Letters to the director’s opinion

Right to indignation
In a country where mediocre people are easily valued and “the great” are unlikely to rise on the basis of their merits, Portuguese society should ponder opinions such as that of journalist Ana Sá Lopes on Marcelino da Mata, where he condemns the number they do has done so much in the service of Portugal and its armed forces. The history of this rectangle is rich in illustrious and selfless characters. We must not bring into the fog of oblivion what must always be remembered.
It is easy today to accuse the lieutenant colonel of the crimes. Your voice is no longer heard to be an advocate on your own cause. Marcelino da Mata chose to serve Portugal as a military for his beliefs, as did thousands of young Portuguese. He too was overwhelmed by the weight of the regime. It remains to be asked whether the PAIGC guerrillas committed no atrocities and war crimes in the remote and rugged jungle of what was then the Portuguese flag area.
Carlos Miranda Henriques, Lisbon

Let’s get to the facts

Marcelino da Mata died and his military past related to the long and deadly colonial war, far from consensual, came to the fore. Some or many fellow citizens in this corner, which is still called Portugal, called him a war criminal and blamed those who were officially at his funeral. If the above military is viewed as war criminals, are the hundreds of thousands of militia and military personnel who have been in the same conflict war criminals too? And finally, who are the “heroes of the sea, noble people, brave and immortal nation”? Will it then be the refractories, the deserters and all those who believe that anyone who has been in the overseas war is / was a war criminal?

Jose Amaral, Vila Nova de Gaia

Marcelino da Mata

Regarding the controversial figure of Marcelino da Mata (MM), historian Fernando Rosas said he had betrayed the cause of his country’s independence. An absurd statement, because as a Portuguese citizen, MM decided to join the armed forces and made a career there. It is a shame that so many people have talked about MM without understanding the surroundings of their lives; The President of the Republic doesn’t seem to have understood either.

It occurred to MM that as a young man he had to face the crossing of two paths that must have made it difficult to choose one. He was a victim of the falsehood of the colonial policy of the Estado Novo, a state that used it to pursue unknown political interests; He was also a victim of the fact that he was born a Guinean African, which must have struck him when he decided to separate him from his native people – the dilemma many ex-colonized people went through. The interests to which I referred earlier have led the state authorities to do what they deem necessary and require that they behave according to the same interests.

From MM it can be said that it was the person and his circumstance. The best tribute that could be paid to him was to be understood in the tragic dimension of that circumstance, only that without engaging in polemics for purposes that were also not recognized; and let him rest there in peace in the uncertain part for which he was absent.

Elder Fernandes, Lisbon

Criminal offenses

The article by Ana Sá Lopes in the PUBLIC on Wednesday and the interview by Fernando Rosas on the TVI offended me because I had already given birth to three children and was mobilized to command a military company in eastern Angola and perhaps around 800,000 military personnel in Africa and Timor fought to defend the people and property of the colonists and natives of these colonies during the colonial war. On April 25, a leftist group of journalists, politicians and commentators emerged, many of whom are children, grandchildren or nephews of these civil servants who accuse us of the military, as if we were guilty of colonial war and not the Salazar dictatorship . During the war, I didn’t see the crimes they preach. I am not aware of Marcelino da Mata and Vasco Lourenço’s military past in the forests of Guinea, but the fact that Marcelo and military chiefs and other armed forces were at Marcelino’s funeral enhancing his military qualities seems to be a “shameful” form of it High political figures recognize the worth, pandonance and selflessness of these 800,000 military personnel, which the embarrassed or extremist “left” does not allow recognition. The comparison with the Nazi armies that invaded the world seems to be a journalistic delight.

Duarte Dias da Silva, Lisbon