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O 25 de Abril e a Revolução dos Cravos!

by Nuno André Silva
O 25 de Abril e a Revolução dos Cravos! by Nuno André Silva
In times where Portugal and Europe in general start to face what it’s considered the biggest economical crisis since ‘29, the political systems are being placed in doubt : the unemployments keep increasing and minimum wages are getting anytime lower and lower while deputies are gaining huge amounts of money and reforms guaranteed. This, consequently, caused an agitation on the working class and manifestations became increasingly constant; the September 15th manifestation was considered the biggest in the last decades and the clashes between the protesters and the police, not only in Portugal but also in Spain, Greece, Italy and so on, are… Read more

In times where Portugal and Europe in general start to face what it’s considered the biggest economical crisis since ‘29, the political systems are being placed in doubt : the unemployments keep increasing and minimum wages are getting anytime lower and lower while deputies are gaining huge amounts of money and reforms guaranteed. This, consequently, caused an agitation on the working class and manifestations became increasingly constant; the September 15th manifestation was considered the biggest in the last decades and the clashes between the protesters and the police, not only in Portugal but also in Spain, Greece, Italy and so on, are becoming more and more violent. And so, the song has been sung. The Zeca Afonso’s “Grandola Vila Morena” has invaded the streets and the people’s voices, in Portugal and in Spain.

Zeca Afonso “Grandola Vila Morena” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaLWqy4e7ls

For those who don’t know, Zeca Afonso was one of the biggest intervention singers ever a political activist that always fought for the portuguese comunity’s liberty. From several songs allusive to comunist ideas and anti-Salizarism that Zeca composed, “Grandola Vila Morena” has became the anthem of the Carnation Revolution because was chosen by the Movement of Armed Forces (MFA) as a secret password, so that when that song would been played at Radio Renascença , people would know that Revolution had begun.

The April 25th Revolution, also known as the Carnation Revolution – due to a local florist that started to distribute carnations and all soldiers decided to put them inside their guns – was a coup of State, organized by MFA, that dictated the end of 41 years of dictatorship, also known as New State, that was mainly leaded by Salazar and later by Marcelo Caetano. Salazar, like Mussolini or Hitler, was a portuguese dictator that started to gain his trust among the portuguese people and government thanks to his great economical abilities as Finance Minister (1928) that improved the portuguese finances, shattered by the crisis of ’29. Being a man with a lots of contacts, principally in the military area, he started to manage the portuguese finances all by himself without no one telling him what to do. Therefore, it was just a matter of time until he conquer the main power of Portugal and so he occupies his charge as Prime Minister in 1932. The portuguese finances were better than it have ever been and Salazar was the savior of the nation, making numerous works such as the Abel de Oliveira Salazar Bridge, that still maintains it status of biggest portuguese bridge, now named as “25 de Abril Bridge”.

The “New State” – also named Salizarism – was a polity created by Salazar that ended liberalism, which he found necessary to mark a new era, but it was also an advertising medium, coming to spread, from streets to school, several posters defending and praising the Salazarist ideas and modus operandi, demanded to distribut by himself. Thirsty of power and helped by a military dictatorship that preceded him but always failed to keep to portuguese finances in a good health state, he then began his authoritarian, conservative and corporativist dictatorship, highly associated with Fascism, by exterminating the unions, creating a politic police (PIDE) that arrested and tortured everyone that was or said something against Salazarism, through advertising, censorship, creating militar and juvenil organizations to worship him and using is influence in the Catholic Church.

With the end of the World War II and the creation of ONU, Portugal was pressed to give his colonies to their own independence, which was something against Salazar ideas, that were already present on the Military Dictatorship and was later defended by Marcelo Caetano, saying that Portugal it’s from Minho to Timor. This leaded to the Ultrasea War in order to defend his lands such as India, Angola, Moçambique, Brasil, Timor, etc. causing several deaths and taking Portugal to it ruin, that added another reason of revolt among the working portuguese class.

At April 25th of 1974, the MFA, together with with a tired and revolted portuguese community and a high participation of the party PCP (Portuguese Comunism Party) started a revolution to end the New State, which was considered as a pacifist revolution, with a very good organization, occupying only strategic spots and ending with the redemption of Marcelo Caetano – that assumed the lead in 1968 due to Salazar’s disease – having only 4 deaths, victims of shoots from PIDE. The Salazarism, together with the Military Dictatorship, was the longest dictatorship in Europe during the XX century.

