Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, strategist of the Capitães Movement, which overthrew the dictatorship in Portugal on April 25, 1974, died this Sunday (25), in Lisbon, at the age of 84, at the city’s military hospital.
Othello’s death, as it is called, was confirmed by Colonel Vasco Lourenço, president of Associação 25 de Abri. The cause of death was not disclosed.
A prominent and controversial figure, Othello played a pivotal role in the revolution that ended one morning, almost bloodlessly, over forty years of Salazar’s fascist dictatorship. On that day, the then commander anonymously led the captains’ rebellion from a barracks.
“It has rightly become one of the symbols of the revolution that ended the longest dictatorship of the twentieth century in Europe, paving the way for democracy,” said the Portuguese Prime Minister’s office in a statement. , António Costa.
Its “strategic and operational capacity” and “its commitment and generosity were decisive for the success” of the movement, added the government.
Considered the “military mastermind” of the Carnation Revolution, Othello was born in Mozambique in 1936 and began his military career in the early 1960s, when the country was embroiled in colonial wars.
With the Carnation Revolution, he won the sympathy of public opinion, which seemed to secure him a political future. He ran for president twice but was never elected. In 1976 he had 16% of the vote, and in the next attempt, in 1980, only 1.5%.
In 1987, Othello was sentenced to 15 years in prison for moral complicity in extreme left attacks. In 1996, he was granted amnesty for his involvement in the clandestine FP-25 movement, involved in several bloody attacks between 1980 and 1987.
“We especially want to defend its role in the military uprising of April 25,” reacted the Communist Party in a statement, adding that this is not the time to judge “its political trajectory”.