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Template:Discrimination sidebar Lusophobia (Template:Lang-pt) is a hostility toward Portugal, the Portuguese people or the Portuguese language and culture. Like Lusitanic, the word derives from Lusitania, the Ancient Roman province that comprised what is nowadays Central and Southern Portugal, and phobia that means "fear". The term is used in Portuguese-speaking countries, and its use in the English language has been limited. The opposite concept is lusophilia.

Historical background


In the nineteenth century, the term Lusophobia was often used to describe nationalist sentiments in Brazil, a former colony of the Portuguese Empire, with Liberal politicians in Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco advocating the reduction of immigrant Portuguese involvement in the Brazilian economy, though almost all were themselves of Portuguese descent.[1] In Rio, the "Jacobinos", a small national radical group, were the strongest opponents of the "Galegos", the Portuguese immigrants, who were (and still are) also the biggest ethnocultural community in Brazil.[2]

In the immediate aftermath of the abdication of Pedro I of Brazil in 1831, in favor of his son Pedro II of Brazil, the poor black people, including slaves, staged anti-Portuguese riots in the streets of Brazil's larger cities.[3]

Today, relations between the two countries are amicable, with a degree of friendly rivalry comparable to that between English-speaking countries such as Britain and the United States, as a way to deal with their shared colonial past. Many Brazilians are used to telling Portuguese jokes (piadas de português), where the Portuguese people and the Portuguese Brazilian community are always referred to as dumb people. Soap opera actress Maitê Proença, commenting in the Brazilian TV show Saia Justa in 2007, became a notable example of a Brazilian public figure who displayed prejudice against the Portuguese people.[4]

Brazil is a member of the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa - CPLP.

Ex-African overseas provinces

Starting in the 12th century, the Kingdom of Portugal grew and built a Portuguese Empire that by the 16th century had expanded to all known inhabited continents, including Africa. After 5 centuries of Portuguese rule, guerrillas in the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola, started a rebellion that was taken up by the União das Populações de Angola (UPA) in order to achieve independence from Portugal. UPA was an Angolan nationalistic guerrilla movement based in Zaire, which changed its name to Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA) in 1962. On February 4, 1961, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola took credit for the attack on the prison of Luanda, where seven Portuguese policemen were killed.

On March 15, 1961, the UPA, in a cross-border attack, started the massacre of white populations and black workers. This region would be retaken by large military operations, finishing the ruthless terror campaign. However, the Portuguese Army's military response would not stop the spread of the nationalistic guerrilla actions to other regions of Angola, such as Cabinda, the east, the southeast and the central plateaus. This was the start of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1974) with three theatres of military operations against cross-border attacks by several guerrillas - in Angola, Guinea and Mozambique, at the time overseas provinces of Portugal. The Portuguese Colonial War ended after a leftist military coup on 25 April 1974 in Lisbon. All African overseas territories of Portugal were offered independence by the new revolutionary movement at Lisbon.

This political change in Portugal resulted in the exodus of over a million Portuguese citizens, plus military personnel, of European, African and mixed ethnicity from the newly-independent African territories to Portugal and other countries.[5] Many emigrated to Brazil, North America, South Africa or other Western European countries. Devastating civil wars also followed in Angola and Mozambique after independence, and lasted several decades claiming millions of lives and refugees.[6]

There was black racism in the former overseas provinces through the use of hatred against both ethnic Portuguese and many mulatto Africans.[7]

After the Portuguese departure, and following independence, local ethnic African soldiers that fought along with the Portuguese Army against the independence guerrillas were slaughtered by the thousands. A small number escaped to Portugal or to other African nations. The most famous massacre occurred in Bissorã, Guinea-Bissau. In 1980, the PAIGC admitted in its newspaper "Nó Pintcha" (dated 29/11/1980) that many were executed and buried in unmarked collective graves in the woods of Cumerá, Portogole and Mansabá. Cities, towns and villages which were founded by the Portuguese and prospered under Portuguese rule, saw their Portuguese names changed after independence. The statues to Portuguese heroes were removed from its sites in all the former Portuguese Africa's urban centres. Privileged commercial links were established with several communist countries by the governments of the newly-independent African states at the expense of Portugal, which lost influence in the region.

Nevertheless, after independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Lusophone Africa's students continued to be admitted every year at Portuguese high schools, polytechnical institutes and universities, through bilateral agreements between the Portuguese Government and governments of the former African overseas territories of Portugal. However, many of those studying abroad, in European countries like Portugal and Russia, either failed to complete their courses of study or did not return to Africa. The ex-African overseas provinces are members of the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa - CPLP.

Estado Novo and the Carnation Revolution

Episodes in Portugal's 20th century history, including the long period of dictatorship under António Salazar (the Estado Novo regime), the instability following the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, and the abrupt withdrawal from its overseas empire in 1975, contributed to a negative image of the country, as did the relative lack of economic development of Portugal among its Western European peers, which prompted The Economist in 1980 to describe the country as 'Africa's only colony in Europe'.[8]


After Portugal withdrew from its overseas territory of Portuguese Timor in 1975, the subsequent Indonesian invasion and annexation of East Timor, supported by the Australian government, also gave rise to anti-Portuguese sentiment in Australia, including people sympathetic to East Timor's struggle.[9] Whilst successive Australian governments supported the Indonesian occupation, during twenty four years of conflict,[10] and subsequent massacre,[11] Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking African countries maintained a diplomatic campaign in support of East Timor's right to self-determination, and East Timor became an independent country on May 20, 2002.

