8 July 2022
The Socialist International was saddened to hear of the passing of José Eduardo dos Santos, former President of Angola and former leader of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA.
Dos Santos became a member of the MPLA during his school days and was forced into exile by the colonial regime at the age of 19. He was a prominent figure in the Angolan government after the country’s independence in 1975, serving as its first Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was elected President of Angola in 1979, and in 1991 introduced a multi-party system. Dos Santos was re-elected in 1992 in the country’s first democratic elections, which were supervised by the United Nations. Following these elections, a civil war broke out provoked by the opposition group the National Union for the Total Integration of Angola (UNITA), which was backed by the white apartheid regime that ruled South Africa. Peace was not brought about until 2002.
José Eduardo dos Santos is remembered by his people for his commitment to achieving freedom and peace for his country and for all the people of Angola, which he was widely recognised for. We extend our deep condolences to his family, to the MPLA, and to all its members.