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|24th President of Brazil|
8 September 1961 – 1 April 1964
|Prime Minister||Tancredo Neves
Brochado da Rocha
|Preceded by||Ranieri Mazzilli|
|Succeeded by||Ranieri Mazzilli|
|14th Vice President of Brazil|
31 January 1956 – 25 August 1961
|Preceded by||Café Filho|
|Succeeded by||José Maria Alkmin|
|President of the Federal Senate|
31 January 1956 – 25 August 1961
|Served with||Apolônio Sales|
|Preceded by||Café Filho|
|Succeeded by||Auro de Moura Andrade|
|Minister of Labour, Industry and Trade|
18 June 1953 – 23 February 1954
|Preceded by||José de Segadas Viana|
|Succeeded by||Hugo de Araújo Faria|
|Born||João Belchior Marques Goulart
March 1, 1918
São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
|Died||December 6, 1976
Mercedes, Corrientes, Argentina
|Resting place||Cemitério Jardim da Paz
São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
|Political party||Brazilian Labour Party – PTB (Historic)|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Teresa Fontela|
João Belchior Marques Goulart (gaúcho Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʒu.ɐ̃w bewˈki.ɔɾ ˈmarkis ɡuˈlaɾ], or [ˈʒwɐ̃w ˈbɛwkjɔʁ ˈmaʁkiʒ ɡuːˈlaʁ] in the standard Fluminense dialect; March 1, 1918 – December 6, 1976) was a Brazilian politician who served as the 24th President of Brazil until a military coup d'état deposed him on April 1, 1964. He is considered to have been the last left-wing President of the country until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003.
His childhood nickname was "Janguinho" (little Jango), which came from an uncle named Jango. Years later, when he entered the world of politics, he was supported and advised by Getúlio Vargas, and his friends and colleagues started to call him Jango.
His grandfather, Belchior Rodrigues Goulart, descended from Portuguese immigrants from the Azores who arrived in Rio Grande do Sul in the second half of the 18th century. There were at least three immigrants with the surname Govaert (latter adapted to Goulart or Gularte in Portuguese) of Flemish-Azorean origins in the group of first Azoreans established in the state.
Goulart was born at Yguariaçá Farm, in what used to be the district but is now the town of Itacurubi, São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, on March 1, 1918. His parents were Vicentina Marques Goulart, housewife, and Vicente Rodrigues Goulart, estancieiro (a rancher owner of large rural properties) and colonel of the National Guard during the 1932 Revolution who fought on the side of Governor Borges de Medeiros. Most sources indicate that João was born in 1918, but his birth year is actually 1919. This occurred because his father ordered a second birth certificate in which he added one year to his son's age so that João could attend the Law School at Rio Grande do Sul Federal University.
When João was born the Yguariaçá Farm was an isolated location in the municipality of São Borja. Due to isolation, his mother had no medical care during childbirth, only the aid of her mother Maria Thomaz Vasquez Marques. According to João's sister Yolanda, "my grandmother was the one able to revive little João who, at birth, already looked like dying". Like most Azorean descendants, Maria Thomaz was a devout Catholic. While trying to revive her grandson, warming him, she prayed to John the Baptist. She promised the saint that if the newborn boy were to survive, he would be named after him and would not have his hair cut until the age of 3, when he would follow the procession of June 24 dressed up as the saint.
João grew up as a skinny boy in Yguariaçá, alongside his five sisters: Eufrides, Maria, Yolanda, Cila, and Neuza. Both his younger brothers died prematurely. Rivadávia (born 1920) died six months after birth, and Ivan (born 1925), to whom he was deeply attached, died of leukemia at 33.
João left for the nearby town of Itaqui to study, the decision of his father Vicente to form a partnership with Protásio Vargas, brother of Getúlio, after both leased a small refrigerator house in that town from an English businessman. While Vicente ran the business for the following couple of years, João attended the School of the Teresian Sisters, along with his sisters. Although it was a mixed-sex school during the day, he could not stay the night at the boarding school with his sisters but had to sleep at the house of a friend of his father. It was in Itaqui that João developed a taste for both soccer and swimming.
