Country Listing

Angola Table of Contents



Mass Organizations

Three mass organizations were affiliated with the MPLA-PT in 1988--the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola-Youth Movement (Juventude do Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola -- JMPLA), the Organization of Angolan Women (Organização da Mulher Angolana--OMA), and the UNTA. Each was founded as an anticolonial social movement during the 1960s and transformed into a party affiliate when the MPLA-PT became a vanguard party in 1977. Although these groups were formally subordinate to the party in accordance with Marxist-Leninist doctrine, they continued to operate with relative autonomy. Strict party ideologues objected to this independence and sometimes treated organization leaders with contempt. The resulting tensions added to public resentment of party discipline and became a political issue when Neto accused leaders of the JMPLA, the OMA, and the UNTA of supporting the Nitista coup attempt of 1977. Alves, the coup leader, had criticized MPLA-PT leaders for bourgeois attitudes and racism, and many people in these organizations supported Alves's allegations.

In the late 1970s, mass organizations became an important target of the rectification campaign. Their role in society was redefined to emphasize the dissemination of information about party policy and the encouragement of participation in programs. Throughout most of the next decade, MPLA-PT officials continued to criticize the lack of coordination of organizational agenda with party needs. The mass organizations became centers of public resentment of MPLA-PT controls, but these groups were not yet effective at organizing or mobilizing against MPLA-PT rule.

Data as of February 1989