Salgueiro Maia

(Portugal, 1944 – 1992) In 1974, Salgueiro Maia was one of the captains of the Portuguese Army who led the revolutionary forces during the Carnation Revolution, which resulted in the fall of the ruling dictatorship. As a young captain stationed at Santarém, who drilled officers-in-training and sergeants-in-training, he was informed about the plans of the Movement of the Armed Forces (MFA) to bring down the dictatorship.


Maia’s mission was to take and hold “Vienna”, the government quarter in the center of Lisbon. In the early hours of 25 April, having taken control of the base and holding senior officers who supported the regime at gunpoint, he assembled his troops and asked for their support in a short and famous speech:

“Gentlemen, as you all know, there are three kinds of states: capitalist states, socialist states, and the state we’ve come to. Now, on this solemn night, we are going to end this state! So that anyone who wants to come with me, we will go to Lisbon and finish it. This is voluntary. Who does not want to leave, stay here!”