For nearly two decades, Mário Soares led Portugal, first as Prime Minister, then as President. His reign, as leader of the Socialist Party, which he founded, followed 36 years of dictatorship by Antonio Salazar, the Iberian counterpart to the fascist leader of neighboring Spain, Francisco Franco. Salazar and his feared secret police successively arrested, imprisoned, and exiled the Socialist leader to the island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. But, following the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974, Soares returned from exile and won Portugal’s first truly free elections, bringing a new breath of freedom and freshness to this nation of remarkable beauty and accomplishments. He was elected president of the republic one year after Portugal, together with Spain, joined the European Union on June 12, 1985, laying the groundwork for his country to become one of the inaugural...

You do not currently have access to this content.