Upon his return to São Borja, ending his experience as a partner in the refrigerator house, Vicente decided to send João to attend the Ginásio Santana, run by the Marist Brothers in Uruguaiana. João attended first to the fourth grade in the Santana boarding school, but failed to be approved for the fifth grade in 1931. Angry with his son's poor achievements at school, Vicente decided to send him to attend the Colégio Anchieta in Porto Alegre. In the state capital, João lived at a pension with friends Almir Palmeiro and Abadé dos Santos Ayub, the latter very attached to him.
Aware of João's skills in soccer at school, where he played in the right back position, Almir and Abadé convinced him to take a test for Sport Club Internacional. João was selected for the club's juvenile team. In 1932, he became a juvenile state champion. That same year he finished the third grade of the ginásio (high school) at Colégio Anchieta, with an irregular academic achievement, which would be repeated when he attended the Law School at Rio Grande do Sul Federal University. João graduated from high school at Ginásio Santana after being sent back to Uruguaiana.
Sent back to Porto Alegre after graduating from high school, Jango attended Law School to satisfy his father, who desired to see his son with a higher education degree. While there Jango restored contact with his youth friends Abadé Ayub and Salvador Arísio, and secured new friendships, making his first excursions in the state capital's nightlife. It was during that time of a bohemian lifestyle that Jango acquired a venereal disease, which paralyzed his left knee almost entirely. His family paid for expensive medical treatment, including a trip to São Paulo, but he expected that he would never walk normally again. Because of the paralysis of his knee, Jango graduated separately from the rest of his class in 1939. He would never really act as a lawyer.
Soon after graduating, Jango returned to São Borja. according to whom?] He isolated himself from the rest of the city at Yguariaçá Farm. According to his sister Yolanda, his depression did not last long. In the early 1940s he decided to make fun of his own walking disability in the Carnival, participating in the parade of the block Comigo Ninguém Pode (With me no one can).[
His father died in 1943, leaving the responsibility of taking care of his rural properties to Jango. Jango soon became one of the most influential estancieiros of the region. Upon the resignation of President Getúlio Vargas and his return to São Borja in October 1945, Jango was already a wealthy man. He did not need to enter politics to rise socially, but the frequent meetings with Vargas, a close friend of his father, were decisive in Jango's pursuit of a public life.
The first invitation Jango received to enter a political party was made by Protásio Vargas, Getúlio's brother, which was in charge of organizing the Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democrático – PSD) in São Borja. Protásio realized that Jango could succeed in the world of politics, but Jango declined. Months later, however, he accepted Getúlio's invitation to join the Brazilian Labour Party (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro – PTB). He was the first president of the local PTB, and would later become statewide and nationwide president of the party.
In 1947, Getúlio convinced Jango to run for a seat in the State Assembly. He was elected with 4,150 votes, becoming the fifth top voted out of 23 deputies. He received more votes than his future brother-in-law Leonel Brizola, another rising star of the PTB, who was married to his sister Neusa until her death in 1993. Jango was not an active member of the Assembly, but fought for the right of the needy to buy cheaper food.[clarification needed] He soon became a confidant and political protégé of Vargas, becoming one of the party members who most insistently urged him to launch a presidential candidacy for the 1950 elections. On April 19, 1949 Jango launched Getúlio's candidacy for President at a birthday party held for the former President at Granja São Vicente, owned by Goulart.
In 1950, Goulart was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He received 39,832 votes, becoming the second top voted candidate of PTB on Rio Grande do Sul. Jango took office as a Federal Deputy on February 1951, but soon asked for temporary resignation from his term to become Secretary of the Interior and Justice in the administration of Rio Grande do Sul Governor Ernesto Dornelles. During his time as Secretary, which lasted until March 24, 1952, Jango engaged in restructuring the prison system, intending to improve the living conditions of the prisoners. He later resigned his job as Secretary, at the request of Vargas, in order to help the President with a political deadlock at the Ministry of Labor, using his influence on the labor union movement.
