June 17, 2024

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Odelo Saraiva de Carvalho and democracy in Portugal

On Sunday, former Portuguese soldier Odelo Saraiva de Carvalho died at the age of 84. He was one of the leaders of what became known as the “Carnation Revolution” in 1974. The coup that overthrew the regime established by the military rulers Antonio de Oliveira Salazar began the Portuguese democratization more than forty years later. Like other soldiers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MFA), Saraiva de Carvalho was driven by general dissatisfaction with the regime, but also by the left-wing ideology that dominated Africa’s former Portuguese colonies. Soldiers were sent to fight.

Saraiva de Carvalho was born in 1936 in the former colony of MozambiquePortuguese India. When his father was a civil servant, his mother worked in the local railways. At the age of nineteen Saraiva de Carvalho entered the military academy in Lisbon, and in 1961 was sent to serve in Angola, another large Portuguese colony in sub-Saharan Africa. Then in 1970 he was transferred to Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) with the title of Captain. Although Portugal aimed to suppress the various independent forces of the African colonies during those years, between 1973 and 1975 both Portuguese Guinea, Angola and Mozambique were able to gain independence.

In the early 1970s, Saraiva de Carvalho joined the MFA, which for various reasons was responsible for military operations that were contrary to the colonial policies of the government, and led within twenty-four hours to overthrow the dictatorial government. Of Marcelo Zidano, heir to Salazar, who died a few years ago. This is April 25, 1974. The regime was weak at the time, mainly due to military discontent, with fewer and fewer resources imposed, but due to the economic crisis affecting the entire West ( Energy crisis In 1973), and by the immobility of Chetano in general, he did very little to change and renew the state compared to expectations.

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The MFA plot was not resisted and the change occurred quickly, almost painlessly. Later it became known as the “Carnation Revolution” for the gesture of a flower girl, which was later followed by others, who gave the army some red carnations, which they placed in barrels of guns.

After the regime change, a long period of change in which the opposition political parties and the MFA shared power continued. Sariva de Carvalho was appointed commander-in-chief of the Special Envoy, which was accused of defending and overseeing democratic change, but in what became known as the “hot summer” of 1975, there were continuing political tensions between the more extreme left and right-wing extremist groups. In November, Saraiva de Carvalho was jailed for three months for supporting a conspiracy by far-left forces.

The following year he ran for president with his own socialist political formation. Among his supporters was the famous folk singer Jose Afonso. The election was won by General Antonio Ramalho Ines with 60 percent of the vote, followed by Saraiva de Carvalho in second place.

He tried again in 1980, but got a very disappointing result (just over 1 percent) and Eins won again. Five years later, he was accused of being the leader of the far-left terrorist group FP-25, which carried out a series of bombings, killings and bombings between 1980 and 1987. Although his case was considered controversial and the charges were not substantiated, Sariva de Carvalho was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He served five men, was later released on parole, and was eventually granted a general pardon by parliament. He later founded the People’s Solidarity Force, the party he founded.

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Saraiva de Carvalho has always declared himself innocent and a stranger to FP-25. Today the center-right President Marcelo Rebello de Sousa believes he has a very important role to play in contemporary Portuguese history, although the country said that “it is still quick to deliver a verdict with the right distance” and that his figure is causing even stronger divisions.

Come on Remember Financial Times, Saraiva de Carvalho has maintained his rhetorical prowess even in recent years. During the 2010 sovereign debt crisis, when Portugal sought to defend itself with the debts of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the revolution said that if it had known that democracy would create such an unjust society, it would never have created it.

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