There never used to be any racial tension in Portugal, but there is a little bit now. In general, however, compared to a lot of other countries, even though some racial tension exists, it is very minimal.
There’s no discrimination like we have in South Africa but sometimes there are comments. The issues we have here are cultural. Portugal used to have colonies in Mozambique and Angola, so you would hear people asking why certain people do things certain ways. We’ve had lots black clients from the US embassy, however, and we’ve never ever had problems.
We can also have economic issues. For example, there was a time when the less wealthy Brazilians were migrating and taking jobs as maids or gardeners that the Portuguese would have wanted, so here was some resentment there. But now the level of Brazilians who are coming into the country are the wealthy Brazilians who want to get out of Brazil because of the corruption and because of the criminalities. Well, criminalities always been in Brazil but it’s a lot worse now, so that’s why the wealthy Brazilians are getting out. So it all have to do with what level of people are migrating and if they’re competing for jobs.
(Portuguese air force during the 1960's in Luanda Air Base, Angola, pictured.)