ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'IT is not national unity that is at stake, but an imperial unity, and today's conscience does not accept empires." So said General Spinola in his book that has become famous "Portugal and the Future." But decolonisation is not an orderly Beating of the Retreat with everybody in step and no note out of tune. It is in fact a hurried and confused move in which the best laid plan goes all wrong. That the Portuguese are leaving their empire is now beyond doubt. But to predict the shape of things to come is not easy; the only thing certain is that somebody else's forecast is as likely to be wrong as one's own.

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