“Between the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the master and the servant, it is freedom that oppresses and the law that liberates.”
Lacordaire, Dominican religious (1802-1861)
A year after the 48th anniversary of freedom, since the day a handful of military personnel overthrew a dictatorship that lasted the same 48 years and gave us freedom in less than 24 hours, we have to face the increasing signs of revanchism dealing with a right which in those years never corresponded to the glorification of the captains of April. It is important to remember this date, the amnesics, the nostalgics of Salazarism, the intellectuals and activists of the left (who, however, renounced), the new populists and, above all, the new generations who did not live these times .
And for two reasons: the first is to remember what the “captains coup,” which took 13 years to risk life in a cul-de-sac, and made the heroic decision to use arms to defeat the Giving back to citizens The “Estado Novo” had placed in his hands – but for other purposes: democracy. In particular, those who took risks over the next two years but did not bend over backwards to enforce the MFA program: to ensure that Portugal has a constitution within a year that is freely approved by the representatives of the citizens and a government in parliament voting is elected by the people.
Together with Mário Soares and the PS and with the wise support of Costa Gomes, it was these left-wing military, real democrats, whom we can rightly identify with the “Group of 9”, the extremist forces on the right and on the right. on the left, between March 11, 74 and November 25, 75, stop the course of “democratic normalization”.
The second reason to remember this date is that we are witnessing a new attack on democracy, by many who in fact never adapted to the end of the colonies and dictatorship or the legalization of the PCP: a nostalgic right , nationalistic and anti-democratic, where ex-militants of the extreme left are now mixed, converted to ultra-liberal ideology, with basic populists, with fascist tics who want the country to be for the “good” only: in short, those who never conformed that the military decided in April that freedom must be for everyone.
It is true that this right was never hidden: in the elections of 86, but especially in the 20 years in power of Cavaco: first as Prime Minister, then as President of the Republic, who supported Passos Coelho, who boasted ” Moved further away from the Troika “and delivered our strategic businesses to foreign corporations at the expense of inviting our best talent to emigrate. During these 20 years of power, Cavaco has always refused to wear the harpsichord on his lapel during the April 25 celebrations. In 1989, he denied Salgueiro Maia a pension “for exceptional and relevant services” and granted it to two former PIDE-DGS inspectors, one of whom, the famous Óscar Cardoso, was one of those who arrived at the headquarters of António Maria Cardoso on the afternoon of the 25th set the crowd on fire and caused the revolution’s only deaths; In 2014 it went to the United Arab Emirates to boast about the “success of our privatizations” and the “sale of Portugal” as a country with “sun, beautiful landscapes and horses” that an excellent company had to sell: TAP. The same thing that a few days ago had given up the inauguration of the President of the Republic before the welcome session; and who now had the shamelessness to come and declare that democracy was “gagged” (in a bad allusion to the book Soares published in exile) and that the “government was to blame for the” invention “he was in the throats had from his second mandate did everything possible to sabotage.
On the way we had the government of José Manuel Barroso, who in a few years exchanged the MRPP for Goldman Sachs and, as Prime Minister, allied himself with American interests, gave them the Lages Base and shamefully committed Portugal to the criminal invasion of Iraq. With a CDS up for sale and Rui Rio lost in his maze scattered between the coherence of his beliefs and the mission for which he was chosen, the law needs those who will return their respect for the founders of the Liberal Wing and At the same time, the nostalgic for Salazarism, the ultra-liberals and the angry with the “system” reject time.
However, what we observe with less and less humility is the washing of 48 years of violent repression of those who disagreed with the regime’s ideology: God, home, family, authority, obedience to the boss and work without rights. A regime that Tarrafal established in Cape Verde along the lines of Auschwitz and prisons in Portugal, where he was arbitrarily arrested and sentenced without the right to defense; and where men and women have been subjected to corporal punishment and sleep torture; a regime led by a chief who proclaimed that the woman should be an obedient woman and a devout mother, that nurses and flight attendants could not marry, and that married women could not leave the country without their husbands’ permission; a regime in which no one could speak freely in cafes or at work because there were snacks everywhere, wrote another line without first being checked by the censors, and in which films could not be shown without the consent of a chaste commission Wives and old retired colonels. A regime commanded for four decades by a man who never visited the colonies or left Portugal except once to go to Seville with General Franco, who rarely left São Bento – in fact, he never left Santa Comba!
But what is more serious is that the moment also sees itself in the program of the Liberal Initiative. In an article published in this newspaper called “The law is in pieces”, Maria João Marques, who declares herself “from the moderate right”, defines the “liberal” policies that led us to the crisis of 2008: “[A IL] confuses freedom with the lack of government action (…), which are essential to promote the freedom of all those who are not at the top of the social pyramid. (…) It defends wild capitalism, the abuse of power and competition between large companies, the abolition of the welfare state (…). None of this occupies IL. It is a party that claims to be liberal, calls the whole world “socialist”, in the style of Trumpists (I’m a Marxist for the cheerleaders) and (…) has the idea of raising taxes, even for the poorest, to pay schools for the middle class children. “
Why am I concerned about this disaggregation of the traditional parties of the right, I who have always considered myself moderate of the left (political, social democratic, liberal in customs and conservative in values)? Because the country needs a law that can be a credible opposition force and a responsible alternative to government: patriotic without being nationalistic, that defends the market without foregoing the presence of the state, a tolerant, open, humanistic and European law.
Basically a right that can do with the governments of António Costa what the left has done in recent years: The PCP, which remains true to half a century of history in the underground, which fights for workers’ rights in the underground, does not dream more about the “dictatorship”. of the proletariat ”, but remains the party of the world of work and plays its role in trade unions and communities; and BE continues to fight for social justice and denounces the interference of hidden interests in political decisions, despite the attraction of fractures, but has become a dialogue party willing to negotiate without compromising its principles: it has learned from Tsipras that this is the case The PCP learned from history.
Those who continue to believe that the communists should be slaughtered because, like me, they remember what the horror of Stalinism was, forget the history of law with its horrors and the church for which it colluded for centuries with many Europeans Courts and South American dictatorships, Franco and Salazar’s law, Hitler and Mussolini, Videla and Pinochet. This church that was the great predator of the legacy of Greco-Roman culture; and that he later has a terrifying history of prosecuting suspects of heresy, autos-da-fe, bonfires, and barbaric murders with the courts of the Inquisition. But she also knew with time, especially after John XXIII. And now Pope Francis, convert.
Perhaps it is time for that right to revive memory and learn from history.