Dos Santos, who served as president from 1979 to 2017, died in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Friday morning, CNN Portugal reported, citing a government statement. The former president was hospitalized in Spain before his death.
Dos Santos’ time in office was one of the longest presidential terms in the world.
In a statement, the Angolan government said that it “bows with the greatest respect and attention to the figure of a statesman of great historical stature, who for many years, with wisdom and humanism, guided the fate of the Angolan nation at very difficult moments.” . “
The president said he was sending “deep feelings of sadness” to the family and urged “everyone to remain calm during this time of pain and terror.”
A former Portuguese colony, Angola emerged from the rubble of a 27-year civil war and has become one of the main players on the continent.
Dos Santos of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) presided over much of Angola’s post-war economic growth and reconstruction.
Legacy of corruption
In 2017, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International said that “nepotism and nepotism” under dos Santos “prevented ordinary Angolans from benefiting from the country’s natural resource wealth, especially when oil prices were high.”
The same year dos Santos resigned, the organization said that corruption “for far too long enriched a small ruling elite while more than two-thirds of the country’s population lives in poverty.”
While her first business venture was opening a restaurant in the Angolan capital, Luanda, in 1997, investments in publicly traded companies in Portugal and her holdings in at least one Angolan bank “pushed her net worth to the $1 billion mark,” according to Forbes. . The businesswoman has been called by Transparency International “one of the clearest examples of widespread corruption in the world.”
Isabel dos Santos has repeatedly denied allegations of corruption. In March, CNN Portugal reported that dos Santos had said Angolan investigations into her business dealings were based on “false documents and information” and a “political attack” from the Angolan government.