red flowers

Natércia Salgueiro Maia was looking through the album that a friend had given the couple when she noticed the postcard tucked behind a clipping. It was a threat to the April capitals. The case has now been revealed to the Lusa news agency

While leafing through an album where Salgueiro Maia kept newspaper clippings, his wife Natércia inadvertently found a postcard with a threat: “There will still be many captains’ heads hanging from the lamps”.

Natércia Salgueiro Maia was looking through the album a friend had given the couple when she noticed the postcard tucked behind a clipping.

“He hid the postcard so that I wouldn’t see it, but the postcard caught my eye,” said Natércia Salgueiro Maia, recalling the time when she lived with “the PIDE [political police] at her door” and feared for the couple’s lives just around the corner.

“I was a little afraid. At a time when we were still going to mass, when we turned the corner, I was afraid that someone would be waiting for us,” he confessed to Lusa.

When she accompanied Salgueiro Maia to Lisbon, where the then captain was meeting with other members of the Armed Forces Movement (MFA), Natércia would sometimes close her eyes in the car, overcome by tiredness: “When I opened [my eyes], I seemed to see things in front of the car, afraid that they would do us harm. I remember that!”

She also remembers the troubled period following April 25 and Salgueiro Maia’s concern for the future of the country. “In particular, 1975 was a year in which he was very worried and a little nervous about the way things were going. It was a bit of a difficult year,” he admitted.

“We were even in the Algarve and he and his colleagues came to Lisbon, because we were on the verge of a civil war. On April 25th he did everything he could to stop things from going downhill,” added Natércia Salgueiro Maia.

After April 25, the meetings of the MFA’s coordinating committee continued in Lisbon, which were “more tense”, she admitted.

While going through her memories of the Revolutionary Period in Progress (PREC), Natércia pointed to a stool – at the time lined with a skin that Salgueiro Maia had brought back from Guinea – where the captain was sitting when he watched in amazement as General Spínola resigned as President of the Republic on September 30, 1974.

“I was sitting there listening to Spínola and then it happened… the guy resigned and he got worried. I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.

The stool, now with a more contemporary covering, is still in the room where Natércia Salgueiro Maia received Lusa, on the outskirts of Santarém.

António de Spínola ended up fleeing to Spain, before going into exile in Brazil in 1975 after being involved in an attempted right-wing coup.

The pluralist democracy that Salgueiro Maia dreamed of was consolidated after the hot summer of 1975 and with the approval of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic in 1976, which is currently in force.

This year, Portugal celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *