Mozambique`s war of independence was an armed conflict between the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and Portugal. The war officially began on September 25, 1964 and ended with a ceasefire on September 8, 1974, which culminated in a negotiated independence in 1975. In 1964, FRELIMO`s attempts to conduct peaceful negotiations were abandoned and on 25 September Eduardo Mondlane began launching coguerilla attacks against targets in northern Mozambique from his base in Tanzania.  FRELIMO soldiers, with logistical support from the local population, attacked the administrative post in Chai, Cabo Delgado province. FRELIMO fighters were able to escape persecution and surveillance using conventional guerrilla tactics: attacking patrols, sabotaging communication and railway lines, and attacking colonial external posts before quickly sinking into the accessible hinterland. The insurgents were usually armed with rifles and machine guns, and the attackers took full advantage of the monsoon season to escape the pursuit.  Portugal`s wars against the guerrillas, who yearn for independence in their 400-year-old African territories, began in 1961 with Angola. In Mozambique, the conflict erupted in 1964 as a result of unrest and frustration among many indigenous Mozambican populations who felt foreign domination as exploitation and ill-treatment, which served only to advance Portugal`s economic interests in the region. Many Mozambicans have also been frustrated by Portugal`s policy towards indigenous peoples, which has led to discrimination, a difficult traditional way of life for many Africans and limited access to education and skilled employment on the Portuguese model.
Portuguese troops began to suffer casualties in November, fighting inside Xilama. With the growing support of the population and the small number of regular Portuguese troops, FRELIMO was able to move rapidly south towards Meponda and Mandimba and join Tete with the help of troops from the neighbouring Republic of Malawi, which had become on 6 July 1964 a fully independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Despite the growing scope of FRELIMO operations, attacks have still been limited to small strike teams attacking easily defended administrative posts, with FRELIMO communication and supply lines using canoes along the Ruvuma River and Lake Malawi.  Cuba`s relations with the Mozambique liberation movement were somewhat more strained than FRELIMO encouraged with the Soviet Union and China. Cuba had a similar interest in the wars of liberation of Africa as a potential place to spread the ideology of the Cuban revolution. Cubans declared that Mozambique`s war of liberation was one of the largest in Africa at the time.  But Cuba`s efforts to establish a link with FRELIMO were almost thwarted from the outset. In 1965, Mondlane met in Dar es Salaam with the Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara to discuss a possible collaboration. The meeting ended with fierceness when Guevara questioned the information about FRELIMO`s convictions, which she had greatly exaggerated in the press. The Cubans also tried to convince FRELIMO to form their guerrilla war in Zaire, which Mondlane refused. Eventually, these initial differences were resolved and the Cubans agreed to form FRELIMO guerrillas in Cuba and continue to provide weapons, food and uniforms to the movement.
 The island has also served as a communication channel between Mozambique and its Portuguese colony, Angola and Latin American nations, as part of their own revolutionary movements such as Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.  At the beginning of the war, FRELIMO had little hope of a conventional military victory with only 7,000 fighters against a much larger Portuguese army.