Ajudá, Fortress of St. John the Baptist of
- Tiny colonial enclave of only a few acres that was a Portuguese possession in the West African country of Dahomey (renamed Benin) from the 17th century. Ordered built by the captain-general of São Tomé in 1680, the stone fortress was close to the shore of the Gulf of Guinea. Portugal's fragile sovereignty over this historic site was ended in 1961, when the government of independent Dahomey forcibly occupied the place. Before this process of unilateral decolonization was carried out, the Portuguese official in charge of the fortress set fire to the interior of his bungalow nearby and drove to the airport. Intransigence against all decolonization pressures was the Dictatorship's response even in the strange case of Ajudá.
Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. by Douglas L. Wheeler . 2014.
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