Memorias de Nuestros Padres (2.0)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Nanwe, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    [​IMG]

    ***

    Yo repito a menudo que en España está ocurriendo un fenómeno muy grave: las cosas entran por el oído, se expulsan por la boca y no pasan nunca por el cerebro... casi nunca pasan por la reflexión previa.

    I often repeat that a very grave phenomenon is taking place in Spain: Things enter through the ears, they are expelled through the mouth but never pass through the brain ... they are never reflected upon first.

    ***


    A bit under a year ago, I commenced something that I thought - naively - I would manage to write in a week while covering things in far more detail than a TLIAW can allow for and without just going into the typical presidential list style. I was wrong, and it somewhat transformed itself into a proper timeline with updates that I felt were too short and narrow to give a good picture, with the exception of the last one - regarding Catalan politics. I feel that this longer post approach is the way to go, with a more serious timeline, better re-researched (aided by the fact I'm temporarily back in Spain for some time) and with fancier graphics and some extra background for those who are not keen observers of the recent Spanish political history - which I would imagine includes most of the forum.

    Verbosity aside, this is my second and ideally more successful attempt at Memorias de Nuestros Padres. The TL will explore a very different Spanish Transition and its posterior evolution, not more socialist nor more Francoist, neither more successful nor less so, and certainly neither utopian nor dystopian. Just different. I am not sure until what point I will take it just yet, but at least ideally until the late 1990s. To some degree it is a story of Adolfo Suárez and Santiago Carrillo, their failures and successes and their respective defenestrations - something, by the way, that Spanish political parties TTL will be quite adept at, unlike OTL, with the exception of Alianza Popular - but who remembers Hernández Mancha?

    The Spanish political transition was and is hailed as an ideal model for other countries to follow in a playbook of how to go from a dictatorship to a democracy without tearing the country apart (again). It may seem as a model today, but back in the day, it was dirty, very bloody, full of loops, u-turns and constant improvisation in what one could easily call brinkmanship, certainly not statesmanship. But still impressive nonetheless. The most impressive part about was that it was accomplished thanks to two men so ill-prepared for democratic and political party-based politics: Suárez and Carrillo. The former as a political upstart who could lead a country, but not a party, too used to the Francoist way of politics; and the latter, the leader of a supposedly democratic party ruled according to Stalinist principles and with his fair share of - very literal - skeletons in the closet. And in between, ambitious BDR-funded socialists, a politicised military, the influential Catholic Church, nationalists, terrorists of all kinds and shapes and the scions of Madrid's political families, the crème de la crème of Madrid's Great Sewer and a press that has never been so free - and so nasty. Those were the Spanish 1970s and the remain much alike in Memorias de Nuestros Padres.

    ***

    Special thanks goes to @shiftygiant for making the graphic displayed in this post.

    The first update should come next week, I imagine on the 10-11 September weekend with a post named 'El ocaso del centinela'. You win a cookie if you get the reference.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  2. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    Me, but I'm a freak ;)

    "El Ocaso del Centinela" refers to Franco and his death, as he was "el Centinela de Occidente?"
     
  3. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    Pretty much. I've got my hold on Preston's wonderful biography of Franco, and it'll be based on that.
     
  4. Linense Well-Known Member

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    I'm very glad to see you've decided to resume your AH about the Spanish Transition. I hope you can update it very very very soon.

    Regarding the Sentinel (Centinela) question, you must refer to Franco, who was known as the Sentinel of the West (el Centinela de Occidente).
     
  5. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    Next week, once I'm back in Spain, yeah. And indeed. I found the title oddly rhyming for some reason. Plus, in my head it's all in black and white because Francoism was all grises. :p
     
  6. St. Just STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING THREADS

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    Glad to see this back!
     
  7. Linense Well-Known Member

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    Is there any news of the planned update for this weekend?
     