In 1953, after becoming aggravated with the deadlock, Vargas appointed Jango as the Minister of Labor. The Vargas administration was in a deep crisis: the workers, unsatisfied with the low wages, were promoting strikes, and the right-wing party National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional – UDN) was mobilizing a coup d'état among the mass media, the upper middle class and the Military forces. As he took office, Jango had to reply to accusations from several newspapers, including the New York Times. As Minister of Labor, Goulart held the 1st Brazilian Congress of Social Security. He signed a series of decrees favoring the social security, such as housing financing, regulation of loans by the Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Bank Employees (Instituto de Aposentadoria e Pensões dos Bancários – IAPB), and recognizing the employees of the Audit Committee of the Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Industry Employees (Conselho Fiscal do Instituto de Aposentadoria e Pensões dos Industriários).
In January 1954, Jango began studies for the review of the minimum wage, facing two types of pressure: on the one hand, the mobilization of workers in larger cities to claim a readjustment of 100% that would increase the minimum wage from Cr$ 1,200.00 to Cr$2,400.00, and, on the other hand, the rejection by entrepreneurs of the policy of reviewing the wage since the Eurico Gaspar Dutra administration, which contributed to the impoverishment of several segments of the Brazilian society. The business community said it would agree with a 42% raise on the minimum wage, a measure according to them, that would match the cost of living in 1951. On May Day, Vargas signed into law the new minimum wage – a 100% increase as demanded by the working class.
Jango resigned as Minister of Labor on February 1954, passing the job to his legal substitute Hugo de Faria, and resumed his term as Federal Deputy. Among the reasons for his resignation was the strong reaction of the mass media and the military forces against the new minimum wage.
The political crisis of the Vargas administration deepened after one of his bodyguards was involved in an assassination attempt against UDN leader Carlos Lacerda on August 5, 1954. Vargas was put under pressure by the media, which demanded his resignation. The pro-coup movement at the Military was public. On August 24, 1954, at 1 am, Vargas called Jango on Catete Palace and handed him a document to be read only after he arrived in Rio Grande do Sul. It was his suicide letter.
After Vargas' suicide, Jango thought about leaving politics forever. However, at the President's burial on August 26, 1954, he seemed to have given up the idea, declaring that "we, within the law and order, we'll know how to fight with patriotism and dignity, inspired by the example that you [Vargas] left us."
In October 1954, there were elections for the Federal Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, state governments, and State Assemblies. The second half of the year started off with uncertainties for the PTB and its allies. Emotionally and politically shaken by attacks made by Vargas' rivals, Jango departed from political activities for a few weeks. He only returned after a series of meetings with PTB leaders in Rio Grande do Sul. By the end of these meetings, it was decided that Jango would run for the Senate. However, both Jango and fellow PTB leader Ruy Ramos (two seats were being contested) were defeated. The PTB also lost the gubernatorial election in Rio Grande do Sul, although it was able to elect a large number of deputies in both the State Assembly and Chamber of Deputies.
On November 1954, the PTB and PSD began to discuss an electoral coalition for the 1955 elections. Minas Gerais Governor Juscelino Kubitschek was PSD's big bet for the Presidency. On November 7, Kubitschek gave an interview suggesting a coalition between the two parties. His candidacy was approved by the Minas Gerais branch of the party at the end of November. After this, the discussions began as to who would run as his Vice Presidential candidate. After troubled negotiations, João Goulart, whom he had initially proposed,[clarification needed] was chosen. The PSD National Convention was held on February 10, 1955, with the confirmation of Kubitschek as the party's presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Vargas' Vice President Café Filho formed a government with several UDN Ministers, which impeded governance, and proved himself uncommitted with the latter President's[clarification needed] government plans. On December 1954 Juarez Távora, his Chief of Military Staff, threatened to veto Jango as a Vice Presidential candidate. In April 1955, the National Directory of PSD accepted the nomination of Jango, and in the same month, the alliance was approved by the PTB National Convention. The candidacy was ready but vulnerable to new vetoes of Jango in the military and among dissident leaders of PSD.[clarification needed]
After the PTB National Convention, a letter from Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro – PCB) leader Luiz Carlos Prestes to Jango was published in the press. In the letter, Prestes suggested that PTB and PCB could work together for the benefit of the Brazilian population. That was enough to intensify the actions of those plotting a coup. In addition to the smear campaign run by Carlos Lacerda in his newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa and the usual plotting inside the Military, April ended with a statement by former President Dutra in O Globo that he personally opposed Jango's candidacy. From the institutional point of view, the crisis did not have major repercussions, and the PSD, ratified its support for João Goulart as running mate of Juscelino Kubitschek in a convention in June, even with the dissent of the party in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Pernambuco.
