|Avante and the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) in the Portuguese revolution of 25 April 1974 to 25 November 1975|
|The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) had a central role during the Portuguese revolution of 25 April 1974 to 25 November 1975. The Portuguese historiography of the last 30 years has debated whether the PCP was ready to seize power by revolutionary means in order to put Portugal in the orbit of the former USSR – a thesis adopted by most of the authors that have reflected on this subject – or, in the other hand, it was essential to guarantee a transition to a Western-like democracy. Until now, and excluding a few fragmentary works and an abundant collection of memoirs and essays, no exhaustive investigation has been undertaken to clarify this debate.
PCP’s official newspaper Avante! was never submitted to the scrutiny of a historian. This is what we intend to do in this work: to find out in which ways this source can help us understand the role of the PCP in popular movements (unions, factory occupations, workers’ committees, house occupations, agrarian reform); in the provisional governments, the armed forces and the decolonisation process. We shall also try to understand what kind of relation the PCP had with the main political forces of the contemporary Portuguese society. Several questions can be made and some of the answers can be found by means of a critical review of the Avante! newspaper – has the Avante! faithfully reflected the official policy of the party through all its tactical changes of direction? And if yes, what policies were those? Were there or not some differences between the PCP’s official politics and the orientations that were carried to the more important political institutions where the party was present, the provisional governments, the armed forces, Intersindical (Trades Unions Congress); what social movements are favoured by the PCP; to which popular movements does the party call its militants and sympathizers and which are those that it omits or criticizes in Avante!’s pages; and finally what kind of regime does the PCP fight for in its newspaper.