The body of Angola's first President Agostinho Neto was borne through the streets of the Angolan capital of Luanda on Monday (17 September) for solemn funeral ceremonies at the Palace of the People.
The body of Angola's first President Agostinho Neto was borne through the streets of the Angolan capital of Luanda on Monday (17 September) for solemn funeral ceremonies at the Palace of the People. The glass-topped coffin draped with flags was accompanied by Dr. Neto's widow Maria Eugenia, party and state leaders, nine African presidents and Portugal's President Antonio Ramalho Eanes. The ceremony took place on what would have been Dr Neto's 5th birthday. He died in Moscow last Monday (10 September) after surgery revealed he had cancer.
SYNOPSIS: The body of President Neto was flown from Moscow to Luanda aboard an aboard an Angolan aircraft on Thursday (13 September). The coffin was escort to Moscow's Vnukovo airport by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Soviet Party Politburo members Viktor Grishin and Konstantin Cherenko. One of the Soviet Union's sixteen Vice Presidents Antanas Barkauskas, accompanied the coffin to Luanda where he represented the Soviet Union at the ???
On Wednesday (12 September) Dr Neto's body lay in state in Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital while Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and eleven other leaders paid their respects at the Angolan Embassy. Dr Neto's acting deputy Lucio Lara headed an Angolan delegation to Moscow to collect the body.
During his stay Mr Lara had talks with the Soviet Union's senior ideologist Mikhail Suslov.
Dr Neto's death came five days after his arrival on what was described as a "friendly" visit. Dr Neto was one of Moscow's closest friends in Africa and a champion of the Cuban presence there. After directing a long guerrilla struggle against Portuguese colonial rule he finally came to power in 1975.