  8. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    We're off to a bad start. But I had an interview on Friday and it was fucking hot in Madrid Tuesday through Thursday so I didn't get much done. It'll be up as soon as possible, which should be during the week, I'm working on it as we speak. I'll also reply to your PM, I haven't forgotten :)
     
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  9. Linense Well-Known Member

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    I fully understand your situation (at least, it seems that the heat wave plaguing Spain finally go away this Tuesday :) ) and I hope that the interview was well. I just ask about it because you had given a specific date for publish it.
     
  10. Niko Malaka Well-Known Member

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    García Márquez's "El ocaso del patriarca" was written in Barcelona during Franco's last months, and you can notize the references reading it (though El Patriarca is a compendium of several dictators). Since Franco was El Centinela de Occidente, I guess you made the reference more direct?

    And yes, this september is being horribly hot in Madrid this year. This weeken I flyed to the Gredos Mountains and it was like paradise. This could be a mere personal anechdote to make you envy me, but we can connect it with "Conversaciones en Gredos", those encounters promoted by the Opus Dei where Suárez participated when he was a rising star in francoist politics.

    I'm awaiting for this TL
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  11. Niko Malaka Well-Known Member

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  12. Niko Malaka Well-Known Member

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    Mind fart, it was El otoño del patriarca...not el ocaso.
     
  13. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    [​IMG]

    Les invito a que se acerquen al palacio de El Pardo, que, aunque sea desde la lejanía, contemplen esa luz permanentemente encendida en el despacho del Caudillo, donde el hombre que ha consagrado toda su vida al servicio de España sigue, sin misericordia para consigo mismo, firme al pie del timón, marcando el rumbo de la nave para que los españoles lleguen el puerto seguro que él les desea. - Carlos Arias Navarro (1974)​

    ***

    Modern Spain cannot be understood without the Civil War and certainly not without Franco and Francoism. The regime, which began in 1939, was never quite as stable nor as static as either its supporters or its adversaries claimed it was. In fact, despite its attempts at institutionalisation, at its core, the Francoist regime was neither ideological nor institutional, but rather a personalist regime. This trait of the dictatorship would, paradoxically, become stronger as Franco lost touch with the day-to-day management of the country in the 1960s and onwards.

    Nevertheless, the dictatorship can be relatively and neatly divided into two periods. One associated with the failed attempts at economic autarky, the imposition of National Catholicism, the massive and widespread repression of the opposition and in many ways the attempt to develop a totalitarian state dominated by Falange, which represented rather closely Franco’s own ideological tenets. The second half of the regime can be traced from 1959 until 1975.

    If the late 1950s marked the heyday of Falangist influence in government, due to Arrese´s plan to intrinsically link the Regime and the party in the most fascist of manners, they were also times of dire economic problems and social unrest, as evidence by the university riots of 1956, or the strikes that took place against inflation, the price of life or any of the many other economic issues of the time. Indeed, the late 1950s were a period of considerable internal struggle within the Regime, between the Falangist left and the Catholic-monarchist right [1], who had their stronghold in the Army and the Church and were organised around the Opus Dei and the ACNP. [2] As a sign of the wide divergence between the political elites and the mass of the Spanish population, the big political cleavages at the time were of a constitutional matter, and not economic, despite the abject failure of autarky.

    Indeed, by 1957, the economy was on the brink of collapse and the State about to go bankrupt, and Spain was yet to reach the industrial and economic levels that it had had in 1936, right before the Civil War, and indeed in 1957, more people lived in the countryside than in 1936. Although the best known date to mark the economic turnaround is 1959, the cabinet that would undertake the changes was sworn in in 1957.

    Although the new cabinet had been designed in order to deal with the internal problems in dealing with both monarchist and Falangist opposition, something extremely important took place. A new, yet to develop faction appeared. The technocrats, trained in technical schools and belonging to the Opus Dei were given the economic ministries' control. The trio of Mariano Navarro Rubio (Finance), Alberto Ullastres Calvo (Commerce) and Laureano López Rodó (secretary to Carrero Blanco) would have two key objectives: To bring the Spanish economy and society towards modernity through prosperity, economic growth and modernisation and administrative efficiency; and to end the link between Falange and the State while reducing the role of Franco himself by turning political problems into administrative ones.