In 1956, Goulart was elected Vice President, as the running mate of President Juscelino Kubitschek. Goulart was again elected Vice President in 1960. This time, however, the president was Jânio Quadros, a member of a different party. At the time, Brazilians could vote for different tickets for president and vice president. Quadros resigned in 1961, [according to whom?] as an attempt to promote a self-coup.
Goulart was out of the country on a state visit to China when Quadros resigned. Several political and military elements thought Goulart was too radical for the presidency. They objected to his left-wing tendencies, his nationalist policies, and his willingness to seek closer relations with Communist countries. These elements called for the vice presidency to be declared vacant so new elections could be held.
Congress was initially reluctant to recognize Goulart as president. He returned to Brazil a few days after Quadros' resignation, insisting he was already president. A compromise was agreed upon, thanks to Leonel Brizola and the "cadeia de legalidade" (chain of legality), and Goulart was able to take the presidency, but with his powers constrained by a parliamentary system of government.
A Constitutional Amendment was accordingly passed which transferred most of the president's powers to the newly created post of prime minister. Only after this amendment was Goulart allowed to take the oath of office as President, to serve as head of State only. Goulart nominated Tancredo Neves for appointment as prime minister.
During this period Goulart and his prime minister chose the three-year plan as the economic plan of his government under the advisement of Celso Furtado, his Minister of Planning. In order to strengthen the energy sector and to foster Brazilian development, Eletrobrás, Latin America's largest power utility company, was created in 1962.
As part of the compromise that installed a parliamentary system of government in 1961, a plebiscite was set for 1963 to confirm or reverse the changes made to the Constitution. The parliamentary system of government was overwhelmingly rejected in the referendum, and Goulart assumed full presidential powers.
The presidential government of Goulart initiated in 1963 was marked politically by the administration's closer ties to center-left political groups, and conflict with more conservative sectors of the society, specifically the National Democratic Union (Brazil).
Goulart also led Brazil in the drive for a nuclear-free Latin America, providing the impetus for the Five Presidents' Declaration and the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Brazil's leadership on nuclear disarmament was a casualty of the military coup, and Mexico eventually stepped in to continue to drive for a nuclear-free region.
according to whom?] was his Basic Reforms plan (Reformas de Base), a group of social and economic measures of nationalist character that predicted a greater state intervention in the economy. Among the reforms were:[
In the early hours of March 31, 1964, General Olímpio Mourão Filho, in charge of the 4th Military Region, headquartered in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, ordered his troops to start moving towards Rio de Janeiro, to depose Goulart.
When he reached Brasília, Goulart realized he lacked any political support. The Senate president, Auro Moura Andrade, was already calling for congressional support of the coup. Goulart stayed for a short time in Brasília, gathering his wife and two children, and flying to Porto Alegre in an Air Force Avro 748 aircraft. Soon after Goulart's plane took off, Auro Moura Andrade declared the position of President of Brazil "vacant".
In the first hours of April 2, Auro Moura de Andrade, along with the president of the Supreme Federal Court, swore in Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli, the speaker of the house, as president. This move was arguably unconstitutional at the time, as João Goulart was still in the country.