Above it’s a collection of movies and documentaries that approach this legendary date. Among all, i would like to highlight “The Good People Of Portugal” (1981) has the best documentary but, for the ones who don’t speak portuguese fluently, and once it’s probably hard to find english subtitles to this, i suggest “Scenes From The Class Struggle in Portugal” (1977) made by the reputed Robert Kramer.
As the best movie, i would like to highlight “Gentle Costume” (1975), but you might also like to watch Captains of April (2000) that illustrates – in a fictional way – very well what happened this day, made by the very well-known portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros.

Here is a poem, written by Jaime Cortesão, about Jaime Rebelo that was an anti-fascist tortured by PIDE that cut his own tongue in order to don’t speak to them anymore.

-Quem é esse homem sombrio

Duro rosto, claro olhar,
Que cerra os dentes e a boca
Como quem não quer falar?
– Esse é o Jaime Rebelo,
Pescador, homem do mar,
Se quisesse abrir a boca,
Tinha muito que contar.

Ora ouvireis, camaradas,
Uma história de pasmar.

Passava já de ano e dia
E outro vinha de passar,
E o Rebelo não cansava
De dar guerra ao Salazar.
De dia tinha o mar alto,
De noite, luta bravia,
Pois só ama a Liberdade,
Quem dá guerra à tirania.
Passava já de ano e dia…
Mas um dia, por traição,
Caiu nas mãos dos esbirros
E foi levado à prisão.

Algemas de aço nos pulsos,
Vá de insultos ao entrar,
Palavra puxa palavra,
Começaram de falar
- Quanto sabes, seja a bem,
Seja a mal, hás de contá-lo,
- Não sou traidor, nem perjuro;
Sou homem de fé: não falo!
- Fala: ou terás o degredo,
Ou morte a fio de espada.
- Mais vale morrer com honra,
Do que vida desonrada!

- A ver se falas ou não,
Quando posto na tortura.
- Que importam duros tormentos,
Quando a vontade é mais dura?!

Geme o peso atado ao potro
Já tinha o corpo a sangrar,
Já tinha os membros torcidos
E os tormentos a apertar,
Então o Jaime Rebelo,
Louco de dor, a arquejar,
Juntou as últimas forças
Para não ter que falar.
- Antes que fale emudeça! -
Pôs-se a gritar com voz rouca,
E, cerce, duma dentada,
Cortou a língua na boca.

A turba vil dos esbirros
Ficou na frente, assombrada,
Já da boca não saia
Mais que espuma ensanguentada!

Salazar, cuidas que o Povo
Te suporta, quando cala?
Ninguém te condena mais
Que aquela boca sem fala!

Fantasma da sua dor,
Ainda hoje custa a vê-lo;
A angústia daquelas horas
Não deixa o Jaime Rebelo.
Pescador que se fez homem
Ao vento livre do Mar,
Traz sempre aquela visão
Na sombra dura do olhar,
Sempre de boca apertada,
Como quem não quer falar.

Here are some movies that i found interesting but it didn’t have a profile here on Mubi :

“Natal 71” – Margarida Cardoso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f—1gT2h44Q&feature=relmfu

“Portugal 74-75” – Joaquim Furtado, José Solano de Almeida, Cesário Borga, Isabel Silva Costa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1qhaYyXFPU&feature=related

“A Fuga” – Luís Filipe Rocha

“Apuros de um Pessimista em Fuga” – Luis Filipe Costa

“Antes do Amanhecer” – Gonçalo Galvão Teles

“Deus, Pátria e Autoridade” – Rui Simões

“Quem é Ricardo ?” – José Barahona
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDDbDawvfKg

“O Julgamento” – Leonel Vieira

“Até Amanhã, Camaradas” – Joaquim Leitão

“Antes de Amanhã” – Gonçalo Galvão Teles

“25 de Abril – Uma Aventura para a Demokracia” – Edgar Pêra

“Cravos de Abril” – Ricardo Costa

“25 Avril” – Jacques Comets

“Setúbal, ville rouge” – Daniel Edinger

“Liberdade para José Diogo” – Luis Galvão

“Gestos e Fragmentos” – Alberto Seixas Santos

“Foto” – Carlos Saboga

“O povo, unido, jamais será vencido!”

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