QWhen questioned by Lusa about Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s position, the ambassador refused to speak on behalf of Mozambique as he was still “awaiting instructions” from the Government, but, in a personal capacity, he expressed “strong support” for the Portuguese President’s statements.

“It means that he is aware of fairness and justice in international relations, even in relation to the past. (…) Taking a position of reparation, of condemnation of the past, is the right thing to do”, defended the diplomat at a conference press at UN headquarters in New York.

“And we shouldn’t philosophize around this issue. Colonialism was a mistake. Slavery was a mistake and speaking out against these evils, speaking out – I don’t even say doing it – is a very positive thing to do”, added Pedro Commissioner Afonso.

Once again asked by Lusa whether he expected any concrete measure from Portugal regarding the possibility of reparations, the ambassador denied, arguing that recognizing the mistakes of the past “is already a measure of reparation”.

“No not me [espero medidas concretas]. (…) Saying that the past was wrong is already a measure of reparation. But if we can go beyond that, yes, that would be even better,” he said.

Pedro Commissioner Afonso also admitted to “liking” the President of Portugal and praised his “courageous attitude”, especially because “Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s father was colonial governor in Mozambique”.

The Mozambican ambassador was referring to the fact that Baltazar Leite Rebelo de Sousa, father of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, had been appointed governor-general of Mozambique in 1968, a position he held for around two years.

“Therefore, there is a lot of courage in saying that colonialism and slavery were a mistake. So, we encourage all Portuguese people to do the same”, concluded the diplomat, who also served as Mozambique’s ambassador to Portugal.

Last week, during a dinner with foreign correspondents in Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa caused controversy by suggesting the payment of reparations for past mistakes, by recognizing Portugal’s responsibilities for crimes committed during the colonial era.

“We have to pay the costs. Are there actions that were not punished and those responsible were not arrested? Are there goods that were looted and were not returned? Let’s see how we can repair this”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, quoted by the Reuters agency.

On Tuesday, on a visit to Cape Verde and after harsh criticism, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that reparations to former colonies are already being made through “increasing” Portuguese cooperation with these countries.

Read Also: Presidents of Portugal and Cape Verde move away from the spectrum of reparations

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2551953/reparacoes-embaixador-na-onu-exalta-declaracoes-corajosas-de-marcelo

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