The veteran leader of Brazil's Communist Party, Luis Carlos Prestes, has arrived back in Rio de Janeiro to a rousing welcome.
The veteran leader of Brazil's Communist Party, Luis Carlos Prestes, has arrived back in Rio de Janeiro to a rousing welcome. Senhor Prestes -- now 82 years old -- founded the Brazilian Communist Party in 1924, but he was exiled after a right-wing military coup in 1964. After eight years in the Soviet Union, he was allowed to return home after the Brazilian government passed an amnesty bill, restoring political rights to former enemies.
SYNOPSIS: An estimated five thousand supporters--most of them in their twenties -- turned up at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport on Saturday (20 October) to welcome back the "grand old man" of Brazilian Communism.
The amnesty -- which enabled Senhor Prestes to return -- is part of President Joao Figueiredo's policy of gradual political liberalisation, aimed at returning Brazil to democracy. President Figueiredo has asked Congress to dissolve the present two-party system and replace it with a pluralistic one. But his proposals virtually exclude the emergence of the Communist Party in Brazil.
From the roof of a car, Senhor Prestes called for the legalisation of the Communist Party, and he assured his supporters that the struggle for democratic rights would continue.
Communist militants who had died violently or disappeared since the military assumed power fifteen years ago. At the mention of each name, the crowd shouted: "he's present".