Here is an English translation of the original speech in Portuguese:

April 25, 1974 – April 25, 2024

President of the Republic
Of Timor-Leste
At the banquet hosted
By the President of the Portuguese Republic
On the occasion of the celebrations
Of the 50th Anniversary of the Carnation Revolution

Ajuda Palace, April 25, 2024

Your Excellency President
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, our host,
Your Excellency President of the Assembly
of the Republic,
Your Excellency Prime Minister,
Your Excellency President of the Supreme Court,
Your Excellencies Presidents of Angola and spouse, of Cape Verde and spouse, of Guinea-Bissau, of Mozambique, of Sao Tome and Principe, President of our Community, Chancellor of Brazil representing President Lula,
Your Excellency Former President Gen. Ramalho Eanes and Dona Manuela
Excellencies Ministers, Deputies,

Today, Portugal celebrates Freedom Day, a date of profound symbolism in its 900-year history, perhaps equal to December 1, 1640.

On that distant but still very present day in our lives, on that morning of April 25, 1974, we woke up to “Grândola Vila Morena”, the dawn of the Carnation Revolution, which marked the restoration of full democracy and freedom for the Portuguese and full independence and sovereignty for the colonized peoples.

On this April 25, we reflect on the achievements made and the challenges we still face in what should be national goals of more egalitarian and just societies.

On this day, the Portuguese and all of us honor the courage and determination of those who fought for freedom, and we renew our commitment to the democratic values that define our nations.

Half a century has passed. From the Portugal of Salazar’s Estado Novo, impoverished, isolated, stifled, to the Portugal of 2024…how much has changed, for the better, for much better in all aspects.

May the spirit of April 25 continue to inspire present and future generations so that we may all live in true peace, in solidarity and fraternity.

His Holiness Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Cairo Prof. Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb in their “Declaration on Human Fraternity for a World of Peace and Living Together,” a historic document celebrated in Abu Dhabi on October 19, 2019, precisely call for human fraternity.

At my proposal, the Abu Dhabi Declaration was unanimously proclaimed the “National Document of Timor-Leste” by our National Parliament a few days after my re-election as President of the Republic in May 2022 and will be integrated into the curriculum from elementary to higher education.

Honor to all the great men and women of Portugal and the colonies who, through their courage and tenacity, overthrew the Estado Novo regime.

The colonial wars, especially those on the fronts of Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Angola, led to the military, political and diplomatic defeat of the Estado Novo, and from there the Carnation Revolution sprouted.

The Portuguese reacted to the changes without hatred and revenge, without executions, without civil war. The Portuguese accepted the independence of the colonies, and fought with us for the distant “Portuguese Timor.” Cut off from the colonial umbilical cord, the Portuguese did not turn their backs in spite of the small-minded. The societies and leaders of the new independent nations also acted with true greatness as victors, saluting the New Portugal, and quickly consolidated friendly relations.

The normalization of relations between the peoples and the new independent states with the former colonial power was immediate, reconciliation was a natural, swift process.

Timor-Leste today lives in peace and tranquility, with very positive economic and social indicators, notwithstanding many failures such as the persistently high poverty rates.

Timor-Leste ranks 10th in the world in press freedom and is classified as the freest and most democratic country in Southeast Asia in the democracy ranking.

We have embraced multilateralism and advocated for the reform and strengthening of international mechanisms for peace and cooperation.

We take pride in being active members of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, we are eternally grateful for the fraternal solidarity during the dark years of our journey towards independence, and we take pride in being able to actively contribute today, even if modestly, in support of some fellow CPLP countries.

We acceded to the World Trade Organization in February and will most likely become members of ASEAN in 2025, a community of 700 million people with a young majority and a GDP of 4 trillion US dollars.

We stand in solidarity with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and urge him to continue to be the voice of those whose tears and suffering do not disturb the arms merchants, the instigators of the wars in Gaza, Ukraine and Myanmar, and the wars in so many other countries that do not get mentioned in the media.

The barbarism of war has taken the place of humanity, tens of thousands of innocent people, women and children, are killed by robot men who do not distinguish between civilians and military personnel. Human lives, of women and children on the other side, have ceased to have value.

The South does not see itself reflected in the UN Security Council, an “outdated” institution that has long ceased to represent the world of the 21st century, obsolete, discredited, paralyzed by the great powers and by some lesser powers, for hypocrisy is not the exclusive property of the great powers.

But faith, hope, do not die. We will continue to fight for true peace, full peace, full gender equality, total inclusion and fraternal coexistence between different ethnicities, religions and political persuasions.

Long live the heroes of April.
Long live Portugal.
Long live the Timor-Leste-Portugal Friendship.
Long live the CPLP.

J. Ramos-Horta

Read The Original Speech in Portuguese