During the crisis in 2006, one Australian commentator attacked Portuguese involvement in East Timor, labelling Portugal as Australia's "diplomatic enemy." [12] Sometimes the Australian media has misspelled Portuguese names, confusing them with similar Spanish ones, for example, Guterres as Gutierrez,[13] or Gutteres.[14] Names were occasionally mispronounced, for example, 'José' as 'ho-zay', as in the Spanish pronunciation.[15]

There are communities of people of Portuguese origin in Sydney, (particularly in the Petersham area) Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne, Perth and Fremantle.[16]

United Kingdom

The 1890 British Ultimatum was considered by Portuguese historians and politics at that time, the most outrageous and infamous action of the British against Portugal and the Portuguese.[17] The ultimatum destroyed Portugal's goals of a united Portuguese African territory linking Portuguese West Africa with Portuguese East Africa and inspired the lyrics of the Portuguese National Anthem, "A Portuguesa".

Other noted modern acts of violence against Portuguese citizens by British citizens, include outrageous hooliganism during the Euro 2004 football championship, which was hosted and organized in Portugal. On that occasion a number of Portugal national football team fans, including women and children, had to be led to safety after more than 300 people began throwing missiles at a Norfolk pub following England's Euro 2004 defeat. Police arrested the hooligans after the trouble outside the Portuguese-run pub. The Portuguese fans were trapped inside the pub for more than two hours.[18] In the UK, two Portuguese families working in Northern Ireland, were moved from their homes in County Armagh after a racist attack in August 2004. "The Chairman of the local District Policing Partnership, Jonathan Bell of the Democratic Unionist Party, said the community was outraged [at the attacks]."[19]

Portugal and Great Britain are known for having the oldest alliance in the world. However, when a three year old British child, Madeleine McCann, disappeared from Praia da Luz, Algarve region, Portugal, in May 2007, elements in the UK media became critical of the Portuguese legal system and the authorities investigating the case. Certain comments and comparisons, some possibly lusophobic or xenophobic in nature, may not have been entirely fair because of an incomplete understanding of the specific legal principles involved. Writing in The Guardian, in September 2007, Marcel Berlins called it "a touch of arrogant xenophobia".[20] Tony Parsons and Simon Heffer have been criticized for writing the most xenophobic news articles, e.g. Simon Heffer penned an article asking to boycott Portugal as a holiday destination. However, Heffer's plea was ineffective, as the following months saw an increase of British tourists. “The number of UK tourists increased 8% from January to October 2007, and it means that UK tourists have already answered to the appeal to boycott Portugal as a holiday destination” said Mr. António Pina, chairman of Algarve Tourism Board.[21][22] Considered a record, the estimates were of 2 million British tourists holidaying in Portugal in 2007.[23] Tony Parsons' column in the Daily Mirror with xenophobic comments received 485 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission, provoking a massive increase in the number of complaints in 2007 to this commission, being the article of 2007 with most complaints.[24][25]

See also


  1. Mosher, Jeffrey C. "Political Mobilization, Party Ideology, and Lusophobia in Nineteenth-Century Brazil: Pernambuco, 1822-1850" Hispanic American Historical Review - 80:4, November 2000, pp. 881-912
  2. Jacobinos versus Galegos: Urban Radicals versus Portuguese Immigrants in Rio de Janeiro in the 1890s, June E. Hahner - Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1976), pp. 125-15, [1], JSTOR
  3. Rebelions in Bahia
  4. Actress falls from grace, Jornal de Notícias, October 13, 2009
  5. Dismantling the Portuguese Empire, Time Magazine (Monday, Jul. 07, 1975)
  6. The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire by Norrie MacQueen - Mozambique since Independence: Confronting Leviathan by Margaret Hall, Tom Young - Author of Review: Stuart A. Notholt African Affairs, Vol. 97, No. 387 (Apr., 1998), pp. 276-278, JSTOR
  7. Cold War - Historical Documents: Castro-Honecker meeting CNN
  8. 'Almost there, Portugal: A Survey' Robert Harvey, The Economist June 14, 1980.
  9. Current Language Issues in East Timor Dr Geoffrey Hull Text of a public lecture given at the University of Adelaide, 29 March, 2000.
  10. Timeline: East Timor
  11. Timeline: East Timor BBC
  12. "Downhill all the way since Habibie let go", Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 26th May 2006.
  13. East Timor's tower of Babel: Cultural clash over Timor's official language, Sydney Morning Herald August 16, 2002
  14. East Timor aims to mend relationship with people, Radio Australia, April 4, 2008
  15. INL Gagged by Australian Press
  16. Portugal Country brief, DFAT
  17. João Ferreira Duarte, The Politics of Non-Translation: A Case Study in Anglo-Portuguese Relations
  18. Portuguese fans attacked by mob, (25 June, 2004), in BBC News
  19. Two Portuguese families attacked, (21 August, 2004), in BBC News
  20. Berlins, Marcel (10 September 2007). "Media have rushed to judge Portuguese police". The Guardian.,,2165920,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  21. Algarve Tourism Board: Increase of UK tourists is the answer to the boycott appeal from Telegraph. Gazeta Digital
  22. Região de Turismo do Algarve : Aumento do número de turistas britanicos é a resposta ao boicote do Telegraph
  23. "Caso Madeleine" não tem efeito negativo em ano com número recorde de turistas britânicos
  24. Press Complaints At All Time High
  25. PCC complaints hit record high

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