Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, 25th of April strategist, died

The death of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, at the Military Hospital, was confirmed to RTP by Vasco Lourenço, president of Associação 25 de Abril.

A charismatic figure in the Armed Forces Movement and the 1974 Revolution, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho headed the operational sector of the Coordinating and Executive Committee of the Captains Movement. He was the author of the 25th of April operations plan, a coup that overthrew Marcelo Caetano and what was left of the Estado Novo regime.

From the Pontinha post, in the 1st Engineering Regiment, he led the day’s operations with other soldiers. There he stayed from the evening of April 24th until the 26th.Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was recognized as a soldier particularly suited to artillery tactics.

After the Revolution, he was appointed commander of the Lisbon Military Region and COPCON. He was part of the Council of 20 and the Council of the Revolution.

He was a candidate for the 1976 presidential election.

In the 1980s, he was involved in the armed struggle as a member of the Popular Forces 25 de Abril organization. In 1986 he would be sentenced to 15 years in prison by a terrorist association. In 1991, he received a pardon. The crimes were amnesty in 2004.

Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was born in Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, on August 31, 1936. He was mobilized to Angola in 1961, as an artillery captain, and remained on duty there until 1963.

Interviewed about seven years ago in Antena 2, Otelo recognized the mark left in the History of Portugal.

Antena 1
“Figure larger than life”

Once the news of the death of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was known, RTP journalist Jacinto Godinho recalled the strategist of the 1974 Revolution as a “bigger than life figure”.

“Despite the conflicts and some differences, he continues to be a figure of great affection”, he pointed out.

In turn, journalist Adelino Gomes recalled Othello as a name that remains in the History of Portugal.

“It was the figure we were all looking at in those first few months”, evoked the journalist, going back to the days of the 1974 Revolution.

“I got to know Othello while at the Army School”, recalled, in turn, General Garcia dos Santos, who also mentioned his own participation in the Carnation Revolution, in the field of communications.

Questioned on RTP3 about the legacy of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, historian Irene Flunser Pimentel stated that the 25th of April strategist left “the greatest mark of the Portuguese 20th century, which was the overthrow of the dictatorship”.

Paulo Moura, journalist and author of the biography of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, spoke of the “very close contact” he maintained with the 25 de Abril strategist.

The author of Othello the Revolutionary stressed the “human qualities”.

Isabel do Carmo remembered Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho as “the hero of the 25th of April”.

“It was the man who planned and directed the operations of the military movement and I say movement because it was not a military coup, it was a movement that came from below”, pointed out the doctor and former leader of the Revolutionary Party of the Proletariat, a movement that operated clandestinely for through the Revolutionary Brigades.
“It is still too early for history to appreciate it with due distance”
On the website of the Presidency of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presents his condolences “to the family and the Associação 25 de Abril”.

“One of the most active captains in April, he exercised very important functions during the revolution and ran for President of the Republic in 1976. Removed from power following November 25, 1975, he was considered by the courts to be involved in the FP25 , condemned and amnesty”, reads note from the president of the republic.

“It is still too early for History to appreciate it with due distance. However, the capital importance of the 25th of April, the symbol that constituted a political-military line during the revolution, which remains in the memory of many Portuguese, seems unquestionable. associated with controversial bids in the beginning of our Democracy, and that aroused passions, such as rejections”, reads in the same statement.
“MFA’s Largest Individual Symbol”
The President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, pays homage to Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, “the greatest individual symbol of the Armed Forces Movement”, who fulfilled the dream of all those who “longed to live in freedom”.

“Despite the excesses that can be pointed out, namely in the period after the 25th of April, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was, and will always be considered, the greatest individual symbol of the Armed Forces Movement”, can be read in a message of condolence from the president of the Assembly of the Republic, cited by the Lusa agency.

“For all the democrats, who yearned to live in freedom and democracy, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho made this dream come true.”

“At the moment of his disappearance, and for his decisive contribution, it is fair to pay him the most heartfelt tribute”, he praises.
“what we are today”
The Government also came to regret the death of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, addressing “the most heartfelt condolences to his family, as well as to Associação 25 de Abril”.

“Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was the operational coordinator of the military action of the Armed Forces Movement, which, on April 25, 1974, overthrew the Estado Novo regime, putting an end to the longest dictatorship of the 20th century in Europe and opening the way to democracy”, highlights the Executive.

“The strategic and operational capacity of Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho and his dedication and generosity were decisive for the success, without bloodshed, of the Carnation Revolution. For this reason, he became, rightly, one of its symbols. On this day of sadness, we honor the memory of Othello, as one of those to whom we all owe the deliverance consummated on the 25th of April and, therefore, who we are today“.