Spínola, António Sebastião Ribeiro de

Spínola, António Sebastião Ribeiro de əntôˈnyo͝o səbəstyouNˈ rēbĕēˈro͝o dĭ spēˈno͝olə [key], 1910–96, Portuguese army officer and political leader. Active in the colonial wars in Africa after 1961, he was commander in chief and governor of Portuguese Guinea from 1968 to 1972 and then served as deputy chief of staff of the Portuguese army. In Feb., 1974, he published Portugual and the Future in which he asserted that Portugal could not win a military victory in Africa. His book led to his dismissal from his army post in March. In April an army coup that ousted Prime Minister Marcello Caetano named him as its leader. Shortly afterward he became provisional president, welcoming liberals and socialists into the cabinet. After the withdrawal of the centrists from the cabinet in July, however, the young military officers who had headed the April coup began to move the new regime in a more radical direction. Spínola's attempt to rally support against them in Sept. failed, and he resigned as president. Spínola became a focal point for the opposition and was forced to flee Portugal after being accused of having organized a counterrevolutionary coup in Mar., 1975. He returned from exile in 1976 but ceased to play a political role.

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