Government says it is not in any program on the subject days after the president admitted “colonial crimes” and signaled compensation

The government of Portugal declared on Saturday (April 27, 2024) that “was not and is not part of any process or specific action program” of historical reparation to former colonies. The announcement came 2 days after the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to assume the country’s responsibility for the crimes of slavery and the colonial period and signal the need for reparation to exploited nations, such as Brazil. Here’s the complete of the statement (158 kB – PDF).

The document, signed by the Presidency of the Portuguese Council of Ministers, stated that “the relations of the Portuguese people with all the people of the States that were former colonies are truly excellent, based on mutual respect and the sharing of common history”. From the 15th to the 19th centuries, at least 6 million Africans were kidnapped, forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean on Portuguese ships, and enslaved, mainly to Brazil.

Portugal is a semi-presidential republic. Rebelo de Sousa is head of state and the prime minister is head of government. Montenegro is leader of the AD (Democratic Alliance), coalition of center-right parties that won the legislative elections in Portugal.

The coalition is formed by the party of Montenegro, the PSD (Social Democratic Party), the CDS-PP (Social Democratic Center – Popular Party) and the PPM (Monarchic Popular Party).

In 2020, the Assembly of the Republic, the Portuguese legislative body, rejected proposal that established the restitution of cultural assets by Portugal to countries that were colonized. The PSD is one of the parties that was against it.

The Portuguese government also declared that the repair policies of the current management are based on “along the same line” of the previous ones.

The Portuguese president’s recent statements were well received by the Brazilian government. The ministries of Racial Equality and Indigenous Peoples said they considered Rebelo de Sousa’s position “relevant and compelling”.


Leave a Reply