Former Angolan Prime Minister Marcolino Moco considered that José Eduardo dos Santos was “a great statesman”, who managed to maintain the country’s territorial integrity during the Cold War, but “failed completely” in building democracy.
For the former leader of the Angolan executive, at the time when José Eduardo dos Santos was President of the Republic, this “was a leader who guided himself “very well”.
“In that period of the so-called ‘Cold War’, when we Africans had to choose one side or the other, otherwise we could not be politicians, he [José Eduardo dos Santos] went very well and safeguarded the territorial integrity of the Angolan State”, he said.
But the “greatest difficulty had in adopting this new model called building a democratic state of law”, he stressed.
Recognizing that it is not easy to build a democratic state on the African continent, Marcolino Mouco considered, however, that José Eduardo dos Santos “did not know how” to take advantage of the opportunity for this construction when the war in Angola ended in 2002.
“There was a disagreement that could have been overcome at the end of the war, in 2002, but it didn’t. Because it was at that time that it was demanded, and it is demanded now, to end the state of exclusion”, he affirmed.
So, “in a certain single-party model, which ended in 1992, it worked very well, but it had difficulties since then in building a democratic state of law with, naturally, African characteristics”.
“And it failed completely, because we continued under its aegis, and now also under the aegis of João Loureço [atual Presidente da República]to have a State that is one of exclusion”, he reinforced.
Therefore, “anyone who is not a supporter of the President of the Republic and the ruling party must stand aside”, added Marcolino Moço, who said he regretted the death of the former head of state, a man with whom he deprived.
“The negative aspects, unfortunately for him [José Eduardo Dos Santos] were the last, they became more accentuated in the last decades of his ‘consulate'”, he continued.
In the opinion of the former prime minister of José Eduardo dos Santos, he should also have solemnized “a little more the handing over of power to someone else, with a more profoundly self-critical discourse”.
But “he did not, and therefore the waters were not parted. And this negative legacy left by a great statesman, who was not able to transform the State of struggle for its democratization in favor of all Angolans, in the most diverse dimensions, in the ethnic, regional, class dimension, unfortunately leaves this image, which today is being thoroughly investigated by his replacement”.
For Marcolino Moco, “even when choosing a replacement” José Eduardo dos Santos “was not happy”.
Despite everything, he said that today he received “shocking” news, when he learned of the death of his country’s former head of state.
“Although it was a death that had been expected for some time, it is always shocking for a person, like me, who worked closely with him for several years, despite the natural differences we had”, he said, addressing his condolences “especially to the family” of José Eduardo dos Santos.
The former President of Angola died today at the age of 79 in a clinic in Barcelona, Spain, after weeks of hospitalization, the Angolan presidency announced today, which decreed five days of national mourning.
José Eduardo dos Santos succeeded Agostinho Neto as President of Angola in 1979 and left office in 2017, serving one of the longest presidencies in the world, marked by accusations of corruption and nepotism.
In 2017, he resigned from re-candidate and the current President, João Lourenço, succeeded him in office, having also been elected by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has governed the country since independence from Portugal in 1975.