Ver Angola


Roberto de Almeida: Portugal must make reparations as other colonizers did

Angolan nationalist Roberto de Almeida said, this Friday, in Luanda, that Portugal “should not be an exception” among countries that had colonies and understands that reparations are due for colonization.

: Rui Ochoa/Presidência da República
Rui Ochoa/Presidência da República  

Roberto de Almeida, former vice-president of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), highlighted, in statements to Lusa, that Portugal "also colonized" and "damages were recorded during this period of colonization, both human and material".

"I don't know if it should be an exception", said Roberto de Almeida, who this Friday attended a colloquium called "Through the Paths of History – From Indegenato to Citizenship, organized by Memorial Dr. António Agostinho Neto, the country's first President, with reflections on the Angolan historical process.

Last April, the Portuguese President, Marcelo de Sousa, during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the revolution of April 25, 1974, argued that Portugal should lead the process of assuming and repairing the consequences of the period of colonialism, suggesting, for example, debt forgiveness, cooperation and financing.

"I think [Portugal] should not be an exception, it is an international movement, in fact, there is still no talk about the restitution of cultural assets, statues, works of art, that were taken from here. Even the Vatican is returning things, because is it that Portugal doesn't give back?" insisted Roberto de Almeida.

Asked whether the level of cooperation that currently exists between the two countries would be equivalent to reparation, Roberto de Almeida replied: "They may think that this is enough".

"Cooperation must be mutually advantageous. We just heard here, cooperation is an agreed relationship between two parties, who define a certain behavior. In colonization there was no such definition of mutual advantage, there was one party that dominated the other and nothing else, and no one could speak", he stressed.

According to Roberto de Almeida, also a writer, known by the pseudonym Jofre Rocha, he himself was a victim of the colonial past, questioning whether there is possible reparation for what he went through.

"Why was there PIDE [International and State Defense Police]? Is it because things were going very well? I spent seven years in PIDE prisons, so there is no possible repair for that", he stressed.

Regarding reparations, the Portuguese Government led by the social democrat Luís Montenegro stated that "there was and is not in question any process or program of specific actions with the purpose" of reparation for the Portuguese colonial past and that it will be guided "by the same line" of previous executives.

Later, in Cape Vede, Marcelo de Sousa said that reparations to the former colonies are being made through Portuguese cooperation with the former colonies.

"Just now there was an appeal from international institutions for the North to support the South. For Portugal there was no doubt whatsoever about the priority to be given to those states that speak Portuguese, which saw independence after having been colonies", said the head of Portuguese state.


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