The Portuguese take to the streets to demand the liberty they gained within the Carnation Revolution | International | EUROtoday

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The identical track that introduced 5,000 troopers out of their barracks to overthrow the dictatorship half a century in the past served to open and shut the day wherein Portugal commemorated a revolution that astonished the world. Shortly earlier than midnight on Wednesday, a whole lot of Portuguese gathered in entrance of the Largo do Carmo barracks, the place Marcelo Caetano surrendered on April 25, 1974, an emblem of that dictatorship riddled with mass emigration, poverty and three wars. They sang Grândola, darkish village they usually crowded into the sq. simply as had occurred 50 years in the past. It was just the start of the handfuls of instances that José Afonso's piece resonated by way of the streets of the nation this Thursday.

And they not solely sang in reminiscence of a cheerful day, which overthrew the dictatorship with out violence and with none revenge. Many of those that demonstrated this Thursday alongside Avenida da Liberdade, in Lisbon, did so with one eye on the previous and one other on the longer term, like Joana Sousa and her mom Helena Quintas, two regulars on the march. “We cannot forget that we are at a time when fascist phenomena are emerging throughout the world,” commented Sousa. An opinion repeated by completely different protesters. “This year is special because of the anniversary, but also because of the political instability and threats to democracy,” mentioned Helena Andrade, 30 years outdated.

Hundreds of people sing the anthem of the April revolution, 'Grândola, vila morena', at the start of the commemoration festival, in Lisbon, on April 24.
Hundreds of individuals sing the anthem of the April revolution, 'Grândola, vila morena', initially of the commemoration pageant, in Lisbon, on April 24.Pedro Nunes (REUTERS)

Similar was the opinion of Inés Costa, 19: “We are here, not only for 50 years, but because the result of the elections was very sad.” She voted for the primary time on March 10, when the intense proper achieved a historic end result on the polls by receiving greater than 1,000,000 votes. “I expected something else in the 50 years of the revolution,” she added. “I think that this year's massive participation also responds to the need to react to the elections,” agreed António Sampaio Novoa, former rector of the University of Lisbon and former candidate for the presidency of the Republic in 2015.

50 years in the past, Sampaio Novoa went out into the road and took three days to return dwelling. He was in all of the historic eventualities that marked the collapse of the dictatorship and, after half a century, he considers that “this is the worst moment of Portuguese democracy” after Chega's overwhelming assist for populism. “I think they will grow even more. They are being able to unite all the dissatisfied and disillusioned around them, something that no other party is achieving. And they are dangerous because they have no principles,” he mirrored shortly earlier than beginning the march alongside Lisbon's central avenue.

With these million votes, Chega reached 50 deputies within the Assembly of the Republic. His chief, André Ventura, joked in his morning speech concerning the coincidence between seats and years of democracy. Ventura doesn’t make frontal assaults towards the revolution, however he does reduce it. In his speech on the commemorative session held at midday, attended by former presidents of the Republic and a few April captains who led the army coup, he repeated the ways of different speeches. “Fifty years ago we made a revolution that gave us freedom, but along the way it took away our dignity,” he acknowledged. His harshest phrases, nonetheless, have been directed on the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, for having defended Portugal's reparation to its former colonies. “The president betrays the Portuguese when he says that we have to feel guilty and pay other countries. Pay, why? Pay, for what? I don't want to take responsibility, I have great pride in the history of Portugal,” he bellowed whereas his bench gave him a standing ovation.

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What Rebelo de Sousa raised at a dinner with the overseas press has particularly irritated the ranks of the proper, however nobody went so far as Ventura, who the day earlier than mentioned that he would dismiss him if he had the facility to take action. The far proper, nonetheless, is alone in its disdain for the spirit of April. With completely different rhetoric, all of the teams claimed the day that ended 48 years of repression because of the rebel of a gaggle of troopers, instantly embraced by the residents. “April is not only a milestone in history, it is a continuous and unfinished revolution,” harassed Ana Gabriela Cabilhas, the youngest deputy within the Assembly, who spoke on behalf of the Social Democratic Party (PSD, center-right), the get together that leads the present Government of Luís Montenegro.

The right-wing events aligned themselves when it got here to magnifying the significance of November 25, 1975, when a army countercoup ended the revolutionary venture that had been underway for the reason that earlier 12 months. The Government of Montenegro has introduced the creation of a fee to commemorate that day. Another of these modern cultural battles. Because though the proper celebrates April, it’s the events on the left that really feel extra house owners of their legacy. “The Socialist Party (PS) is here to defend political democracy and social and cultural democracy from the attacks of its new and old enemies. They were both the ones that April built and both are being attacked,” highlighted its chief, Pedro Nuno Santos. “The nostalgic people are dangerous because they blame democracy and the Constitution for the poverty that has persisted,” criticized Mariana Mortágua, chief of the Left Bloc. For his half, Rebelo de Sousa appealed to the “intelligence of always preferring an imperfect democracy to a dictatorship.”

All the leaders of the left participated within the Lisbon march within the afternoon, but additionally some representatives of the proper, such because the president of the Liberal Initiative, Rui Rocha, who spoke within the chamber within the morning with a white carnation on his lapel. If the symbols serve to disclose one thing, two particulars: there was not a single carnation on the Chega bench and its deputies left the seats whereas the others sang Grândola, darkish village.

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