José Maria Neves was speaking in Lisbon during the session commemorating the 50th anniversary of April 25, 1974, which was attended by heads of state from the former Portuguese colonies.

“At the dawn of the 21st century, signs emerge that naturally arouse a lot of concern. There is a feeling that democracy is being eaten away, we are witnessing an effective retreat and strong threats”, he said.

For José Maria Neves, “globalization has led to the impoverishment and compression of the middle class, in developed countries, and to the increase in inequalities between and in different countries”.

“There has been, on the other hand, an increase in social and political polarization – consensus is increasingly difficult -, the weakening of institutions that are important instruments of intermediation between the State and society and prominent participants in the formation of public policies “, he said.

And he added that there is still “a manifest inability of governments to respond to the complexity of political ecology and the demands and requirements of citizens and civil society”.

“If in developed countries such a situation has enabled the spread of populism, nationalism, xenophobia, racism, rejection of immigrants, and fueled the crisis of political parties, the preaching of anti-politics and anti-liberalism, as well as denialist theses, the dissemination of ‘fake news’ and hate speech, in poor countries, where institutions are weaker, has resulted in constitutional ruptures and the assumption of power by the military”, he noted.

For the head of state and former Cape Verdean prime minister, “a certain disenchantment and degeneration of traditional political parties, politics and politicians is noticeable”.

“Voters are increasingly skeptical about the health of their democracies and question whether their governments were elected in a transparent way,” he continued.

For José Maria Neves, “with the carnation revolution, a new era was inaugurated, very much in line with Amílcar Cabral’s dream, whose centenary [do nascimento] is celebrated this year.”

“Once independence was achieved, the most solid and special relations of friendship and cooperation should be built between these new countries and democratic Portugal. Fortunately, the clock of history has moved forward and a new era has opened, with mutual will, unfortunately not very common in these times, of continuous strengthening of relationships”.

“Half a century after this fantastic historical event, we all have reasons for pride and comfort. A regime that oppressed us all fell and new sovereign states were born,” he said.

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