MPLAThe MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) is an Angolan political party. They began as one of three movements for Angolan independence from Portugal, with a base among the Kimbundu and the mixed-race intelligentsia of Luanda, and links to communist parties in Portugal and the East Bloc. The others were the FNLA and UNITA.
A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The coalition quickly broke down and turned into a civil war.
The USA, Zaïre and South Africa intervened militarily in favor of the FNLA and UNITA. In response, Cuba, backed by the Soviet Union, intervened in favor of MPLA. In November 1975, the MPLA had all but crushed UNITA, and the South African forces withdrew. The U.S. Congress barred further U.S. military involvement in Angola.
In control of Luanda and the coastal strip (and increasingly lucrative oil fields), the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. Augustinho Neto became the first president, followed by Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 1979.
See also the History-of-Angola.