    The economic changes would soon take place. In the summer of 57, the first economic liberalisation measures were undertaken, by devaluating the peseta and ending price controls, soon to be followed in 1958 by an economic stabilisation plan that marked a complete U-turn on previous economic policies. It was however very harsh, and served as a step prior to the IMF-backed stabilisation plan of 1959. But the harsh correction of the economic course, accompanied by austerity and price hikes caused worker unrest and criticism from Falange. Not to mention that Franco himself did not like either IMF interference [3] or devaluation and denied Ullastres the permission to request IMF aid. To that, the ministries asked Franco of what would happen if the oranges froze during a bad winter and the country had to go back to food rationing. Franco caved in.

    The aspects of the IMF stabilisation plan are not particularly complicated. Through austerity, credit restriction and devaluation, the government would reduce internal demand, and as a result, the extra production would be exported in order to pay for the import of capital goods in order to modernise the Spanish economy. The downsides of this were wage freezes and unemployment, but even these were seen as a potential positive, as low labour costs (including no unions) would make Spain a more desirable investment opportunity. Alongside this plan, came also the "Development Plan", modelled on the French model that sought to guide the economic investment and modernisation while trying to reduce regional inequalities between the Spanish regions.

    [​IMG]
    The Seat 600. Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the desarrollismo era.
    The 1960s marked a complete realignment of the political situation, as not only did Franco slowly transitioned from an active politician to a sort of final arbiter who spent most of his time in leisure activities, much like the Habsburg monarchs he admired. The Francoist political class had matured and no longer needed much of him, nor would they come to, as he started showing the first signs of Parkinson's disease. If in the 1950s Falange had been dominated by ideological fascists - like Arrese or Dionisio Ridruejo - after 1957, the Movimiento Nacional - as the term became to displace Falange, had been largely become apolitical instead serving as a mechanism to scale up from administration to politics. Indeed, politics in the 60s were dominated by an aristocracy of high-ranking, pseudo-meritocratic civil servants, like Fraga, Torcuato Fernández Miranda, Rodolfo Martín Villa or Fernando Herrero Tejedor among others. Much like them, their main opponents, the Opus Dei-linked technocrats, like López Rodó himself, were also university-trained bureaucrats who had passed their state exams with very high scores. That is not to say that the 1960s were an easy time.

    The first major political crisis of the 1960s is still remembered. In 1962, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Fernando María Castiella, supported by the technocrats sought to obtain either admission or a commercial agreement with the EEC as a way to bring Spain closer to the European - booming - economic dynamic. Although the economic negotiations had been concluded, the political part - for obvious reasons - had not. Instead, the EEC had commissioned the Spanish branch of the European Movement, which was to meet in Munich in its IV Congress to discuss. To the congress went Socialists, monarchists, Christian democrats and Catalan and Basque nationalist. The final report was a very moderate condemnation of the regime and calling for evolution. The reaction of the regime - or more appropriately, Franco, was one of fury. Franco would order the launch of a massive press campaign against the Munich meeting, using the term 'contubernio' and punishing those who had gone to the meeting from Spain, like Gil Robles or Joaquín Satrústegui and Álvarez de Miranda, with internal exile or deportation. On top of the meeting, 1962 represented the year of the first major striking activity since the 1940s, with simultaneous strikes in Asturias' mining areas and in the Basque Country, later spreading to Madrid and Barcelona, and demonstrating, this time for good, that the Francoist single union, the Sindicato Vertical no longer worked neither to defend nor to repress the workers' interests. And although all these events were unconnected and in fact the strikers´motivations were not political, Franco could not help himself but to see a conspiracy.

