PR praises Alegre’s “unlimited courage” and decorates him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Camões

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The President of the Republic today praised the poet and historic socialist Manuel Alegre, considering him to be distinguished by “unlimited courage”, and decorated him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Camões.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced and presented this award at the end of the presentation of Manuel Alegre’s book “Memórias minhas”, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

“At the risk of being heterodox again – I was when I awarded him the Grand Cross of Sant’Iago da Espada – I’m going to award him the Grand Cross of the Order of Camões today,” he said.

Surprised, Manuel Alegre thanked the head of state for this gesture and said he would never forget it: “It’s extremely meaningful to me and, of all the decorations I have, it’s perhaps the one that touches me most deeply, given my veneration of Camões, given the fact that Camões is always present in me and always present in everything I’ve written.”

The President of the Republic took to the stage after the end of the speeches at the presentation of the book “Memórias minhas” (My Memories), in front of a packed auditorium, which included former head of state António Ramalho Eanes and former prime minister António Costa.

“Manuel Alegre was a resister. He was a resister in dictatorship and in democracy, he was and is a militant and always will be, he was and is a poet and always will be. But he has a very peculiar characteristic, which you don’t often find in poetry or politics: he has unlimited courage,” he said.

According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, this is “not only political courage, but also physical, unlimited courage”, something that “is rare to find, in one field as in another”.

“That’s a great characteristic, because some people are so intelligent, but not so brave. There are those who are very sensitive, but not so brave. There are those who are very militant, but not so brave. There are those who write very well, but aren’t so brave. That’s their trait,” he added.

The head of state mentioned that Manuel Alegre wrote the preamble to the 1976 Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, highlighted his connection to Camões and described him as “the voice that translated an epic moment” against the dictatorship.

“As you can imagine, I’m not one of the most resistant in the fight against the dictatorship, but I saw fellow students and others see themselves in Manuel Alegre’s voice – even though there were leaders who suffered more from the point of view of torture, persecution, imprisonment, clandestinity, the struggles of life. There were others, many others,” he continued.

“We can’t forget that moment,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who then announced that he would be awarding him the Grand Cross of the Order of Camões.

As he left, the President of the Republic refused to answer questions from journalists. Asked about the Stability Program delivered today by the government, he said only: “It was only released in the afternoon, I haven’t seen it yet.”

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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