History of the Group

It is not known exactly when organized activism around the Olivença Issue began. However, it can be asserted with certainty that its birth is due to the action of the Olivença patriot Ventura Ledesma Abrantes...


Who we are

O The Friends of Olivença Group – Patriotic Society (GAO in Portuguese), is a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization with patriotic, cultural, historical, and charitable purposes, being open to all those interested in the Olivença Issue and in Portugal.


Mission and objectives

The Friends of Olivença Group has the mission and objectives to:

  • Uncompromisingly fight for the defense of National Unity, the safeguarding of Portugal's Territorial Integrity, and the affirmation of Portuguese Sovereignty;
  • Non-violently advocate for the reintegration of the town of Olivença and its surroundings into the National Territory, from which it was forcefully separated by Spain in 1801;
  • Pressure the organs of sovereignty of the Portuguese State not to alienate this portion of the National Territory, in obedience to Article 5 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic;
  • Preserve and nurture national interest in the History, Culture, and Well-being of the populations of Olivença and its surroundings;
  • Collaborate with Portuguese sovereign bodies in defending Portuguese rights over Olivença, in order to fulfill the decisions of the Congress of Vienna in 1815;
  • Promote among the Portuguese the love for the Homeland and respect and admiration for the great figures of Portuguese history, especially those related to Olivença and to the Alentejo as a whole;
  • Actively participate in the defense of Portuguese Cultural Heritage as the matrix of our identity.

To achieve these objectives, the Friends of Olivença Group seeks the support of all members who, dynamically and proactively, choose to participate in activities aimed at fulfilling GAO's mission.


Fields of action

The Friends of Olivença Group carries out activities aiming at achieving its goals, including:

  • Strengthening the National Spirit's feeling of Olivença as an integral part of the National Territory;
  • Initiating and promoting publications, conferences, visits, and pilgrimages, making known – to both nationals and foreigners – Portugal's legitimate claim through historical, legal, and diplomatic texts and documents;
  • Establishing a charity sector to provide moral and material assistance to Portuguese people relegated from the Motherland, whenever required and feasible;
  • Commemorating the main anniversaries of Olivença's History and the great moments of Portugal's History, especially those related to the formation of our country, its territorial constitution, and the affirmation of its Independence;
  • Maintaining a vigilant and permanent watch on diplomatic, political, and economic relations between Portugal and Spain, so as to intervene effectively in defense of the lasting interests of the Portuguese Nation, as well as continuously contacting the authorities of both countries, asserting our rights and demanding satisfaction for commitments never fulfilled by the Spanish State;
  • Encouraging historiographical and other studies about the territory of Olivença.
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