Agostinho Neto

Agostinho Neto

Infobox President|name=António Agostinho Neto

order=1st President of Angola
term_start=11 November 1975
term_end=10 September 1979
successor=José Eduardo dos Santos
birth_date=birth date|1922|9|17|mf=y
birth_place=Bengo, Angola
death_date=death date and age|1979|9|10|1922|9|17|mf=y
death_place=Moscow, Soviet Union
spouse=Maria Eugénia da Silvacite book|last=James|first=W. Martin|year=2004|title=Historical Dictionary of Angola|pages=110]
party=Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola

António Agostinho Neto (September 17, 1922 – September 10, 1979) served as the first President of Angola (1975–1979), leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the war for independence and the civil war. His birthday is celebrated as National Heroes Day, a public holiday in Angola.

Early life

Born in Catete, Bengo in Angola in 1922, Neto attended high school in Luanda while his father Agostinho Pedro Neto worked as a Methodist pastor. Neto left Angola for Portugal, studying medicine at the universities of Coimbra and Lisbon. PIDE arrested him for his separatist activism in 1951. In 1958 the government released Neto and he finished his studies, marrying Maria Eugénia da Silva the same day he graduated. He returned to Angola in 1959.cite book|last=Tvedten|first=Inge|year=1997|title=Angola: Struggle for Peace and Reconstruction|pages=29-30]

Political career

In December 1956 the Angolan Communist Party (PCA) merged with the Party of the United Struggle for Africans in Angola (PLUA) to form the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola with Viriato da Cruz, the President of the PCA, as Secretary General and Neto as President.cite book|last=|first=|year=1977|title=Africa Year Book and Who's who|pages=238-239]

The Portuguese colonial establishment arrested Neto on June 8, 1960. His patients and supporters marched for his release from Bengo to Catete, but were stopped when Portuguese soldiers shot at them, killing 30 and wounding 200 in the Massacre of Icolo e Bengo. The Portuguese government exiled Neto to Cape Verde and then imprisoned him in Lisbon. The government, facing international pressure, released him from prison and put him under house arrest. He escaped to Morocco and then moved to Zaire.

In 1962 Neto visited Washington D.C., United States and asked the Kennedy administration for aid in his war with Portugal. The U.S. government turned him down, choosing to instead support Holden Roberto's anti-Communist FNLA.cite book|last=Walker|first=John Frederick|year=2004|title=A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola|pages=146-148]

Neto met Che Guevara in 1965 and began receiving support from Cuba.cite book|last=Abbott|first=Peter|coauthors=Manuel Ribeiro Rodrigues|year=1988|title=Modern African Wars: Angola and Mocambique, 1961-74|pages=10] He visited Havana many times, and he and Fidel Castro shared similar ideological views. [cite book |title=Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa |last=Chazan |first=Naomi |authorlink= |coauthors=Robert Mortimer, John Ravenhill, Donald Rothchild |year=1992 |publisher=Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc. |location=Boulder, Colorado |isbn=1-55587-283-2 |pages=392 |url= ]

He was one of the first members of the MPLA, one of three factions that vied for power after the Portuguese withdrawal from Angola (following the Carnation Revolution), and later led the country after independence on November 11, 1975. His government developed close links with the Soviet Union and other nations in the Eastern bloc and other Communist states, particularly Cuba, which aided the MPLA considerably in its war with the FNLA and UNITA. He was succeeded in his capacity as president of the state by Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Neto died in a hospital in Moscow, in the Soviet Union, while undergoing surgery for cancer, and while the Angolan Civil War continued.

The main university in Angola, the Agostinho Neto University, is named after him.

The Soviet Union awarded Neto the Lenin Peace Prize (1975-76).

A poem by Chinua Achebe entitled "Agostinho Neto" was written in his honor. cite web
last = Achebe
first = Chinua
title = Agostinho Neto
accessdate = 2008-05-14


External links

* [ Encyclopedia]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Universidade Agostinho Neto — Vorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Studenten fehltVorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Mitarbeiter fehltVorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Professoren fehlt Universidade Agostinho Neto UAN …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • António Agostinho Neto — (1922 1979) Político angoleño, n. cerca de Luanda y m. en Moscú. Estudió medicina en las Universidad de Coimbra y en la Universidad de Lisboa. Escribió en sus tiempos de estudiante un tomo de poesía en favor de la liberación de su país y en 1960… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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