    As a result of the crisis and the exaggerated reaction of Franco, that had caused the regime international embarrassment, in August 1962, a new cabinet was sworn in, bringing important political figures to this day, like Manuel Fraga in the Information and Tourism Ministry, but more importantly the new cabinet had more technocrats. The new cabinet sought to soften and polish the image of the dictatorship, reduce censorship and double down on economic growth and prosperity. The new cabinet, like the 1965 and 1969 ones saw a clear divide between 'falangists' [4], who favoured political modernisation (laxer censorship, political pluralism within the single party framework) against the technocrats linked to the Opus, who favoured economic modernisation, whether because they believed it was a necessary precondition to democracy (López Rodó) or as a way to buy off the survival of the regime (like Carrero Blanco or Camilo Alonso Vega). Naturally, the political divisions of the 1960s within the ruling class were also reflective of their growing concern about the post-Francoist world, which was getting closer and closer, especially as the evidence of Franco's Parkinson's disease was clear, if hidden from the public.

    The big fight between the economic modernisers (continuistas) and the political modernisers (aperturistas) was clearly won by the former, given the predominance of the technocrats - whether from the Opus Dei or the ANCP - in the 1969 cabinet, the so-called "gobierno monocolor". That is not to say that theirs was a completely rout of the adversary. Despite very considerable opposition, Fraga managed to push through a much laxer censorship law, the Ley de Prensa, which abolished censorship before publishing to a posteriori censorship, putting the the responsibility - and blame - regarding what was published on directors and editors. Although certain issues remained banned from criticism - Franco, the Army, Falange or the ideological principles of the Regime - it was a very considerable improvement for press freedom. This new, freer press environment was used by the single party's press [5], directed by their Minister, Solís to criticise the technocrats' economic policies. Indeed, the war between the factions was waged publicly [6].


    [​IMG]
    From left to right: Manuel Fraga , Laureano López Rodó, José Solís, Federico Silva Muñoz
    The best example was the MATESA scandal. MATESA was a company that produced textile mills for export, but has been reported of obtaining credit fraudulently by falsifying its production reports. As several of the company's stakeholders were Opus Dei members, or linked to the technocrats, it was used as an excuse to attack them on the press, creating a political scandal, which was not stopped by the Information Minister. Consequently, the technocratic ministers resigned in protests and Franco dismissed the two responsible ministers, Fraga in Information (for not censoring [7]) and Solís from his post as Minister-General Secretary of the National Movement.

    The new government sworn in in 1969 as a result of the dismissals and resignations was dominated by technocrats, while Carrero Blanco acted as de facto Prime Minister. This was the government that was expected to deal with the transition into the post-Francoist wilderness. Nevertheless, after the passage of the new institutional framework in the Ley Orgánica del Estado and the proclamation of Juan Carlos as Prince of Spain [8], it seemed as if the future was guaranteed. Nothing further from the truth.

    From 1969 onward however, political and social unrest increased, even before the start of the economic malaise of 1973-1985. The imminence of Franco´s death created an environment of constant rumours and intrigues in Goverment, in El Pardo, and a return of the political opposition and the increase of students' and workers' mobilisation against the dictatorship. And although the cabinet was largely moderate, both Franco and Carrero Blanco, instinctively brutal and reactionary, responded to the new challenges with a brutality unseen since the 1940s, to such a degree that Carrero funded far-right terrorists to attack the opposition when the police could not due to image issues.

    By the 1970s, as Franco and Carrero Blanco resorted to extreme measures, the Francoist coalition was breaking apart, not only had many Francoist politicians essentially jumped ship to the moderate opposition, but even the Church had stopped supporting the Regime, and instead had become to become one of its critics. Although this process had commenced with the Second Vatican Council and the poor relations between Franco and John XXIII and especially Paul VI, the real break had come in 1971 when the Bishops' Council had officially apologised for not serving as an actor of national reconciliation in the past. Indeed, the relationship had become so tense, and the priests' involvement in the opposition so active that the Regime had opened a special priests-only prison in Zamora. [9]

    But Franco still had someone he could trust entirely. That was Carrero Blanco. But in what was probably ETA's most successful - and stupid - attack ever [10], he was killed. The death was perhaps well-timed, as only a few months only Carrero had named a new Government, including several prominent hardliners that had put an end to the liberalising course of the 1960s. On December 20th 1973, a Dodge car flied for the first time ever.

