Viriato Clemente da Cruz
Political work[change | change source]
He was educated in Luanda, the capital of Angola, which was then ruled by Portugal. As a young man in 1957 he went to Paris, where he met Mario Pinto de Andrade, another Angolan poet and politician, who helped with his political ideas. In the 1960s they helped create the group called the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA—from the Portuguese name Movimento Pela Libertação de Angola).
The MPLA was in not in Angola at this time, but was first in Conakry (the capital of Guinea) and then later in Leopoldville, Congo (now Kinshasa the capital of the DRC). Viriato da Cruz became secretary-general of the MPLA. After some time he and others, did not agree with some people in the group and this led to fighting in the streets of Leopoldville.
Exiled in China[change | change source]
Viriato da Cruz went to Beijing, China in the 1960s because of the fighting in the MPLA. At first, the Chinese government welcomed him. He was well-known because he had helped create the MPLA. The Chinese wanted Viriato da Cruz to help them bring Maoist socialism to Africa.
This was a big problem for Viriato and his family. His ideas were not the same as the Maoists. He thought that stronger countries can not bring a socialist revolution to other places. He was very brave and did not change his ideas. This was against the Chinese Maoist idea of world revolution.
Viriato da Cruz wanted to leave China and return to Africa, but the Chinese government would not let him go and they were not good to him. This may be because he could have made trouble for their work in Africa.
Last years of life[change | change source]
The last years of the life of Viriato da Cruz were unhappy and difficult. He was weak, without much food, and he died on 13 Jun 1973. His dead body was taken away in a military vehicle and his burial was without any ceremony.
Principal books[change | change source]
Poems (1961). Among these poems, Namoro, Sô Santo and Makézu are well-known.