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Mozambique, formally known as the People's Republic of Mozambique (República Popular de Moçambique) is a nation in Southeast Africa. It shares borders with Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Swaziland.
Historically, Mozambique had belonged to the Portuguese Empire for over 400 years. The Portuguese influence gradually expanded, though its power was very limited. They were able to wrest coastal trade from Arabs during most of that time, however the capture of Fort Jesus, the Arabs were able to exert their dominance over African trade again. As a result, Portugal began to invest more from trade in their Indian and South American colonies. During the 19th century, European powers became dominant in the local trade, however, with Britain and France becoming increasingly powerful in the area.
During the 1960s, communist and anti-colonial ideologies spread about Africa. As a result, many political movements were established in support of Mozambican independence. They claimed little attention was paid to Mozambique's tribal integration and to the development of its native communities. According to the groups' official statements, the majority of the indigenous people of Mozambique suffered much discrimination and social pressure. Statistically, Mozambique's Portuguese population was wealthier than the indigenous majority. As a result of this, the Portuguese government tried to initiate changes with new socioeconomic developments. The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique was founded and initiated in a guerrilla campaign in 1964. Angola and Portuguese Guinea were also in their own wars as well, and became part of the Portuguese Colonial War.
Marxist Regime and Civil War
A new government was created under president Samora Machel, which received some military support from Cuba and the Soviet Union. Starting shortly after independence, a civil war started in 1977 partially due to military activity in the nation from Rhodesia and political party RENAMO. Mozambique was able to gain support from Tanzania and later Zimbabwe, who were able to help defeat the RENAMO rebels. The war was also heavily related to the Rhodesian Bush War.
Mozambique is a minor power in Africa with some influence over the southeastern part of the continent, specifically in the nation of Zimbabwe who depends on Mozambique for much of their economic needs. The nation is also relatively peaceful compared to other African nations, not fighting in any wars since the end of the civil war in the mid-1980s.
Mozambique is a one-party dictatorship with influence from many different nations including Cuba, Soviet Union, and even the Portuguese military dictatorship. The nation is widely considered one of the least democratic in the world and there has never truly been a real election in Mozambique. Only two men have ever controlled the nation, Samora Machel and Joaquim Chissano.