    The interim Prime Minister, Torcuato Fernández Miranda, alongside the Interior Minister, Carlos Arias Navarro, the eldest Military minister, Admiral Pita da Vega and the chief of the Army's High Command, General Díez Alegría set out to prevent a brutal counter-action from pro-Francoist elements. This was not a unfounded fear. Indeed, soon after Carrero's death had been reported as a political murder, the director of the Guardia Civil [11] had ordered its troops to actively repress subversives without the least restriction in the use of firearms. It could have been a bloodbath.

    But Carrero's death opened the future up. The race to replace had started and it would last a week. The main candidates were the interim PM, Fernández Miranda, Pedro 'Pedrolo' Nieto Antúnez, a personal friend of Franco's and a high-ranking naval officer and Carlos Arias Navarro, the Interior Minister and known as a hardliners on law and order issues [12], and a good friend of Carmen Polo and hence favoured by Franco's entourage, composed of hardliners. And although Antúnez was going to be Franco's new president, his relationship with Fraga - similar to that of Franco with Carrero - made El Pardo's entourage nervous and managed to convince last minute Franco to name Arias Navarro instead.

    But Arias would prove a disappointment for the hardliners, as although Arias was one, he was vain enough to realise the need for a good public image and conscious of the future enough as to have a politically balanced cabinet. Indeed his government was formed evenly by both aperturistas and inmovilistas. This dilemma was a part of his government's every undertaking: Whereas his government was the most tolerant with the moderate opposition since 1936, it was brutal against street demonstrators.

    But this duality was to prove short-lived. Through 1974 and 1975 as the economy got worse and Franco more senile, the far-right, very influential in the palatial chambers of El Pardo become more important. After Portugal's revolution in 1974, José Antonio Girón published a damning condemnation of the liberal ministers while sparing Arias, essentially forcing the resignation of the liberal ministers of Information (Pío Cabanillas) and of Labour (Licinio de la Fuente). In 1975 in order to balance out these resignations, Arias had forced Franco to dismiss the hardcore Falangist ministers from his cabinet to restore the balance, but the government had already been too damaged by its failure to live up to either the hopes created by the liberalising Espíritu del 12 de Febrero or those who saw in him the ideal person to crush the regime's enemies.

    Fast-forward to November 1975, as Franco died so did his regime, and one had to be blind not to see that Arias's government had been a failure, no matter whether this was seen from an economic, a politically liberal or a politically Falangist perspective. Ironically enough, Franco's long agony, probably extended for political reasons, served society well, as it psychologically prepared Spaniards for his death, whereas the blow of a sudden death would have been, in all likelihood, rather traumatising.

    The technocrats had always said that in Spain, democracy was impossible until the Spanish GDP per capita had reached the thousand dollars. By 1975 it had, with a GDP per capita of about 80% that of the EEC average. Spain was ready for democracy, except no one knew what it would be like nor who would lead it. It would be quite surprising.

