National Corps at Forum Prisma Actual in Lisbon

At present, we witness a remarkable synergy, open or undercover, coordinated or parallel, between the identitarian movements and right-populist parties in European countries. In Portugal, the main engine behind the country’s “awakening” is the independent identitarian group named Escudo Identitário (Identitarian Shield), which has already gave birth to an eponymous Portuguese Escudismo current.

Escudistas not only conduct typical yet challenging identitarian actions like putting a banner against mass migration to Portugal on the top of the iconic tourist attraction in Lisbon, The Rua Augusta triumphal arch. They lay stress on creating a network of sympathizers in various professional fields igniting the patriotic sentiment among the best of the Portuguese people and improving the political climate in a Portuguese society.

In spite of a strong nationalist basis, Escudistas have drawn conclusions from the stagnation of the Right in the final phase of Salazar’s regime, Estado Novo. In Portugal’s case, the necessity to adopt the New Right approaches, proven by the history itself, is especially urgent. It was the cultural revolution of the New Left which, combined with economical shortcomings of the Overseas War in the 70-s, has led to the collapse of the Portuguese colonial, military and, for at least a decade, economical might.

Not incidentally, Escudo was born in 2017 as a reaction to attempts by the pro-communist student organization at Nova University of Social Studies (FCSH) to cancel the conference on the colonial legacy of Portugal. Their birth was widely noticed in the official media scared of the rehabilitation of the not so distant and quite moderate Portugal’s past. Apart from entering the field of cultural warfare, they are opposed to the older patriotic generation’s sympathies for lusotropicalism, that is, regarding the population of Portugal’s ex-colonies, which massively migrates to the former metropolis, Portuguese.

Besides, as paneuropeanists with their own rich history of civilizational war with the Moors and the Ottomans, as well as political rivalry with neighboring Spain, they are very sympathetic for the cause of Ukrainian nationalists countering Kremlin’s hybrid warfare, at the same time promoting new nationalist cooperation with Spain and other European countries. It comes as no surprise that Escudo Identitário invited as a foreign speaker of the founding Forum Prisma Actual in Lisbon on May 4, 2019 Olena Semenyaka, International Secretary of National Corps, as the vanguard of Ukrainian national resistance and the powerful engine behind the alternative paneuropean integration.

Local Ukrainian community in Portugal headed by Pavlo Sadokha also attended the conference of an ally organization, as well as noticeable actors of nationalist Portuguese politics like MEPs from the PNR party. Overall, the conference room was full.

Afonso MA, the leader of Escudo, opened the conference with a passionate welcoming and programmatic speech about the purpose of the Forum Prisma Actual as a key platform for the development of Escudismo. “Our society is deeply sick,” he stated, “it’s becoming more and more apathetic, nihilist and materialist.” As a revolt against the modern world, Escudismo starts with the revolution in the mindset of the average European, the Portuguese in particular, who has to realize his belonging to “a common a history, a collective project, an extended family.” This inherited identity, he concluded, has to be protected and given an impetus strong enough to alter the future of Europe.

 

Luís Graça, the leading member of Escudo, among others, in charge of international networking on behalf of the organization, gave an important speech about the necessity to adopt the New Right attitudes by the modern patriotic milieu of Portugal. He discussed illiterate attacks on Escudo by the “Old Right” claiming that the New Right and identitarian appropriation of the metapolitical strategy (cultural revolution as a means to achieve political hegemony) elaborated by Neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci makes them “Marxist,” too.

Manuel Rezende, the chronicler of “The Devil,” historian and the bright face of Escudo Norte (North), unveiled the embarrassing connection between the boom of consumerist mania among the modern Portuguese youth and objective decrease of their purchasing capacity. A low level of social and historical responsibility, cultural awareness and intellectual development of the current young generation, he stressed, directly entails the uncertainty of their future. New militant aesthetic of  Escudo, inspired by the example of integral personalities like Ernst Jünger, challenges all of these fell-familiar to the modern Portuguese problems by disclosing their roots and leading the way out.

