Thousands of troops and civilians combined in the northern Portuguese city of Oporto on Wednesday (10 September) to march in support of the newly-formed pro-Communist "United Soldiers Will Overcome" organisation (S.
Thousands of troops and civilians combined in the northern Portuguese city of Oporto on Wednesday (10 September) to march in support of the newly-formed pro-Communist "United Soldiers Will Overcome" organisation (S.U.V.).
The group was formed earlier in the week to oppose any moves by conservative officers to oust the northern region's pro-Communist military commander, Brigadier-General Eurico Corvacho. Brigadier Corvacho was dismissed from the ruling Portuguese Supreme Military Council last week together with ex-Premier Brigadier Vasco Goncalves.
Defying a new ban on reporting political strife within military units, the S.U.U. have broadcast a statement on Portuguese commercial radio. It describes their action as "a struggle within the barracks against the reactionary orders of commanders and officers who are at this moment trying to take away the conquests we have achieved."
The demonstration in support of Brigadier Corvacho was the first major incident in the north since the ousting of Premier Goncalves. But Portugal's political problems continue to mount. Dissension between the leaders of the communist and centre-left Popular Democrats (P.P.D.) has forced Premier-designate Admiral Jose Pinheiro de Azevedo to propose a compromise informal arrangement for a new government.
Only hours after the Oporto demonstration had ended peacefully, the centre of the capital, Lisbon, was rocked by three bomb attacks early on Thursday morning (11 September) apparently aimed at Spanish targets. Little damage was done at either the Spanish Embassy or the Sheraton Hotel, although the entrance to the offices of the ??? Royal Airlines -- only a few yards (metres) away from the offices of the Spanish Iberia Airline -- was wrecked.
A group calling itself "Internationalist Revolutionary Solidarity" has claimed responsibility for the attacks. They say it is part of a campaign to free two Basque activists held under sentence of death in Spain on charges of murdering a civil guard.