The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic was approved and promulgated on April 2, 1976. The Constitution enshrines broad democratic rights – political, social, economic and cultural – won by the Portuguese people with the April Revolution, which began on April 25, 1974, and, in particular, stipulates that Portugal’s external relations be guided by the respect for sovereignty and national independence, a policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all the peoples of the world.
The April Revolution was an expression of the Portuguese people’s sovereign will to take charge of its own destiny, without external interference.
This powerful statement of sovereignty and independence transformed Portugal, previously under a fascist and colonialist dictatorship, into a democratic country, with its own voice on major international issues, according to important constitutionally enshrined principles, such as those listed in Article 7 of the Portuguese constitution:
“1. In its international relations, Portugal is ruled by the principles of national independence, respect for human rights, the rights of peoples, equality among States, peaceful solution of international conflicts, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States and cooperation with all peoples towards the emancipation and progress of Humanity.
2. Portugal advocates the abolition of imperialism, colonialism and any other forms of aggression, domination and exploitation in the relations among peoples, as well as general, simultaneous and controlled disarmament, the dissolution of political-military blocs and the establishment of a system of collective security, towards the establishment of an international order capable of safeguarding peace and justice in the relations among nations.
3. Portugal recognizes the right of peoples to self-determination and independence and to development, as well as the right to insurrection against all forms of oppression.”
We recall that the April Revolution contributed decisively towards the end of the brutal and unjust colonial war imposed by fascism on the Portuguese people and African peoples, and towards the independence of peoples in the former Portuguese colonies.
The April Revolution recognized and enshrined equality among countries and peoples. April paved the way for a sovereign foreign policy of peace and cooperation that would break with the country’s submission to the bellicose and aggressive logic and make Portugal an active promoter of international peace and disarmament – as was the case at the Helsinki Conference that concluded in 1975.
The April Revolution recognized the right of peoples to decide their destiny and to fight for their liberation and emancipation. With the April Revolution, Portugal became active in building a more just and peaceful world.
These are values enshrined in the Portuguese constitution. However, the policy of successive governments was not consistent with the advanced content of the Constitution, by tying the country to the US and NATO’s foreign policy and warmongering, to the strengthening and deepening of its aggressive character, to destabilization operations and wars of aggression against other peoples. On many occasions, the important principles enshrined in the Constitution were disregarded in the name of «commitments» to NATO and the European Union – at all these times, the peace movement has and will protest and demand respect for the Constitution and the values of April enshrined therein, as well as the principles of the United Nations Charter, for international law.
Reaffirming its commitment with the emancipatory path set out in the April Constitution, the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation continues today its determined action for Peace, security and international cooperation, friendship, cooperation and solidarity among peoples. CPPC shares the causes of the dissolution of the political-military blocs, the end of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and foreign military bases, respect for the sovereignty and independence of states and the right of peoples to define their own destiny.
In complex and quite unpredictable time, when a pandemic is affecting the entire planet but not relieving Peace from threats and risks, where social responsibility should not be confused with a climate of fear, which can lead to its trivialization and ripen conditions to amputate rights, freedoms and guarantees, further weakening democracy and creating additional difficulties to the progress and social peace, CPPC expresses its trust in its principles, the principles enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution and reaffirms its commitment to always act side-by-side with all of those, in Portugal and around the world, involved with aspiration and conviction that another world is possible with justice, solidarity and Peace.
National Board of CPPC