April 25: Costa says we must remember resistance to dictatorship to maintain democracy

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The outgoing Prime Minister, António Costa, said today, on a visit to the works of the Museum of Resistance and Freedom in Peniche, that it is necessary to preserve the memory of the fight against the dictatorship in order to make democracy last.

The National Museum of Resistance and Freedom, in the district of Leiria, “is a very important legacy of all those who resisted, all those who fought, and I would say that it is the last stage of the struggle for resistance and freedom, which is to leave this testimony of life, this testimony of pain and this testimony about what the dictatorship was to the generations that will succeed us and that will never be able to forget so that they can never live again,” declared António Costa.

In the year commemorating 50 years of freedom and democracy in Portugal, and in one of his last acts as prime minister, Costa stressed, flanked by former political prisoners Fernando Rosas and Domingos Abrantes, that “it is important not to forget the 48 years of dictatorship that preceded these 50 years of democracy and to remember those who were decisive”.

Costa recalled the ‘Captains of April’ and the anti-fascist resistance between 1926 and 1974, who “kept the idea of freedom and the democratic aspiration alive”.

“We owe it to them that the values of freedom and democracy have not been lost in history and have been carried into the future,” he said.

A month before the museum’s inauguration, António Costa recalled the movement that led his government, in 2017, to abandon the idea of granting concessions to the Peniche Fortress to private individuals for tourism purposes and to go ahead with work to upgrade the space to house the Museum of Resistance and Freedom, “a space for remembering and memorializing the fight against resistance”.

António Costa refused to answer other questions from journalists.

In February 2022, the Peniche Fortress closed for works to install the museum, an investment of 4.3 million euros, co-financed by EU funds.

In April 2017, the government approved a plan to restore the Peniche Fortress in order to set up a museum in the former prison of the Estado Novo dictatorship for political prisoners.

In September 2016, the Peniche Fortress was included by the government in the list of historic monuments to be concessioned to private companies under the Revive program, but two months later it was withdrawn due to the controversy it caused, leading the Assembly of the Republic to advocate its redevelopment as an alternative.

The fortress, classified as a National Monument since 1938, was one of the prisons of the Estado Novo, from where the historic secretary-general of the PCP Álvaro Cunhal, among others, escaped in 1960, starring in one of the most remarkable episodes of the fight against the dictatorial regime.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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