The history of Portugal, based on the strikes that the population faced as occupations, earthquakes, epidemics, police episodes or financial scandals, is described in the new book by Pedro Prostes da Fonseca.
The work ‘The biggest upsets in Portugal’ comes to the stands today with the seal of the Oficina do Livro.
The 227 pages of the book include, among others, such distinct moments as the French invasions (between 1807 and 1810), the cholera epidemic of 1883, the pneumonia that arrived in Portugal in 1918, and the assassination of King Charles (1908 ).
The case of Casa Pia (2002), influenza A (2009) or the national mobilization in favor of the people of Timor-Leste (former Portuguese colony) after he voted for Indonesia’s independence in the 1999 referendum are other “upsets” from the book.
After the referendum was held, the East Timorese capital, Dili, was “iron and fire. Pro-Indonesian militias armed with machetes sowed terror among the population.” When they saw these images, and despite the distance (Timor is 15,000 kilometers away), “the manifestations” of solidarity of the Portuguese throughout the country were “accentuated”.
“Tens of thousands of people joined hands in Timor, in Lisbon,” a group of demonstrators gathered in front of the United States embassy, recalls Pedro Prostes da Fonseca.
“Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, one of those present, exclaimed: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this since April 25th,'” he recalls.
The UN decision to approve the deployment of a multinational force to restore peace was part of the “strong moments of one of the biggest collective upheavals in Portugal’s most recent history.”
About half a century before, in another dimension, and still in the time of the Estado Novo dictatorship, the author tells how the capture of guerrillas who had fought Franco and who rode the mount between Galicia and the North of Portugal took place.
By the end of 1946, “over 1,000 men [serving the Salazar regime] had destroyed a village to stop the three guerrillas.”
“The fugitives have always had the population to help them, and for that reason more than 60 people from Cambedo and neighboring villages [in the county of Chaves] were detained, and fifteen were to face an effective prison sentence.”
Throughout the seven chapters of the book, the author transcribes several articles published in the press. In some of them, it points out the lack of exemption and in others reveals its active role as in the case in which the press solved a crime, that of the murder of the actress Maria Alves, in 1926.
In the chapter devoted to the forces of nature, “the nine minutes that destroyed Lisbon” in 1755, as well as the 1909 earthquake were described: “it lasted 22 seconds the strong shaking, considered the most devastating in mainland Portugal in the 20th century. complete the clusters of Benavente, Samora Correia, Santo Estêvão and Salvaterra de Magos. ”
The 1967 floods in the Lisbon region, the Chiado fire in 1988, or the more than 100 deaths in the forest fires of 2017 are other “upsets” reported in the work.