Older generation sympathizing with the identitarian ideas was also represented at the Forum by its honorary speaker, João José Brandão Ferreira, the Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Aviator of Portuguese Air Forces, Master in Strategy (ISCSP — Lisbon) and the instructor at the Portuguese Air Force Academy in charge of military training of the cadets and the leadership teaching program, as well as T-37 and RF-10 flight instructor. Besides, he was the commander of the Beja Air Base No. 11 and defense attaché in Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Guinea Conakry. Specializing in military operations, defence policy and international affairs, João José Brandão Ferreira highlighted the geopolitical interests, tendencies and prospects of Portugal as the mighty thalassocratic state with extensive overseas dominions.

Also, João José Brandão Ferreira served as an officer in the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the General Directorate of National Defense Policy and the Armed Forces General Staff. A pilot in charter airlines, in leisure time, he was a flight instructor in aviation schools.

In addition, João José Brandão Ferreira was the president of the patriotic association named The June 10th Movement. Not surprisingly, he has been a collaborator of almost all Portuguese military magazines and some newspapers. Publishing articles in the newspaper «The Devil,» he challenged the political myths of the current regime, in particular, the ones around the case of Aristides Sousa Mendes, as well as the betrayal of homeland during the Overseas War by Manuel Alegre.

As an author or co-author of several books, such as «The War in Africa, 1961-1974, – was it the Lost War?» and «In the Name of the Fatherland – Portugal, the Overseas and the Just War,» João José Brandão Ferreira dismantles the discourse of official historiography on the matter of the Overseas War.

Olena Semenyaka, while discussing the geopolitical program of National Corps in a speech entitled “From Maidan to Intermarium,” praised the benefits of the imperial past which endow the Portuguese with the bigger perspective of the geopolitical fronts and strategies. More precisely, while for some nationalists everything boils down to the matter of leaving the EU or the confrontation between Russia and «American hegemon,» Portuguese patriots are naturally predisposed to the universalist projects «from the Right,» which is the only way to change things on the global scale today.

Usually, talking about Intermarium and Paneuropa as intended end goals of the first and second phases of National Corps’ geopolitical program, respectively, she went on to say, the Azov Movement associates Western European countries solely with the paneuropean integration or the transition from the Intermarium (the union of Central and Eastern European countries) to the Paneuropa phase (the Czech Republic, Austria and Greece as mediating countries). However, Portugal, as an oldest ally of naval England, may be considered as the country securing the transcontinental phase of alternative integration along with the US and the UK. Not incidentally, historically, since the times of the both world wars, when Portugal was a neutral transfer point between the US and Europe, above all, its Lajes Field (TER) in the Azores’ Terceira island hosting an airport and a United States airforce base, this country remains a key Western European platform of the NATO forces. Strategically and technically, shaping the alternative world order and the European superpower, we should be aware of such opportunities and advantages of Portuguese geopolitical position highlighted in detail by João José Brandão Ferreira.

Olena Semenyaka paralleled the ongoing conflict with Russia with the position of the German interwar Freikorps movement struggling against the Bolsheviks in Germany and Baltic countries and at the same time opposing the liberal government. As in the case of Japan, which launched the course towards rearmament, somewhat comparable to Portuguese imagined recolonization, under nuclear pressure by North Korea, or in the case of Spanish nationalists, for the first time since Franco’s era entering the parliament in the wake of the Catalan crisis, National Corps, as the pinnacle of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, has walked the dynamic path from the partisan unit, The Black Corps, to the most combat-ready unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Azov Regiment, under conditions of ongoing hybrid warfare against Ukraine by Russia.

Having shown the audience the video highlighting the evolution of the Azov Movement from the war to politics, Olena Semenyaka described its current threefold structure (the Azov Regiment as the military wing, National Militia as the legal paramilitary wing, National Corps as the parliamentary wing to enter the election process in autumn of 2019), as well as over 40 social projects (Youth Corps, Sports Corps, Military School and so on) functioning as independent NGOs. In particular, she dwelled on the education initiatives of metapolitical Plomin Club and geopolitical achievements of the Intermarium Support Group holding annual international conferences with the participation of the governmental structures of the region and planning next events in Croatia and Latvia.

Active discussion of the speeches and the prospects for coordinated work of Portuguese and Ukrainian patriots in the geopolitical and metapolitical fields has left no doubts that the new European Reconquista was taking shape in the glorious country of Portugal again.

Mesmerizing performance by Ricardo Ferreira da Silva of traditional Portuguese music, Fado, on old Portuguese guitarra made the event unforgettable.

 

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