The colonial war never existed (and neither did the dictatorship) Editorial

The death of Marcelino da Mata, a black commando of the Portuguese army that fought alongside the colonialist, was honored by the state. The President of the Republic, the Chief of General Staff and the Chief of Staff of the Army attended the funeral. Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho sent a message to Lusa: “The Defense Minister regrets the death and commends Lieutenant Colonel Marcelino da Mata, one of the best-equipped military men of all time, for his dedication and efforts in the service of the Portuguese Army and Portugal deposited. “The defense minister, who was not born at the beginning of the colonial war, is now 60 years old and does not notice that he recognizes in writing the adornments of the dictatorship and the“ commitment ”- which, according to Vasco Lourenço, is war crimes – of a military in an unjust war who sent a huge contingent of young Portuguese to the slaughterhouse and made us the target of several UN convictions. Imagine the German Defense Minister appreciating the “commitment” and “fair recognition” of the Nazi commandos. It would look a little weird, wouldn’t it? Here in Portugal, as in the colonial war, there were never any war crimes or massacres, it doesn’t matter. In addition, in contrast to National Socialist imperialism, the Portuguese Empire was a “good” empire.

The PSD took a vow of regret in which they praised “the sublime bravery” and the “exemplary heroism”. The CDS wants a day of national mourning. My friend João Miguel Tavares says that “Portuguese democracy created and anchored itself in official history”, only that it leads to the wrong point: this official story that Marcelino da Mata gave, in addition to the commendations of the dictatorship, ignores 1994 which Massacre, as Manuel Loff wrote here, war crimes, forgets the real story and invents a mythology of pleasant colonialism and the absence of racism. There is certainly more evidence in the newspapers these days of the attacks on Marcelino da Mata in the Ralis barracks in 1975 than of the attacks he and his men carried out during the colonial war – and that says a lot about a people who do better forget There was colonial war, dictatorship, political prisoners, torturers, political police officers, whistleblowers. When we decided (in fact, the Germans, with the exception of high rank, did the same) to integrate the old regime into the new regime, it turned out that forgetting was the acceptable way for a possible coexistence. But forgetfulness is not worthy of an adult race. And 60 years after the start of the war, it was good to exchange some ideas on this subject.

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