Portugal Day events continue, now in Cabo Verde, with president, PM

Cape Verde president Jorge Carlos Fonseca and Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (right)

Cape Verde president Jorge Carlos Fonseca and Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (right)

  |  António Cotrim

Official events to mark Portugal Day, which began in Portalegre, in the Alentejo, end on Tuesday in Cabo Verde, attended by Portugal"s president and prime minister, who are both to spend the day in Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa arrived in the capital, Praia, on Monday at the end of the day, after the official ceremony of 10 June in Portalegre. Both addressed the Portuguese community in Cabo Verde, which is some 21,000-strong, across several islands.

Today, the two travel from Praia, on the island of Santiago, to Mindelo, accompanied by the president of Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca - who was also present at the ceremonies in Portugal. They have a packed agenda, beginning with a visit to an art exhibition, followed by a tour and lunch with local authorities on board a Portuguese naval frigate.

Cabo Verde"s prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, is also to take part in the celebrations in Mindelo.

The Portuguese delegation included the ministers of education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, and of defence, João Gomes Cravinho, the secretary of state for Portuguese communities abroad, José Luís Carneiro, and deputies Feliciano Barreiras Duarte of the opposition Social Democrats, Carlos Pereira of the governing Socialists, Maria Manuel Rola of the Left Bloc (BE), Pedro Mota Soares of the People"s Party (CDS-PP), and João Dias of the Communist Party.

Afterwards, the programme includes a tribute to the Portuguese expeditionary troops in Cabo Verde in World War II and a reception for young sportsmen and -women including the Portuguese-Cabo Verdean Elisha, a former Benfica footballer, who was a member of the national squad that won the 2016 Europe Championships and took home with him a replica of the trophy.

In the afternoon, there is also a military parade by the Cabo Verde armed forces that will feature a Portuguese representation. The Portugal Day celebrations are to end with a reception for the local Portuguese community in a hotel in Mindelo, at the end of the day.

The prime minister is expected to return to Portugal on Tuesday, while the president is to travel on to Ivory Coast on Wednesday for a state visit, following a private event on the island of Brava, with his Cabo Verde counterpart, Jorge Carlos Fonseca.

In 2016, the year he took office as president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa launched an unprecedented mode of marking the Day of Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities - as it is officially known - agreed with the prime minister as taking the celebrations first to a location in Portugal and then to a foreign country with a significant Portuguese community.

That year, Portugal Day was celebrated in Lisbon and Paris. In 2017 the celebrations were in Porto and in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Last year they were divided between Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, and the cities of Boston, Providence and New Bedford, on the east coast of the US.