Other Discussions on Spain

Political Theater

King Juan Carlos has just celebrated his saint's day--Saint John's--amid demonstrations of public affection. He has a little more power than Queen Mary of Britain, except that he may preside over cabinet sessions. His speeches are prepared for him by the government, which controls all his official movements. It is significant that, shortly after the ceremony at the house near Granada where Garcia Lorca was born, King Juan Carlos went to Malaga to unveil a plaque on the house where Picasso was born. There was no mention of the leftist politics of these and others likewise honored. There is silence about conservative artists and men like Ortega y Gasset and Salvador de Madariaga who represented the Spanish republic at its best. It looks as if the government of Jose Maria Aznar does not wish to annoy the potentially volatile left. Franco won the civil war, but he has lost the present peace.

Ronald Hilton - 06/27/98