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Angola ex-leader dos Santos in Barcelona hospital: reports

The former president of Angola Jose Eduardo dos Santos is in intensive care in a hospital in Barcelona, Portuguese media reported Friday.

The 79-year-old has been in poor health and his condition is now “very serious” after deteriorating in recent days, Portugal’s Jornal de Negocios newspaper reported.

Dos Santos was the leader of the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola for 38 years, until he stepped down in September 2017.

He is reportedly being treated in Barcelona’s Teknon Medical Centre, which specialises in the treatment of some cancers.

Press said his eldest daughter Isabel dos Santos visited him on Friday morning.

The clinic refused to comment when contacted by AFP Friday. The Angolan embassies in Portugal and Spain also did not immediately respond to AFP’s requests.

Dos Santos was previously in Barcelona in 2019, also for health reasons, and returned to Spain in March, according to Jornal de Negocios.

Dos Santos was one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, using his nation’s oil wealth to turn one of his children into a billionaire while leaving his people among the poorest on the planet.

During his reign, he avoided the personality cult so often favoured by dictators, but instead used secretive and authoritarian tactics he learned during the Soviet era.

His daughter Isabel was once named by Forbes as Africa’s richest woman, worth $3.5 billion. She now faces a slate of investigations into her multinational business dealings.