At the same time, Goulart, now in the headquarters of the 3rd Army in Porto Alegre, still loyal to him at the time, contemplated resistance and counter-moves with Leonel Brizola, who argued for armed resistance. In the morning, General Floriano Machado informed the president that troops loyal to the coup were moving from Curitiba to Porto Alegre, and that he had to leave the country, otherwise risking arrest. At 11:45 am, Goulart boarded a Douglas C-47 transport for his farm bordering Uruguay. Goulart would stay on his farmland until April 4, when he finally boarded the plane for the last time, heading for Montevideo.
The coup installed successive right-wing hardliners as heads of state who suspended civil rights and liberties of the Brazilian people. They abolished all political parties and replaced them with only two, the military government's party called the National Renewal Alliance Party (Aliança Renovadora Nacional – ARENA) and the consented opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Brasileiro – MDB). The MDB, however, had no real power, and the military rule was marked by widespread disappearance, torture, and exile of many politicians, university students, writers, singers, painters, filmmakers, and other artists.
President João Goulart was not favorably viewed in Washington. He took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms.
Lincoln Gordon served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil (1961–66), where he played a major role for the support of the opposition against the government of President João Goulart and during the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état. On March 27, 1964, he wrote a top secret cable to the US government, urging it to support the coup of Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco with a “clandestine delivery of arms" and shipments of gas and oil, to possibly be supplemented by CIA covert operations. Gordon believed that Goulart, wanting to "seize dictatorial power," was working with the Brazilian Communist Party. Gordon wrote: "If our influence is to be brought to bear to help avert a major disaster here--which might make Brazil the China of the 1960s--this is where both I and all my senior advisors believe our support should be placed.” In the years after the coup, Gordon, Gordon’s staff, and the CIA repeatedly denied that they had been involved, and President Lyndon B. Johnson praised Gordon's service in Brazil as “a rare combination of experience and scholarship, idealism and practical judgment.” In 1976, Gordon stated that the Johnson Administration "had been prepared to intervene militarily to prevent a leftist takeover of the government," but did not directly state that it had or had not intervened.
Circa 2004 many documents were declassified and placed online at the GWU National Security Archive, indicating the involvement of Johnson, McNamara, Gordon, and others. In 2005, Stansfield Turner's book described the involvement of ITT corporation president Harold Geneen and CIA director John McCone. Attorney-General Robert Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing "communists" to hold positions in government agencies. US President Lyndon Johnson and his Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara were also worried.
The president of ITT, Harold Geneen, was friends with the Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone. The CIA performed psyops against Goulart, performed character assassination, pumped money into opposition groups, and enlisted the help of the Agency for International Development and the AFL-CIO.
On April 4, 1964, Jango and his family landed in Uruguay seeking political asylum. After his first years in Montevideo, he bought a farm in the Uruguay-Brazil border, where he devoted himself to farming cattle. On 1966 he took part in Frente Ampla (Broad Front) political movement, which aimed to fight for the full restoration of democratic rule in Brazil through peaceful means. The end of Frente Ampla also resulted in the end of Jango's political activity. He decided to focus in managing his farms located in Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
In late 1973, then Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón invited Jango to live in Buenos Aires and asked him to collaborate on a plan to expand Argentine meat exports to Europe and other markets which would not traditionally buy the Argentine commodity. However, Perón's then Minister of Social Welfare and private secretary José López Rega opposed the designation. Nevertheless, Jango decided to stay in Buenos Aires.
In March 1976 in the town of La Plata, the Argentine Army dismantled a group of right-wing terrorists planning to kidnap Jango's son and demand a high ransom in cash. With his personal security compromised, the former president distanced himself from Buenos Aires. This experience led Jango to arrange new steps for his safe return to Brazil. This was, however, delayed because of the proximity of the electoral campaign in November of that year.
On December 6, 1976 João Goulart died in his apartment La Villa, in the Argentine municipality of Mercedes, province of Corrientes, supposedly of a heart attack. Since Goulart's body was not submitted to an autopsy, the cause of his death is unconfirmed. Around 30,000 people attended his funeral service, which was censored from press coverage by the military dictatorship.
On April 26, 2000, the former governor of Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro, Leonel Brizola, said that the former presidents João Goulart and Juscelino Kubitschek were assassinated in the frame of Operation Condor and requested the opening of investigations of their deaths. They were said to have died of a heart attack and a car accident, respectively.
