Jorge Sampaio died

Former president was hospitalized after having respiratory problems while on vacation in the Algarve

Jorge Sampaio, former President of the Republic, died today at the age of 81, at the Hospital de Santa Cruz, in Carnaxide, where he was admitted to Intensive Care following breathing difficulties, felt about two weeks ago, when I was on vacation in the Algarve.

Since his hospitalization, the former Head of State had inspired care, having been transferred to that hospital, on 27 August, already intubated.

On that day, the newspaper Expresso revealed that Jorge Sampaio inspired "care, being ventilated with suspected pneumonia, but stable" and recalled that the former President of the Republic "has a clinical history with neurological, renal and cardiac problems."

The worst scenario came to be confirmed, this Friday, the 10th of September.

Jorge Sampaio was a major figure in Portuguese politics, not only because of the positions he held, but also because of his party career, in the Socialist Party.

The person responsible for the phrase “25 de Abril Semper!”, one of the most used to celebrate the Carnation Revolution, was secretary general of the PS and presided over the Lisbon Chamber, after having defeated Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the polls (1990-1995) . In 1996, he was elected President of the Republic, a position he held until 2006 (two terms).

It was during his presidency that Timor-Leste finally achieved independence, a result for which the work done by Sampaio counted a lot, namely a famous interview given in his impeccable English. The President managed to mobilize the country for that cause, but he also secured international attention for Timor-Leste.

Always interested in humanist causes, after finishing his two terms as President of the Republic, Sampaio came to occupy international positions of great importance. Then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named him his special envoy for the fight against tuberculosis. From 2007 to 2013, Sampaio was the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2013, always concerned with issues of education and the drama of refugees, Jorge Sampaio created the Global Platform for Assistance to Syrian Students, bringing to our country many young people who studied at Portuguese universities, namely in the Algarve. Recently, the former President of the Republic had announced the extension of this Platform's support to students coming from Afghanistan.