Thursday, July 03, 2008

“Cunhal: Um Comunista Formidável”

Era o título da revista Time, na sua edição de 31 de Março de 1975, uma segunda-feira.
Com uma revolução em pleno gás em Portugal, a revista lembrava o percurso do líder histórico dos comunistas portugueses, então com 61 anos. E era descrito pelos seus olhos, o cabelo branco, a sua “jovial boa aparência”, “maneiras afáveis” e uma “fama lendária de dedicado comunista e opositor ao antigo regime”. “Ele tornou-se, provavelmente, no mais formidável político em Portugal”.
Apesar dos anos de clandestinidade, o “advogado brilhante” que conseguiu médias altíssimas, ainda que tenha concluído o curso na prisão tentava a todo o custo “aparecer como um moderado, advogando a liberdade de imprensa, partidos políticos livres e eleições”. Uma contradição com esta posição, segundo a Time, era Cunhal “insistir que se deveria acabar com o poder dos latifundiários e dos monopólios”.

(A imagem é de um "poster" de Maluda, retirado de Outros personagens da história também têm "poster" no blog - Sá Carneiro, Mário Soares, Vasco Gonçalves...)

Ler o texto integral aqui ou na transcrição a seguir.

Monday, Mar. 31, 1975
Cunhal: A Formidable Communist
For much of the past four decades he has been in prison (14 years in all) or in exile. The rest of the time he lurked in a shadowy, hotly pursued underground movement. Even so, Alvaro Cunhal, 61, secretary-general of the Portuguese Communist Party, is surprisingly well known. A brilliant lawyer with blazing black eyes and a mane of thick silver hair, he returned from Eastern Europe to a tumultuous red-banner welcome only a few days after the April 1974 revolution that toppled the old right-wing dictatorship. Since then, with his debonair good looks, smooth manner and legendary reputation as a dedicated Communist opponent of the former regime, he has become probably the most formidable politician in Portugal.
Cunhal was born in the town of Se Nova, the son of an impecunious country lawyer. As a law student at Lisbon University, Cunhal received the highest grades ever recorded, even though he had to finish his studies from prison (he was jailed numerous times during that period for being a Communist). In 1935 he went to Moscow for the annual Communist International Youth Congress, where he impressed the party with his eloquent oratory. The following year he was sent to Madrid on a special mission during the first months of the Spanish Civil War. When he tried to slip back to Portugal, he was arrested and tortured. Out of prison after a year, he began his vida clandestina (life in hiding) that did not end until after the April revolution 38 years later.
Working clandestinely, he formed a nucleus of professional revolutionaries, creating a broader-based anti-Fascist movement, and organized strikes, set up an underground press and established relations with the international Communist movement. In 1949 he was caught and again imprisoned. When he managed to escape from the infamous Peniche prison in 1961, Cunhal had spent eight full years in solitary confinement.
"Where did I live after escaping?"
Cunhal asks rhetorically. "Many places. I was a gypsy. But I never ran away from Portugal." Western intelligence sources say that he spent much of that time in Prague. He was reportedly in the Czechoslovak capital in 1968 when the Russians invaded. He publicly came out in support of the invasion. Cunhal tries hard to look and sound like a moderate, advocating a free press, political parties and elections. But he insists that the power of the landowners and monopolies must be ended. Cunhal also says that all existing agreements, including ties with NATO and U.S. base arrangements, should be respected. But then, not so long ago he was saying that the Communist Party would not insist on nationalization either, and while he might bide his time on NATO, nobody expects him to do so indefinitely. Rumors persist that the Soviets are seeking refueling facilities in Madeira for their fishing fleet, a move which would hardly sit well with NATO.
A modest man who keeps his private life so quiet that no one even knows whether he is married. Cunhal attributes the party's success to tireless organization. In Path to Victory, published in 1964, he wrote: "Those who witness great struggles by the masses . . . many times imagine that they appear by magic, as a result of spontaneous indignation of the people or perhaps through emotional appeals. The truth is that only through careful organization can they succeed."

No comments: