«Tinha consciência perfeita da importância da informação».
Paulo Jorge, quoted by Sílvia Bragança in her book Aquino de Bragança.
Aquino de Bragança was an important intellectual and political figure in the years leading up to and immediately following Mozambican independence. As a journalist, an academic and a public intellectual he engaged passionately with the issues of his time, and as a confidante of President Samora Machel and a frequent envoy of the Mozambican government, he translated his convictions into action, eventually losing his life alongside Samora in the service of the liberation of southern Africa.
He was born Tomaz Aquino Messias de Bragança in 1924 in Bardez in northern Goa in India. At that time Goa, Damão and Diu made up the Portuguese-controlled Estado da Índia, but in December 1961 the independent Indian government occupied the three enclaves by force and expelled the Portuguese. Aquino's father was João Paulo Proença Bragança and his mother Ana Carlota Praxetes Antónia do Rosário Sousa. He left Goa as a young man and stayed briefly in Mozambique, where he was shocked by the racism that he found there. In 1948, at the age of 20, he left for Portugal and then France, where he studied physics in Grenoble and in Paris. It was at this time, apparently, that he became a Marxist. Convinced that Goan independence was achievable, he soon made contact with nationalists from other Portuguese colonies. In 1957 he moved to Morocco to teach science, and when the PAIGC and the MPLA set up the CONCP in 1961 in Rabat to coordinate the struggle, Aquino represented the Goan People's Party in the new organisation. He soon became an indispensable member of the CONCP secretariat.
He was an active journalist, writing for such publications as the progressive Afrique-Asie [Paris] and Révolution Africaine [Algiers].
When the MFA overthrew the Caetano regime in Portugal on 25 April 1974, as Aquino relates in the article ‘Independência sem descolonização: a transferência do poder em Moçambique, 1974-1975’ [see below], he was the person that Frelimo turned to, sending him to Lisbon to evaluate the volatile situation.
After Mozambican independence, Aquino was appointed Director of the Centro de Estudos Africanos at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in 1976, and in 1978 was joined by the South African activist Ruth First, who became Director of Research. In late 1978 and early 1979, Ruth and Aquino set about recruiting a group of committed radical scholars from Mozambique, South Africa, and Western Europe, and forming them into a research collective that focused on current issues of social and political transformation.
After Ruth's murder by the South African regime in August 1982, Aquino began to reorganise the CEA into several «núcleos de investigação» – the Núcleo de África Austral, the Núcleo de Documentação, and so on.
Aquino de Bragança was a trusted confidante of Samora Machel, and undertook numerous delicate diplomatic missions on behalf of the Frelimo government. Allegedly he was nicknamed "the submarine" in party and government circles because of his ability to keep an exceedingly low profile. He was killed on board the Tupolev Tu-134 with Samora Machel when it crashed at Mbuzini on 19 October 1986, in circumstances that have yet to be fully clarified.
His best-known publication for English-speaking readers is probably The African liberation reader (London: Zed Press, 1982; 3 volumes), edited with Immanuel Wallerstein and originally published in Lisbon in Portuguese under the more interesting title Quem é o inimigo?.
In 2009 his widow, the artist Sílvia Bragança published Aquino de Bragança: batalhas ganhas, sonhos a continuar [Maputo: Ndjira, 2009; 482 pages] in his memory. The book consists of memoirs, interviews, photographs and facsimiles about Aquino's rich and complex life. In April 2011, the publishing house Goa 1556 published an English version of the book under the title Battles waged, lasting dreams. The cover design is shown below:
A blog in Portuguese and English entitled «Remembering Aquino» can be found here, although at the time of writing (June 2010) nothing had been posted since 20 September 2009. Also of great interest is a page of photographs and facsimiles, available here.
The dossier is organised into broad topics – Aquino's writings on Mozambican subjects, texts about Aquino, and interviews and conversations with him. These are followed by his writings on Angola, Africa in general, and the rest of the world. Click on any of the green buttons below to jump to the appropriate section.
Left: The images to the left are, from the top to the bottom: Aquino in 1975; the cover of the first volume of Quem é o inimigo; the cover of the first volume of the English edition of the same work; and the cover of Sílvia Bragança's memoir of Aquino, published in 2009.
◊ 2 March 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Les trusts pétroliers s'interessant aussi au Mozambique. Africasia no.10, 2 March 1970, pages 16-17. The copy of page 17 is damaged down the left side. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 231 Kb.
◊ 11 May 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Au Mozambique le coton ne mangera plus l'homme. Africasia no.15, 11 May 1970, pages 18-19. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 352 Kb.
◊ 22 June-5 July 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Le FRELIMO a un nouveau président. Africasia no.18, 22 June-5 July 1970, page 40. Reports on the Central Committee meeting of 14 May, which abolished the triumvirate structure put into place after Mondlane's death, elected Samora Machel president, and expelled Simango. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 123 Kb.
◊ 2 October 1972
Aquino de Bragança. Mozambique: un nouveau Bresil. Afrique-Asie, 2 October 1972. On Portuguese plans to turn Angola and Mozambique into "two new Brazils" by settling large numbers of peasant farmers. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 203 Kb.
◊ 6 August 1973
Aquino de Bragança. Les enfants fusillés avec leur mére. Afrique-Asie, no.36, 6 August 1973, pages 22-24. On the Wiriyamu massacre. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 381 Kb.
◊ September 1980
Aquino de Bragança. O marxismo de Samora. Três Continentes, no.3, September 1980, pages 43-50. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.1 Mb.
◊ December 1980
Aquino de Bragança. Le radiche ideologiche del Frelimo: nazionalismo e lotta di classe in Mozambico. Politica Internazionale, December 1980, pages 56-63. In Italian. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.1 Mb.
◊ 2 May 1982
Aquino de Bragança, António Souto. Reflexões sobre a dignidade de uma viajem. Domingo, no.32, 2 May 1982, page 3. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 271 Kb.
◊ 5 October 1983
Aquino de Bragança, Carlos Cardoso. RPM e Portugal: um momento novo, Primeiro-Ministro português, Mário Soares. Notícias, 5 October 1983. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 366 Kb.
◊ Fall 1984
Aquino de Bragança, Bridget O'Laughlin. The work of Ruth First in the Centre of African Studies: the Development Course. Review vol.8 no.2, Fall 1984, pages 159-172. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 990 Kb.
◊ January 1985
Aquino de Bragança. Independência sem descolonização: a transferência do poder em Moçambique, 1974-1975. Notas sobre os seus antecedentes. Estudos Moçambicanos no.5/6, 1986, pages 7-28. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.3 Mb.
Aquino de Bragança, Jacques Depelchin. From the idealization of Frelimo to the understanding of the recent history of Mozambique. African Journal of Political Economy vol.1 no.1, 1986, pages 162-180. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size xx Kb, and also here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.7 Mb.
◊ 14 February 1986
Aquino de Bragança, Jacques Depelchin. Da idealização da Frelimo à compreensão da história de Moçambique. Estudos Moçambicanos [Maputo], no.5/6, 1986, pages 29-52. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.6 Mb.
◊ 30 May 1979
Faleceu a militante Mariana Bragança. Notícias, 30 May 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 151 Kb.
◊ 12 August 1979
João Tembe. O ‘caso’ Aquino de Bragança entre Lisboa e Maputo: a golpe contra o embaixador de Moçambique em Lisboa. Edição Especial, 12 August 1979. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 243 Kb.
◊ 24 September 1981
Debate sobre raça e classe, tónica dominante na palestra orientada por Aquino de Bragança. Notícias, 24 September 1981.
◊ 4 October 1981
Raça e classe em debate. Tempo, no.573, 4 October 1981, page 7.
◊ 4 October 1981
Raça e classe na problemática da Frelimo. Domingo, no.2, 4 October 1981, page 4. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 400 Kb.
◊ 2 July 1982
Carneiro Jacinto. Aquino de Bragança próximo embaixador em Lisboa? O Jornal, no.384, 2 July 1982.
◊ 28 August 1983
[Untitled photograph with descriptive caption of Aquino meeting Melo Antunes at Maputo airport]. Tempo, no.672, 28 August 1983, page 3. See below for a better quality JPEG version of this photograph. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 181 Kb.
◊ 1 October 1983
Samora Machel é pedagogo da revolução em Moçambique, afirma Aquino de Bragança em palestra na ONJ. Notícias, 1 October 1983.
◊ 28 November 1983
Aquino de Bragança: «Cabral e Machel são os verdadeiros herdeiros de Marx». O Jornal, 28 November 1983, page 5.
◊ 17 March 1984
Marco histórico na áfrica Austral, Professor Aquino de Bragança. Notícias, 17 March 1984.
◊ 21 June 1984
[Untitled item about lecture on Eduardo Mondlane given by Aquino in the Faculty of Medicine]. Notícias, 21 June 1984.
◊ 27 November 1984
Amanhã na Casa Velha, Aquino fala sobre Acordo de Nkomati. Notícias, 27 November 1984.
◊ 29 November 1984
Aquino falou sobre Nkomati. Notícias, 29 November 1984. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 136 Kb.
◊ 30 November 1984
Entender Nkomati na perspectiva da história: Aquino de Bragança, na Casa Velha. Notícias, 30 November 1984, page 8. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 228 Kb.
◊ 2 December 1984
Preguiça mental e auto-suficiência. Domingo, 2 December 1984. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 127 Kb.
◊ 22 March 1985
[Untitled excerpt from radio report on visit to Lisbon]. Lisbon radio, 22 March 1985, transcribed in Summary of World Broadcasts.
◊ 19 November 1986
Um tributo para Aquino de Bragança, pelo professor Haroub Othaman [sic: Othman], do Instituto para Estudos de Desenvolvimento da Universidade de Dar-es-Salaam. Notícias, 19 November 1986.
◊ December 1986
Immanuel Wallerstein. Remembering Aquino. Southern African Report, December 1986, page 6.
◊ Late 1986
Aquino de Bragança: an appreciation. African Journal of Political Economy, vol.1, no.1, 1986, pages x-xii. Click here to view or download a PDF file, or here to view or download a PDF file, size 105 Kb.
◊ 20 October 1987
Em Moçambique não houve descolonização – Aquino de Bragança. Diário de Moçambique, 20 October 1987, pages 8-9.
◊ 21 January 1988
Aquino e Ruth First recordados em Maputo: seminário em memória dos investigadores tem lugar a partir de hoje. Notícias, 21 January 1988. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 178 Kb.
◊ 22 January 1988
Recordando obra de Aquino e Ruth First, seminário científico debate áfrica Austral. Notícias, 22 January 1988. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 390 Kb.
◊ 23 January 1988
No Centro de Estudos Africanos, lápide marca presença de Aquino e Ruth First: encerrou seminário científico em memória daqueles destacados investigadores. Notícias, 23 January 1988. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 208 Kb.
◊ February 1988
Seminar honours Ruth First and Aquino de Bragança. AIM Information Bulletin, no.139, February 1988, pages 8-9.
◊ 11 August 1994
Joaquim Martins Cardosa. First's death no mystery [letter to the editor]. Weekly Mail, 11 August 1994. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 38 Kb.
◊ September-October 2003
Embaixadores da cultura, II: Sílvia de Bragança. Tempo, September-October 2003. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 74 Kb.
◊ 5 January 1975
«Moçambique: uma experiência única na história» na opinião de Arquino [sic] de Bragança em entrevista à Afrique-Asie. Tempo, no.223, 5 January 1975, pages 43-45.
◊ 10 May 1975
Entrevista com Aquino de Bragança: dois projectos de descolonização, MFA com os movimentos de libertação e Spínola com Champalimaud e outros. Expresso, 10 May 1975, pages 18-19.
◊ 29 December 1981
Entrevista com Aquino de Bragança: em Moçambique não houve descolonização. Diário de Lisboa, 29 December 1981, page xii.
