African Liberation Reader: Documents of the National by Aquino De Braganca, Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein

By Aquino De Braganca, Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein

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This also happened in England during the period of primitive capital formation, when the poor wandered through the streets and were decapitated by the 'very Christian' King Henry the VIIth. But it isn't! The essential thing to keep in mind is the fact that, while Holland, England, France and the other countries took advantage of the exploitation of the wealth of their colonies to industrialize their economies - to jump from the Middle Ages to Capitalism - Portugal, on the contrary, became more and more economically retarded.

Thus, the financial invasion of the colonies is a natural extension of the situation in Portugal, but South Africa also provides a route through which monopoly capital, already deeply entrenched there, can find access to the Portuguese colonies. The labour requirements of the South African mines early on led to the formation of important economic links between South Africa and Mozambique. Since the 1903 Witwatersrand Agreement South Africa has regularly been supplied with cheap migrant labour from Mozambique in return for agreements involving increased South African use of the port of Lourenco Marques and hard currency cash payments, which have made a significant contribution to the income of the Portuguese govern ment of Mozambique.

Portugal's relative success with this line of argument is closely linked with the 'open door' economic policy. It can hardly be coincidental that, 'the oldest ally' apart, the two countries with the heaviest financial involvement in Portugal and the colonies are those that have proved the staunchest allies in the colonial wars - USA and West Germany. The war has not only created a political need for Portugal to search for allies but has also caused a drain on her financial resources which has made it imperative for her to find foreign credits to offset military expenditures.

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