European elections: Candidate of Cape Verdean descent wants immigrants to “cease to be invisible”

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Anabela Rodrigues

Anabela Rodrigues is part of the candidacy of the Portuguese Left Party to the European elections in May. The Portuguese woman of Cape Verdean descent criticizes Europe for not paying more attention to immigration and racism.

Born in Lisbon, she is 42 years old and is the daughter of Cape Verdean parents. Anabela Rodrigues, known as Belinha within the associative movement, assumes herself as an a (r) tivist. The social and cultural mediator is in fourth place, in non-eligible place, in the list of the Left Bloc (BE), headed by Marisa Matias, to the European elections that take place between 23 and 26 May.

The leader of SOLIM – Solidariedade Imigrante, an association for the defense of the rights of immigrants, accepted the challenge because it argues that one must give voice to oneself, so that they cease to be invisible.

“I think this opportunity, this window also opens for them to talk about what they feel and what they listen to,” he says in an interview with DW Africa. “Especially women, who work from 6 to 9, before the office opens or at the end of the day. And their invisibility never ends, but in reality they are there every day. ”

He insists that his flag will always be centered on the cross-cutting issue of immigration and racism. “When the European elections arrive, it is very interesting how immigration is almost always a very strong and very strong theme,” recalls Anabela Rodrigues. But then, in terms of immigration policies, “it does not want to have a common policy, other than as a fortress Europe,” he underlines.

This is what the candidate considers important, because there is a constant concern with the far right parties that are growing. “But at the same time there are also no reasons within the discourses, why do they grow up? Within our party who are the candidates who could fight this? ”

“Europe has done very little”

Anabela Rodrigues was one of the promoters of the campaign to change the law of nationality in Portugal. The Afro-descendant was already a candidate for the European Movement for Hope Portugal (MEP), a different alternative that embraced because, at the time, not be bound to any party.

Recalls that, after the Decade of African Descendants declared by the United Nations (2015-2015), Europe has responsibility for its objectives. “Europe has done very little. The parties that feel this responsibility and feel that their values ​​really must fulfill this equality of opportunity.

“It seems to me that they have decided to go there and also to put the mirror of what this Afro-descendant issue is in the European elections. But I really hope that it launches the debate. However, the curiosity has still been very little. Let’s see it over time. ”

“We must reflect on these issues,” he says, touching another wound such as racism. “Rarely does the country want to discuss this issue. And Portugal has this responsibility, “warns Anabela Rodrigues.” We are talking about a country that has a golden period as a period of slavery for many centuries. And it had colonies until 1974. Many of these colonies are present here. It is not possible to speak in Cape Verde or Angola or Guinea-Bissau as if it were to speak of rice, potatoes and beans, “he criticizes.

He resorts to the German example, noting that when one enters Berlin, “the question of the presence of the Holocaust is visible. History is not erased. She also serves to teach us. ”

Objective: to become visible

Anabela Rodrigues is in an ineligible position. Despite this, he believes in a possibility. But your main goal is to become visible. “As they say, until the number five people still remember and after the number five nobody remembers. Number four is somehow possible. Projections sometimes fail or fail. The most important is the fight and maintain this presence, “he says.

In the 1990s, Luso-Cape Verdean Helena Lopes da Silva, for the PSR, and General D, for Politics XXI, were the first candidates for the European ones in prominent places in Portugal. In 2009, MEP put Anabela Rodrigues in sixth place.

The Left Bloc chose another Afro-descendant, Beatriz Gomes Dias, for the eighth place in the legislative and in the seventeenth place for the European. In 2011, Beatriz Gomes Dias occupied the eighth place in the legislatures for the Block. In 2014, again for the European ones, the BE placed the Portuguese-Angolan Jorge Silv, in the seventeenth place and in seventh place for the legislative ones of 2015.

According to Mamadou Ba, from SOS Racismo, the presence of Joacine Moreira (Livre) and Anabela Rodrigues (BE) may be the beginning of a new cycle for greater visibility and affirmation in Afro-descendant politics.