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27 de Maio Association: publication of the "13 theses" in defense of Nito Alves is another step in search of truth

The vice-president of the 27 de Maio Association considered this Wednesday that the publication of "13 Theses in My Defense", by Nito Alves, in which he defends himself against accusations from the ruling party in Angola, contributes to the search for truth.

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The book "MPLA - A Revolução Traída, 13 Theses in My Defense", published by Elivulu, consists in the defense of Nito Alves before the party's Central Committee in face of the accusations against the leader and former interior minister of Agostinho Neto's government, the country's first president after the conquest of independence.

Nito Alves, accused of fractionalism, was one of the Angolans murdered in the aftermath of the alleged coup d'état that took place on May 27, 1977.

In statements to Lusa, the vice-president of the Association 27 of May, Manuel Vidigal, explained that this document was never recognized and was, in a way proscribed, being a "taboo, hidden by MPLA".

"There were people who were killed for having had knowledge of the document or having it in their house," said the responsible, considering that it makes sense now to print the theses of Nito Alves, after the reconciling speech of the President, João Lourenço, who apologized to the victims and their families and assumed the responsibilities of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), party in power in Angola since the conquest of independence 47 years ago.

"The President said that history cannot be erased and that it was important that each one of us contribute to the search for the truth. This was a premonitory document of what happened on May 27", underlined Manuel Vidigal, regarding the work that will be presented on Friday in Lisbon.

The responsible indicated that the association, together with the association Survivors of the 27 of May, also intends to launch the posthumous work in Luanda and take the books to Angola.

Questioned about the promises of João Lourenço regarding the delivery of the remains of the victims of the conflicts to the families, he believes that they will be kept. On the other hand, he considered important to establish the whole truth of the facts and make the authors of the crimes responsible

"The objective is not any 'revenge,' but it is important to know who did it, who committed the crimes," he said.

The survivors of the 27 of May remember that to get the "13 Theses in My Defense" from Nito Alves was, "more than a purpose, an obsession", having a copy of the document been released for now only in the site of the association.

The document is Nito Alves' answer to the set of accusations that were directed to him during the Third Plenary Meeting of MPLA's Central Committee, which took place in October 1976 and, according to the survivors, contains a wealth of evidence that "became uncomfortable for those who, in the Central Committee, fought against him and ended up assassinating him".

"To publish them (the 13 theses) is also for us, the 27 of May Association and Survivors of the 27 of May, a way to honor the Angolan nationalist and revolutionary that was Alves Bernardo Baptista, "Nito Alves", a martyr of the Angolan revolution," they point out, regarding the publication of the book.

On May 27, 1977, an alleged coup attempt, in an operation that would have been led by Nito Alves - then former Minister of the Interior since the independence (November 11, 1975) until October 1976 - was violently repressed by the regime of Agostinho Neto.

Six days earlier, on May 21, the MLPA had expelled Nito Alves from the party, which led the former minister and several supporters to invade the Luanda prison to free other sympathizers, taking control of the national radio station in parallel, a move that became known as "fractionism".

The troops loyal to Agostinho Neto, with support from the Cuban military, ended up establishing order and arrested the rebels, followed by what became known as "purge", with the elimination of factions, having been killed about 30 thousand people, mostly without any connection to Nito Alves, as stated by Amnesty International in several reports on the subject.

This year, João Lourenço apologized on behalf of the Angolan state for the summary executions carried out after the alleged coup of May 27, 1977, stressing that it is "a sincere regret."

"This is not the time for us to point fingers looking for the guilty. It is important that each one assume his responsibilities in his part. It is thus that, imbued with this spirit, we have come to the victims of the conflicts and Angolans in general to humbly request, on behalf of the Angolan State, our public apologies for the great evil that were the summary executions at that time and under those circumstances," said the chief executive, who addressed the country in a communication broadcast by Angola's Public Television, on the eve of the date, marked for the first time with a tribute in memory of the victims.

In April 2019, the President ordered the creation of a commission (the CIVICOP), to draw up a general plan to honor the victims of the political conflicts that occurred in Angola between November 11, 1975 and April 4, 2002 (end of the civil war).

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