• Short Summary

    Portuguese infantry, artillery and Air Force jets carried out manoeuvres against an imaginary enemy on Wednesday (7 April).

  • Description

    Portuguese infantry, artillery and Air Force jets carried out manoeuvres against an imaginary enemy on Wednesday (7 April). The "enemy" was supposed to have infiltrated from Spain with the aim of bringing down the country's "democratic regime".

    The excises were commanded by Brigadier Franco Charais, the central regional commander, who recently claimed that a coup was being prepared against "the revolution and socialism".

    Although only about 500 men took part, it was seen as a calculated show of force in the tense time before Portugal's first free elections for a Parliament in 50 years.

    Brigadier Charais is a member of the Military Council of the Revolution, which, at present, holds the overriding political power. That formerly belonged to the military staff of President Francisco Da Costa Games, now considered on the left of the military hierarchy.

    The imaginary scenario worked out for the operation bore a remarkable resemblance to current reality. The Infantry Captain, Arnaldo Costeira, said "we imagine that there is a campaign of bombs and sabotage aimed at creating a situation of instability and bringing down the democratic regime". His men then embarked on a helicopter-borne assault on a bare hillside.

    Since the campaign for the poll on 25 April started, one far left candidate has been killed by a time-bomb and about 20 people have been injured by gunfire or explosions at rallies.

    Captain Costeria said the plan envisaged that a number of groups had crossed from Spain near the Vilar Formosa frontier post and were making for Lisbon and other strategic points.

    Brigadier Charais told journalists that it was more a military then political exercise but that it would contribute to political stability by showing the Portuguese people that the armed forces were organised and ready.

    SYNOPSIS: Portuguese infantry, artillery and Air Force jets carried out manoeuvres on wednesday against an imaginary enemy. The enemy was supposed to have infiltrated from Spain with the aim of bringing down what organisers termed Portugal's democratic regime. The exercises were seen as a calculated show of force in the tense time before Portugal's first free elections for Parliament in 50 years.

    They were commanded by Brigadier Franco Charais, the central regional commander who recently claimed that a coup was being prepared against what he called "the revolution and socialism". He's a member of the Military Council of the Revolution which, at present, holds the overriding political power.

    The plans worked out for the operation bore a resemblance to current reality. The troops were told they were fighting an imaginary campaign of bombs and sabotage, aimed at creating instability. Since the election campaign began carrier this month, one person has died and 20 have been injured in bombings or explosions. Brigadier Charais said the exercise would contribute to political stability by showing the people that the armed forces are organised and ready.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4VJXZCJO9TE5D7PWKRYKOTZX0
    Media URN:
    VLVA4VJXZCJO9TE5D7PWKRYKOTZX0
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    09/04/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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