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Angola

Agostinho NETO 1922-1979

Agostinho NETO

Биографический очерк

1922 – Neto was born in the town of Caxicane in the Bengo province, a place about 60 km away from the country's capital Luanda. His father was Agostinho Pedro Neto, his mother was Maria da Silva Neto.
1929 /
1933
– as a boy he was studying at Caxicane's primary school.
1934 – on February 14 he enters the Lyceum Salvador Correia (Mutu-ya-Kevala).
1938 – when studying in his third year at the Lyceum, Neto is awarded his first literary prize
1942 – he starts working at the O Estudante newspaper published by the Methodist Church.
1943 – Neto becomes a member of the editorial board of the O Estudante newspaper published at the Lyceum.
1944 – in January he completes his education at the Lyceum (7th year) after a two-year interval necessitated by circumstances. After the high-school graduation, Neto starts working in the Angolan public health service, first in the Malanje province, then in the Bie Province.
1947 – he comes to live in Portugal, where he enters the medical faculty of the Coimbra University.
1948 – the Mensagem magazine in Luanda publishes Agostinho Neto's poems and verses.
1951 – Agostinho Neto and two of his colleagues get arrested for participating in collection of signatures in support of the World Peace Conference in Stockholm.
1952 – Neto gets arrested for the second time, now for political reasons.
1953 – he takes part in the 4th International Youth and Students Festival in Bucharest, Rumania and in the 3rd World Congress of Students in Warsaw. Neto becomes one of the founders of the Center of African Research. He enters the DYUM - Democratic Youth Union Movement (Movimento de Uniao Democratica-Juvenil) and gets elected a representative of the DYUM from the Portuguese colonies.
1957 – through a decision taken by the Amnesty International, A. Neto is named the Political Prisoner of the Year. He was sentenced by the court of the city of Porto to serve a term of imprisonment that he spent in jail during a preliminary investigation. After the pronouncement of sentence he was released from custody.
1958 – he becomes a licentiate of medicine in Lisbon. On the same day he marries Maria Eugenia da Silva. In November he makes a speech at the students' club named Casa dos Estudantes do Imperio, and that speech makes a deep impression on the subsequent development of Angolan national literature.
1959 – Neto returns to Angola.
1960 – in June Neto gets arrested in his personal study in Luanda, then exiled to Portugal and later transferred to Cape Verde Islands. The MPLA leadership based abroad names him the MPLA's Honorary Chairman. The Students' Club in Lisbon includes a selection of A. Neto's verse into the Collected Works of Authors from Overseas Territories (Coleccao Autores Ultramarinos).
1961 – A. Neto is arrested again in the town of Praia (Cape Verde Islands), and then he is exiled to Lisbon.
1962 – - A. Neto is ordered to live in Lisbon. He is allowed to practice as a physician at the Santa Maria Hospital. He is an activist of the International Solidarity Movement. In the same year he manages to immigrate to Morocco, together with his wife and two children. After leaving Portugal, A. Neto takes many journeys around the world, working for uniting all Angolans in one organization struggling against the Portuguese colonialism. In July he arrives in Leopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa. In December he is elected Chairman of the MPLA at the organization's first conference.
1963 – In Italy Joyce Lussu publishes a collection of poems by A. Neto under the title “Com Occhi Ascuiti” (With Dry Eyes).
1968 – The first complete publication of the verse collection «The Holy Hope» (Santa Esperanca) is issued in the Serbo-Croatian language. Verse collections by A. Neto are also published in Russian and Chinese.
1970 – During the International Conference of Solidarity with National Liberation Movements in Portuguese Colonies, that took place in Rome, Agostinho Neto (MPLA), Amilcar Cabral (PAIGC) and Marcelino dos Santos (FRELIMO) were received by the Pope Paul VI.
1974 – A. Neto signs the Nakuru Agreement in Kenia.
1975 – He signs the Alvor Agreement (Acordos do Alvor) in Portugal. On November 11, 1975 Neto declares triumphantly the national independence of Angola.
1976 – Neto makes tours of many countries of the world. A number of states awarded him high honorary titles, in particular, the USSR, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Cuba. The solemn ceremony of presenting A. Neto with the Lotus prize took place in Luanda. That prize had been awarded to him in 1970 at the 4th Conference of African and Asian Writers conducted in Alma-Ata. A. Neto participates in the work of a conference of leaders of non-aligned nations in Sri-Lanka. He gets elected Chairman of the General Assembly of Angolan Writers' Union (UEA), takes part in the 6th Conference of African and Asian Writers in Luanda. A. Neto is awarded a Juliot Curie Prize.
1977 – The First Congress of the MPLA awards A. Neto the title of a National Hero.
1978 – A. Neto receives the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in Luanda. He also receives African party and state leaders arriving in the country on official visits. He welcomes and receives Fidel Castro in Luanda. When visiting Guine-Bissau, he meets the President of the Portuguese Republic Antonio Ramalho Eanes. He participates in the 15th Meeting of state and government leaders of member countries of the Organization of African Unity in Khartoum. An extract from his speech in Khartoum: «Today Africa is like a motionless body, and every carrion vulture is anxious to tear out a piece of that body».
1979 – Neto declared the year 1979 to be «The Year of Education of Professionals». He made tours of many provinces of the country where he made statements concerning his political programme.
Agostinho Neto died in Moscow as a result of a grave condition caused by a fatal disease.