Being against a Coup d’Etat is Crime of Rebellion in Angola

The Angolan university lecturer, Domingos da Cruz, whose work is cited in an indictment as the cause for the June detention of 15  activists in Luanda, does not believe coup d’états are a viable form of overthrowing dictatorships.

In his manuscript, Tools to Destroy a Dictatorship and Avoiding a New Dictatorship – Philosophy for the Political Liberation of Angola” the author, who has been indicted of organising a rebellion by holding weekly political seminars, defends the change of the regime through non-violent means, and not through violence.

In the second chapter of the manuscript, the da Cruz writes that often an oppressed people will turn to the army to bring down a dictatorship but notes clearly that this is not wise.

“We are dealing with a situation that is not certain and clear. We should always bear in mind that the military are a crucial pillar in the structures supporting a dictatorship. All you need is to pay attention to what high-ranking army figures say when confronted with the possibility that the dictatorship might crumble because of the dissatisfaction of the many,” writes Domingos da Cruz.

According to the author, it is most likely that a military coup d’etat will result in a new dictatorship because of the undoing of all existing civilian structures.

“In the Angolan context, if the armed forces were to overthrow the government, they would collide with the Presidential Guard Unit.  They would also face the Rapid Intervention Police and the parallel army that the dictator created in Kuando Kubango province (south eastern Angola five kilometers from Menongue, its capital), under General Eusébio de Brito Teixeira,” the author writes. Domingos da Cruz argues that this “army” which “in effect is a private militia”, was especially created in the event of a coup d’etat.

“After consolidating their position, the new rulers could prove to be more cruel and ruthless than the previous ones. Therefore, the new rulers, in whom people will have invested some trust, will want to go on serving themselves without bothering about democracy or human rights. This is not the acceptable answer for democracy,” says da Cruz.

Domingos da Cruz writes about personalities who create parties and go into politics ostensibly to fight dictatorship, but end up taking advantage of  personal economic gains.

“In reality, taking part in elections is like being a tool that is used to prolong dictatorship. The complete absence of political parties at elections will put the dictatorship under pressure from within and without, and will fall easily because it will not have legitimacy,” writes Domingos da Cruz using the theories  of the American academic, Gene Sharp.

At the end of the manuscript, da Cruz recognises a miscalculation  made  by those trying to emulate the “Arab Spring” mainly that the protesters lacked a future plan for the nation. He believes there is a need for the creation of a “political and philosophical” charter for the nation.  “This will have to be a far-reaching document that will dwell on what could be done with institutions responsible for the spiritual, ethical and material aspects of the country after the fall of the dictatorship”, he writes.

Briefly, Domingo’s da Cruz outlines some future health, economic, education, governance and  foreign policies and even a strategy for prisons. ” We will have to make a choice between the savage prison system based in Brazil, where offenders come out worse; or the Norwegian one, where crime is controlled by effective social policies. Will the secret services persecute their enemies or will they have the sole role of defending the citizens, the national interests and containing foreign threats?” These are some of the questions that Domingos da Cruz makes at the end of the manuscript.

On October 15, the Luanda Provincial Court indicted Domingos da Cruz, and 16 of his fellow activists of the crimes of rebellion and attempt to assassinate the president. The charges highlighted that the activists held weekly meetings for eight weeks,  in which they debated the contents Da Cruz’s  manual Tools To Destroy a Dictatorship and Avoiding a New Dictatorship – Political Philosophy for the Liberation of Angola.

The manuscript written by Domingos da Cruz will be distributed on the Internet in its entirety.


*Translated and updated by Makaangola