◊ 30 December 1981
Entrevista com Aquino de Bragança (II): chegou o tempo de áfrica pensar em termos de grandes conjuntos. Diário de Lisboa, 30 December 1981, page ix, xii.
◊ 26 June 1982
Aquino de Bragança em almoço com o Expresso: «Há uma certa esquerda preguiçosa que se sente mal por sermos amigos de um país da NATO». Expresso, 26 June 1982, page 6.
◊ 5 February 1983
Amílcar Cabral tem dimensão universal: Aquino de Bragança a «O Jornal». Notícias, 5 February 1983. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 168 Kb.
◊ 22 February 1985
Moeletsi Mbeki. Background to the Mozambique conflict. Herald, 22 February 1985. Summarises and quotes from a conversation with Aquino. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 254 Kb.
◊ 29 March-4 April 1985
Adelino Gomes. Aquino de Bragança: militares portugueses devem defender Cabora Bassa. Grande Reportagem, 29 March-4 April 1985, page 66. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 265 Kb.
◊ 22 June 1985
Xavier de Figueiredo. Aquino de Bragança: «Mais importante que a ideologia é a defesa da nossa soberania». Semanário, 22 June 1985, pages 22-23, 34. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 784 Kb.
◊ April 1961
Aquino (second left) and other delegates to the first CONCP conference meet King Hassan II of Morocco in Fez. A youthful Marcelino dos Santos (second from the right) can also be seen. Click here to view or download a large TIF file, size 6.2 Mb.
Aquino in a relaxed mood with Angolan comrades Lúcio Lara, Desidério da Graça Veríssimo e Costa and Daniel Chipenda, as well as Amílcar Cabral, in Marrakesh, Morocco, sometime in 1962. Click here to view or download a JPEG file, size 1.9 Mb.
Aquino sometime in 1974 or 1975, after his return to an independent Mozambique. Click here to view or download a JPEG file, size 348 Kb.
◊ May 1979
A poor quality newspaper photograph of the funeral of Mariana de Bragança. Among the pall-bearers are Aquino, Samora Machel and Graça Machel. Click here to view or download a JPEG file, size 516 Kb.
◊ August 1982
Samora Machel greets Aquino on his discharge from hospital, after he was injured in the South African bomb attack that killed Ruth First at the Centro de Estudos Africanos on 17 August 1982. Click here to view or download a PNG file, size 549 Kb.
◊ August 1983
Aquino greeting Melo Antunes on his arrival in Mozambique for a visit on 28 August 1983. Click here to view or download a TIF file, size 1.2 Mb.
◊ April 1984
A newspaper photograph of Aquino seated in the audience at a meeting, from Domingo, 8 April 1984, page 2. Click here to view or download a TIF file, size 2.1 Mb.
◊ October 1985
Aquino with Colin Darch, a staff member at the Centro de Estudos Africanos, outside the Africana Hotel during a visit to Dar es Salaam to interview President Julius Nyerere. Click here to view or download a JPEG file, size 97 kb.
◊ 1 December 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Ou vont les diamants d'Angola? Africasia no.30, 1 December 1970, pages 31-32. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 370 Kb.
◊ 12 April 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Angola: la guérilla apporte le savoir et la technique. Africasia no.38, 12 April 1971, pages 19-21. Interview with Iko Carreira of the MPLA. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 505 Kb.
Aquino de Bragança. Savimbi: itinerário de uma contra-revolução. Estudos Moçambicanos, no.2, 1981. pages 87-104. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 1.4 Mb.
◊ 15 March 1981
Aquino de Bragança. Savimbi: entre Washington e Pretória. Tempo, no.544, 15 March 1981, pages 39-41. Not yet available.
◊ January 1984
Aquino de Bragança. The strange career of Dr. Savimbi. Africasia, no.1, January 1984, pages 18-20. Not yet available.
◊ 20 July-2 August 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Apolônio de Carvalho: de la guerre d'Espagne à la lutte de libération brésilienne, en passant par la Résistance française. Africasia no.20, 20 July-2 August 1970, pages 43-44. Interview with Apolônio de Carvalho [1912-2005], an important Brazilian socialist figure who was later to be one of the founders of the PT. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 318 Kb.
