Assalto ao Santa Maria, “Operação Dulcineia”. Fotografia integrada na exposição de longa duração do Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade.

Iberian Revolutionary Liberation Directory (DRIL)

31 January 2023

In January 1960, elements linked to the Independent National Movement, chaired by Humberto Delgado, and elements of the Spanish opposition in exile constitute the Iberian Revolutionary Directorate of Liberation (DRIL), a Portuguese-Spanish revolutionary movement aimed at the overthrow of Iberian dictatorships by direct and armed action. The person responsible for the Portuguese side was Henrique Galvão, who had escaped, in January 1959, from the Hospital de Santa Maria, going to Argentina, and later settled in Venezuela. Humberto Delgado, after “the earthquake” of the 1958 elections, had gone into exile in Brazil, in April of the following year, making a tour of countries such as England, the Netherlands or Venezuela, denouncing the Portuguese dictatorship.

It is on behalf of Humberto Delgado and as a director designated by the Portuguese side that Henrique Galvão signs the founding of DRIL in Caracas in the early 1960s. DRIL never ends up working in Portuguese territory, organizing several actions in Spain. DRIL’s most spectacular action will be “Operation Dulcineia” with the famous assault on Santa Maria that would take place in January 1961.

Image: Assault on Santa Maria, “Operation Dulcineia”. Photograph integrated in the long-term exhibition of the Aljube Museum Resistance and Freedom.


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