Mário Soares: Socialist, Republican, Layman (1924-2017)
January 7, 2017 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Mário Soares,the spirited Socialist leader who deftly steered Portugal from authoritarian rule to democracy, fended off a Communist push for power, led his country into the EU and helped its people recover a sense of confidence lost under almost half a century of miserly dictatorship, has died in Lisbon aged 92. Mr. Soares started an underground Socialist movement after becoming disillusioned with the leadership of the Communist Party, then the only organized opposition in the country. He began a tour of Europe in 1967 to drum up support from other Socialists, but he was jailed on his return and, in March 1968, banished without trial to the remote equatorial island of São Tomé. Mário Soares Dies at 92; Guided Portugal’s Shift to Democracy (NYT)

Soares, who was arrested a dozen times in his fight against Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s dictatorship, returned from exile in Paris after the 1974 Carnation Revolution. That year, he was appointed foreign minister in a provisional government and was in charge of negotiating the independence of Portugal’s overseas colonies. A co-founder of the moderate Socialist Party, Soares is also credited with helping counter the Communist Party’s attempt to win more power after the almost bloodless revolution. Soares, Who Helped Forge Portugal’s Democracy, Dies at 92 (Bloomberg)

“There would have been no colonial wars if we had lived in democracy, nor the tragedy of the Angolan civil war that followed,” Soares said in 1996. At home, “Portugal was isolated from the world with no access to ideas or culture. Our mentalities were cramped for more than 40 years. This inflicted a heavy toll.” Critics, particularly among the more than half a million white settlers who fled back to Portugal, attacked Soares for granting independence too hastily. Civil war later broke out in Mozambique as well. But with Portugal itself gripped by revolutionary upheaval and army conscripts in effect refusing to fight for the empire, Soares contended that a more gradual and orderly decolonisation would not have been possible. Mário Soares, Socialist who steered Portugal to democracy (FT)

Soares left office in 1996 after the maximum tenure as president permitted under the constitution with his popularity at a peak. For years he remained one of the country’s most influential politicians. He sat on the presidential advisory council and still took part in its meetings in early 2015. One of his last important public appearances was in late 2014, when he visited jailed former Socialist prime minister José Sócrates, calling him a victim of a slander campaign. Sócrates, who denies any wrongdoing, is still being investigated on suspicion of corruption and tax evasion. Mário Soares, former prime minister of Portugal, dies aged 92 (The Grauniad)

Wikipedia (EN, PT)

Morreu Mário Soares. Adeus a um português maior (in Portuguese)
Mário Soares: 92 anos, 92 frases (in Portuguese)
Mário Soares em 100 fotografias (text in Portuguese)
The Socialist Party (PS) website (text in Portuguese)
Como o mundo reage à morte de Mário Soares (text in Portuguese)
“Mon ami Mitterrand” (text in Portuguese)
posted by chavenet (23 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Roentgen at 2:00 PM on January 7, 2017

MiguelCardoso, white courtesy phone...

Seriously, I bet he has plenty to tell us on this.
posted by jonmc at 2:21 PM on January 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by Cash4Lead at 2:33 PM on January 7, 2017

Decolonization is always a bumpy ride, but at least he finally did it.
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:46 PM on January 7, 2017

This is from Miguel Cardoso: Mário Soares deixou-nos e deixou-nos tudo (Publico newspaper's website)

"Mario Soares Left Us, And Left Us Everything" (Google Translate)
posted by chavenet at 2:53 PM on January 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

• Ahuge loss for the world.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:56 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by Lyme Drop at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2017


2017, don't you dare think about starting something. We have had quite enough of that, do you hear me?
posted by otherchaz at 3:27 PM on January 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

2017, don't you dare think about starting something.

Nah, 91 is a good run. This is about honoring one of the great democratic icons rather than dismay at someone essential struck down well before their time.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:47 PM on January 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

Valeu Mário.
posted by adamvasco at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by lalochezia at 4:51 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by gusandrews at 4:55 PM on January 7, 2017

"Mario Soares Left Us, And Left Us Everything"

*salutes President Soares* *salutes Migs*
posted by octobersurprise at 5:01 PM on January 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

After Portugal left East Timor to burn, Soares took up the issue again and started agitating for calling the Indonesian occupation what it was - a crime. A great man.

posted by 1adam12 at 5:57 PM on January 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:01 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by Token Meme at 8:04 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by anadem at 8:37 PM on January 7, 2017

posted by Mister Bijou at 1:13 AM on January 8, 2017

Wouldn't be what we are today without him.

posted by lmfsilva at 2:13 AM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by sarcas at 9:25 AM on January 8, 2017

This is big news. Soares was always viewed as a living historical figure, a giant walking among us.
I happen to be in Lisbon and there are street signs around the city saying "Obrigado, Mario Soares" (Thank you, Mario Soares)

There's a public viewing tomorrow at Jerónimos Monastery. My wife and in-laws will be there paying their respects.
posted by vacapinta at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

A giant.
posted by SandCounty at 11:20 PM on January 8, 2017

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