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Spain



     Although Spaniards avoid discussing the Republic and the Civil War for fear of opening old wounds, here is one more proof that they are not forgotten:
     The first President of the Republic, Niceto Alcalá Zamora, exiled in Buenos Aires, died there on February 18, 1941. In a stupidly unkind gesture, the Franco government stripped him of his citizenship, even though he was a Catholic conservative. On the fiftieth anniversary of his death in 1999, Prime Minister José María Aznar descinded the Franco decree and announced that Alcalá Zamora had died a Spaniard. While this rehabilitation was clearly part of a campaign to prove that, despite ETA, Acción Popular was not franquista, it was also appreciated as an appropriate gesture of respect for a man whom both the left and the Franquistas had treated disgracefully.

Ronald Hilton - 02/19/99


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