HAPPY BIRTHDAY AVANTE!

Avante! (Forward!) is the official organ of the Portuguese Communist Party. This weekly is today seventy years old, making it Western Europe’s longest-serving Communist newspaper. Its first edition was on 15th February, 1931 and the paper lived the first 43 years of its life underground, since it was banned by the Fascist Dictatorship of Dr. Salazar. It was printed in different sections on clandestine printing presses, scattered around the country in different houses, at great personal risk to its collaborators. Carlos Brito, ex-leader of the PCP in Parliament, and Director of Avante! for six years, said that he misses the time when the paper was the only organ of truth in Portugal, the only one which protected the oppressed working classes, the only one which spoke in the name of the proletariat, setting it apart from the other newspapers. After 25th April, 1974, with the success of the Portuguese democratic forces in the Revolution of the Carnations (the soldiers had flowers in their guns), Avante! came out of hiding and today proudly assumes its position on the newspaper stands alongside the rest of the world’s press.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON