Corrado Tornimbeni

«Diplomacy for Legitimacy»: The Conference of the Nationalist Organisations of the Portuguese Colonies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: CONCP; Nationalist Movements; Independence Portuguese Colonies.

The new literature on the liberation struggles in the African Portuguese colonies reveals a much more articulated picture of nationalist leaders and movements than in the past, as well as the variety of their international relations across the divisions of the Cold War. A decisive but little treated actor was the Conferência das organizações nacionalistas das colónias portuguesas (CONCP). Founded in 1961 in Casablanca, by initiative of leaders who had shared the same political background in cosmopolitan European environments such as Lisbon and Paris, the CONCP represented a great novelty for the time. The movements that adhered to it built a political and diplomatic synergy with few equals in Africa and beyond, capable of building international alliances that played a decisive role in the end of Portuguese colonialism. But the least known element of the CONCP in the literature is its key role in the solution of the internal disputes between the nationalist movements within each Portuguese colony: thanks also to its relationship with the Liberation Committee of the Organization for African Unity, it contributed to establish the political legitimacy of the so-called «authentic» movements to the detriment of other anti-colonial organisations.

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