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SPAIN: The future?

From Mexico, Alejo Orvañanos sends me a me a very disturbing message in response to my question as to whether young Spaniards know the fascist song "Cara al Sol" of the Franco period. Alejo says "Judging by the number of internet pages, La Falange is alive and well." He attaches internet pages which I thought must be a relic of the Franco period until I read the declaration denouncing the monarchy and demanding the irrevocable unity of Spain and that Spain abandon the EU and NATO. The center of the fascist movement isdValladolid. The falangistas have held demonstrations from time to time, but it is clear that they are gathering strength. Notice the denunciation of the monarchy, i.e. King Juan Carlos. This refers to the events of February 1981, when a group of armed Civil Guards stormed into the parliament, planning to reestablish a fascist regime. King Juan Carlos, who they assumed would be piiant, stood up to them and the coup failed. It was he who saved Spanish democracy. For this reason I regret the messages I have received dismissing him as an idiot.

This reminds me of the Second Republic. I saw the fall of the monarchy in 1931 and was evacuated during the Civil War, which was preceded by a series of political murders in a crescendo of violence and tension. On July 13, 1936, the conservative leader José Calvo Sotelo was assassinated by assault guards. We all knew that this was the breaking point, although no one guessed the extent of the impending tragedy, the Civil War. The Falange, until then a minor force, burst onto the scene.

I hope comparisons are odious. Because they are odious what is happening now in Spain may parallel what happened in Spain in 1936. The Spanish Civil War was the prelude to World War II. God help Spain. God help us.

Ronald Hilton - 5/8/01