On January 27, 2008, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo printed a story with a statement of Mario Neira Barreiro, a former member of the intelligence service of Uruguay's dictatorship, declaring that Goulart was poisoned, endorsing Brizola's suspicions. The order to assassinate Goulart, according to him, came from Sérgio Paranhos Fleury, head of the Departamento de Ordem Política e Social (Department of Political and Social Order) and the licence to kill came from President Ernesto Geisel.
Closeness to poor people, especially Afro-Brazilians, was a normal behavior for the young Jango. The main leader of his Carnival block Comigo Ninguém Pode, mãe-de-santo Jorgina Vieira, declared in an interview to the newspaper Zero Hora that Jango was one of the only white boys of São Borja to be a member of the block. In a particular Carnival celebration in the 1940s, he broke the high society rules and led the block inside the aristocratic Clube Comercial, which would not allow blacks in their halls until the late 1960s.
Like many other progressive politicians of the Cold War era, Jango was accused of being a communist more than once. As a response to Carlos Lacerda, his most frequent accuser, he cited right-wing politicians also supported by the Brazilian Communist Party which the latter[clarification needed] would not criticize. In an interview to the newspaper O Jornal, Jango declared: "regarding the communists, they have supported indistinctly candidates of several political affiliations, conservatives or populists. I do not wish to distinguish such support, but I will only allow myself this question: is perhaps Colonel Virgílio Távora a communist, just because, ostensibly, he accepts the support of communists in Ceará? How to say that the illustrious patriot of UDN Milton Campos is communist, for accepting, as he did in Minas, the same votes requested by Mr. Afonso Arinos here in Rio?"
In 1984, exactly twenty years after the coup, filmmaker Sílvio Tendler directed a documentary rebuilding Jango's political career through archive footage and interviews with influential politicians. Jango was viewed in theaters by over half a million people, becoming the sixth largest grossing documentary of Brazil. It was also critically acclaimed, receiving three awards at the Gramado Film Festival and one at the Havana Film Festival, beside the Silver Daisy, given by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil – CNBB).
There are at least ten schools all over Brazil named after João Goulart, according to Google Maps. Most of them are located on Rio Grande do Sul, on the municipalities of Alvorada, Ijuí, Novo Hamburgo, Porto Alegre, Viamão, and Jango's native São Borja. There are three schools named after Jango in Rio de Janeiro, in Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina and another in São João de Meriti in Rio de Janeiro. On December 6, 2007, exactly 31 years after the death of the President, a monument was inaugurated in Balneário Camboriú of Jango sitting on a bench of the Avenida Atlântica (in front to the Atlantic Ocean) with his two children. It was designed by artist Jorge Schroder upon the request of mayor Rubens Spernau.
On June 28, 2008, the Avenida Presidente João Goulart (President João Goulart Avenue) in Osasco was inaugurated in São Paulo. The boulevard is about 760 meters long and is the first of the city with a bicycle path. Other cities, like Canoas, Caxias do Sul, Cuiabá, Lages, Pelotas, Porto Alegre, Porto Velho, Ribeirão Preto, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonópolis, São Borja, São Leopoldo, São Paulo, and Sobral already have roads honoring Jango, according to Google Maps.
On November 15, 2008, Jango and his widow Maria Teresa received political amnesty from the Federal Government at the 20th National Congress of Lawyers in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. The former First Lady received a restitution of R$ 644,000 (around US$322,000) to be paid in pensions of R$5,425 (around US$2,712) per month for Jango being restrained from practicing as a lawyer. She also received a restitution of R$100,000 (around US$50,000) for the 15 years in which her family was forbidden to return to Brazil.
It will never be enough emphasize the heroic role of Jango to the Brazilian people, given that he represents as few do the ideal of a fairer, more egalitarian, and more democratic Brazil. (...) The government recognizes its mistakes of the past and apologizes to a man who defended the nation and its people; a man whom we could not have done without.
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