood as innocent lives were lost in a senseless act of violence.

Yet even in the face of such brutality, the people stood firm, united in their resolve for change. With the help of naval forces mobilized by Vítor Crespo, the resistance of the PIDE began to crumble. And as the night wore on, the tide of revolution swept across the nation, toppling the remnants of the old order.

By 10 p.m., the wheels of transformation were in motion. Laws were passed, institutions dissolved, and power shifted into the hands of the Junta de Salvação Nacional. The old guard was swept aside, making way for a new dawn of democracy and progress.

Amidst the chaos and upheaval, a symbol emerged: the humble red carnation. Distributed by a worker named Celeste Martins Caeiro, these simple flowers adorned the rifles of MFA soldiers, serving as a poignant reminder of the bloodless revolution that had swept through Portugal.

As the clock struck midnight and a new day dawned, the people of Portugal looked to the future with hope and optimism. The road ahead would be long and fraught with challenges, but guided by the spirit of April 25th, they marched forward into a brighter tomorrow.

Over and Out

It’s clear that this momentous event wasn’t just a blip in Portugal’s history-it was a seismic shift that reverberated across the globe. From the cobblestone streets of Lisbon to the halls of power in distant capitals, the message was clear: the people had spoken, and they demanded change.

But as we close the chapter on this remarkable uprising, it’s important to remember that revolutions are messy affairs. They’re not always neat and tidy, with clear-cut winners and losers. The aftermath of the Carnation Revolution was no exception, as Portugal grappled with the complexities of building a new political order from the ashes of the old.

Yet amidst the chaos, there’s a sense of optimism-a belief that, despite the challenges ahead, the Portuguese people have taken a decisive step towards a brighter future. And while the road ahead may be fraught with obstacles, one thing is certain: the spirit of the Carnation Revolution lives on, inspiring future generations to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

So as we bid adieu to this pivotal moment in history, let us not forget the lessons it has taught us. Let us remember the power of ordinary people to effect extraordinary change, and the importance of never backing down in the face of oppression. And most importantly, let us carry forward the spirit of the Carnation Revolution in our own lives, knowing that as long as we stand together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.

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