Catarina is a social activist from Portugal. She’s an organizer with Left Bloc in Portugal, Die Linke in Germany, which means The Left. She’s written for Jacobin magazine and contributed to an anthology titled Portugal, 40 Years After the Revolution. She’s currently studying and living in Germany.
Thanks for joining us.
So, as everybody knows that watches Reality Asserts Itself, we always start with sort of a personal back story and then get into some of the issues. And that’s what we’re going to do today.
So you’re born in Porto in Portugal.
JAY: And so in 1974 there is a revolution in Portugal. The Salazar dictatorship is overthrown. And that was a very big deal at that time, to have that kind of a breakthrough in Portugal.
You grow up sort of with that as–I should ask you the question: how much does that imbue who you are and the culture, atmosphere you grew up in, that you were living in revolutionary Portugal?
PRÍNCIPE: I wasn’t living properly in revolutionary Portugal anymore. The revolutionary process ended in ’75. But I think it is important to say that although the revolutionary process ended in ’75, the structures of the state and of the Portuguese democracy are much influenced by it. So we come from 50 years, almost, of fascist dictatorship, a very, very impoverished country, into a country with a functional social state, free education, free health system, a free health system, universal health system.