The President of the Republic defended today that Portugal owes an apology, but above all it must assume full responsibility for exploitation and slavery in the colonial period. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also defended that the people are «supreme lord» of democracy.
Marcelo took this position, in relation to colonization, in his speech at the solemn commemorative session of the 49th anniversary of the 25th of April in the Assembly of the Republic, regarding the welcoming session for the Brazilian President, which took place immediately before, which in his opinion «it makes perfect sense», because Brazil «was a forerunner in decolonization».
«This also helps us to look back on Brazil. But it would also be possible to consider all colonization and decolonization, and assume full responsibility for what we have done », he considered.
«It's not just apologizing – due, no doubt – for what we've done, because apologizing is sometimes the easiest thing to do, you apologize, turn your back, and the job is done. No, it is taking responsibility for the future of what we did in the past, good and bad», he defended.
According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the colonization of Brazil also had positive factors «the language, the culture, the unity of the Brazilian territory».
«The bad thing is the exploitation of native peoples, denounced by António Vieira, slavery, the sacrifice of the interest of Brazil and Brazilians», he pointed out.
«A worst of our presence that we have to assume just as we assume the best of that presence. And the same can be said of the best and the worst, the worst and the best of our presence in the empire throughout the colonization », he added.
In this solemn session, the head of state also highlighted the different visions that existed right at the time of the Carnation Revolution and spoke of the frustrations of those who did not see their expectations fulfilled throughout these decades of democracy.
«But this is a time of hope, because freedom and democracy, even when they bring us many disappointments - the feeling of lost time, of postponement - always give us the hope that the dictatorship does not tolerate, which is the hope of change» , considered.
«In a dictatorship, either you are for the dictatorship or you fight and overthrow the dictatorship. In democracy, there is always the possibility of creating different paths, always. It may take time to emerge, they may be insufficient, they may be imperfect, but they are always there, they have always existed over these 50 years», he added.
Marcelo addressed, right at the beginning of his intervention, those who «would have preferred that the 25th of April had not happened», declaring: «to those whose nostalgia and nostalgia are respected, it must be said that time does not turn backwards . And what they see as having been the 24th of April in many of its global features truly did not exist, it is a redoing of History».
At the end of his speech, referring in general to demonstrations for internal and foreign policy reasons, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa defended that, regardless of the «real or dreamed number» of people that gather, «this pluralism is essential, it is part of the essence of democracy», stressing that «in a dictatorship there would never be».
«And that is the reason for our hope, is knowing that truly the supreme lord of the 25th of April, of democracy and freedom, and therefore an effective guarantor of stability, has called himself the people for 50 years. And the people choose, with a sense of state, with common sense, with moderation and good education, over time, the 25th of April they want. And changing when it understands that it should change, or maintaining it if it understands that it should maintain it – even if it is to regret it, for how much it innovated or maintained some time later », he said.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had already mentioned stability before, mentioning that, since April 25, 1974, «there have been presidents of the right with governments of the right and with governments of the left, presidents of the left with governments of the left and governments of right, and there were winners and losers».
«And the realization of the dreams of each electoral act was also a realization that many times was largely frustrated. In some cases, having led to the permanence of the legislature, in others, rarer because heavier, to its reduction», he added.