◊ 28 October 1983
Aquino de Bragança. Gilberto Freire e a instrumentalização política. O Jornal, 28 October 1983, page 14. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 539 Kb.
◊ 13 April 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Pourquoi Washington a fermé son consulat de Salisbury. Africasia, 13 April 1970, pages 10-11. Analyses the real reasons behind Nixon's decision to break off US consular relations with the illegal Smith regime. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 241 Kb.
◊ 25 May 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Le Botswana va-t-il changer de camp? Africasia no.16, 25 May 1970, pages 19-20. Botswana, which had suddenly become a "fabulously wealthy" country, was establishing relations with the Soviet Union. Was this part of a shift in the regional balance of power? Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 389 Kb.
◊ 22 June-5 July 1970
Aquino de Bragança. L'etrange aventure d'une prêtresse zambienne. Africasia, no.18, 22 June-5 July 1970, pages 38-39. Alice Lenshina [1920-1978] (Africasia misspells her name Leshina), was the leader of the revivalist Lumpa Church in Zambia. The Church was in conflict with UNIP and was eventually banned. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 379 Kb.
◊ 30 August 1970
Aquino de Bragança. La troisième tentative de Caetano. Africasia, no.21, 30 August 1970, pages 19-20. On the Senegalese attitude to the liberation war, in Guinea-Bissau especially. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 269 Kb.
◊ October 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Lusaka: glissement à gauche? Africasia no.24, October 1970, pages 2-3. A report on the third Non-Aligned Movement conference, held in Lusaka, Zambia in September 1970. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 279 Kb.
◊ 9 November 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Bokassa: «Oui, j'ai fait la guerre d'Indochine, mais je suis decidé à enterrer le néo-colonialisme». Africasia no.26, 11 November 1970, pages 28-29. An interview with Jean Bedel Bokassa, president (and later emperor) of the Central African Republic. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 341 Kb.
◊ 1 March 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Crise de croissance en Zambia: les difficultés du Dr. Kaunda. Africasia no.35, 1 March 1971, pages 22-24. On ethnic tensions in Zambia and the possibility that they might be exploited by South Africa. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 429 Kb.
◊ 15 March 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Petrole: le Nigéria aussi. Africasia no.36, 15 March 1971, pages 25-26. On the politics of oil in Nigeria after the Biafra war. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 398 Kb.
◊ 5 July 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Somalie: le temps des complots. Africasia, no.44, 5 July 1971, pages 19-21. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 722 Kb.
◊ 19 July 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Afrique Australe: Londres a choisi. Africasia, no.45, 19 July 1971, pages 22-23. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 309 Kb.
Aquino usually viewed European affairs through the prism of his primary interest in the liberation of the Portuguese colonies and southern Africa in general. Thus, when the Social Democrats won the West German elections in 1969, Aquino asked what the impact would be in Mozambique and southern Africa.
◊ 30 March 1970
Aquino de Bragança. Brandt, Krupp et le Portugal. Africasia no.12, 30 March 1970, pages 14-16. An analysis of German policy towards Portugal and the colonial wars in the aftermath of the election of Willy Brandt as German Chancellor. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 516 Kb.
◊ 16 January 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Portugal: la décolonisation n'en finit pas. Africasia no.32, 16 January 1971, pages 32-33. An analysis of Marcelo Caetano's speech to the Portuguese Assembly in December 1970, in which he promised much greater autonomy for the African "provinces". Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 394 Kb.
◊ 10 May 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Révision déchirante ou percée vers le nord? Africasia no.40, 10 May 1971, pages 25-26. On South Africa's continuing economic links with developed countries. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 484 Kb.
◊ 21 June 1971
Aquino de Bragança. Le banquier d'Hitler au secours des héritiers de Salazar. Africasia no.43, 21 June 1971, pages 20-21. More on German investments in Portugal and German policy towards the Portuguese colonial wars. Click here to view or download a PDF file, size 409 Kb.