    [​IMG]

    ***

    [1] Or Falangist far-right and Catholic right. It´s hard to place in a regular political spectrum the positions of the factions of a right-to-far-right dictatorship. But there was a lot of "sinistra fascista" in the Falange but they were never very influential. Or like Ridruejo ended up moving towards pro-democracy positions and stopped endorsing the Regime.
    [2] Asociación Nacional Católica de Propagandistas. A Conservative Catholic group that appeared in 1909 around the El Debate newspaper.
    [3] He didn't trust foreigners and thought that the chief of the World Bank delegation in Spain was a mason - despite being a Catholic Irishman.
    [4] Now understood as personnel stemming from the single party and its bureaucracy, not necessarily due to any fascist ideological conviction. These I refer to as 'ultras', 'bunker' or hardliners.
    [5] Ya, Arriba, Informaciones, and other newspapers.
    [6] In fact, Franco is reported saying that the only press that did not do their owner's bidding was Falange's.
    [7] Officially Fraga was dismissed for allowing the press to 'erroneously' depict Spain as a "politically immobilist, economically monopolistic and socially unjust" country. Go figure.
    [8] Not Prince of Asturias. Franco did not want to restore the monarchy, but to create a new, Francoist one. A restoration would have implied a return to the liberalism of the 19th and early 20th century and that was unacceptable.
    [9] That is, ignoring the Basque idiosyncrasy whereby many ETA members came from the seminaries and the local clergy tended to support the organisation.
    [10] The aim of Operación Ogro was to free in exchange for Carrero, the many ETA prisoners. By killing him, as opposed to using him for an exchange, they destroyed their chance for their actual aim.
    [11] General Iniesta Cano, a hardliner.
    [12] He was known as the 'butcher of Málaga' for his brutal purges of the city when he was a DA (fiscal) there in the post-war period.
     
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  14. Nanwe Left-Macronista

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    No worries, here it is. Just two days late :p Since it has no alternate history to speak off, I'll write a small political science-like snippet later this week while I prepare the next update.

    Truth be told, I had not heard about that book, but I did like the sound of 'ocaso del centinela', not sure why. But to me it makes sense, as it's surprising just how tied the lives of Franco and his Regime were.
     
  15. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    Well, now begins the merry part.

    Franco is gone, what is going to happen now?
     
  16. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    Keep it up, Nanwe!:)
     
  17. Linense Well-Known Member

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    It's a very great introduction, and I hope you can update your great AH very very soon.

    The only against about I can find in your long brilliant introduction about the last decades of Francoist regime is the figure of Carrero Blanco. Everything you say about him is true, but I think it should be noted that, when Juan Carlos de Borbón was named official successor of Franco in 22 July 1969, Carrero Blanco (the main political supporter of Juan Carlos in Francoist political class) handed him a letter of resignation to become effective as Juan Carlos was crowned King of Spain, claiming that the new king would need his own confidants and he would like to retire from politics after serving Franco for almost thirty years (a commitment that he remained until his death despite knowing the pro-reform leanings of Juan Carlos during the early 70s, thanks to the SECED, Servicio Central de Documentación / Central Documentation Service, the Spanish intelligence service during 1972 and 1977 -at 1977 it merges with the Spanish military information agency, denominating that merger as CESID, Centro Superior de Información de la Defensa / Superior Center of Defense Information-.

    After all, with the government reshuffle of October 1969 caused by the MATESA scandal (a curious data: its initial publication in the Spanish press begins the day after the official appointment of Juan Carlos as Franco's successor), Franco wanted to appoint Carrero Blanco as Prime Minister but he flatly refused to accept it, although he was de facto Prime Minister from his position as Vice Prime Minister (in fact, all the ministers of 1969 government were approved by Franco under Carrero Blanco's suggestions, something that did not happen in the 1973 government officially chaired by Carrero Blanco, because he was forced to accept Carlos Arias Navarro as his Interior Minister under pressure from Franco, who was convinced by El Pardo's entourage -despite the fact Arias had spoken out against a monarchical restoration; it was not something strange because many Falangists, hardliners or reformists, saw the Spanish Bourbons as a tumour that must be removed to ensure the progress of Spain-).

    Therefore, his murder by ETA (probably helped by the CIA -USA didn't like him because was the main defender of the Spanish nuclear program and had refused to authorize the use of US bases on Spanish soil to help Israel in the recent Yom Kippur War- and Francoist elements that were against Carrero Blanco's policies -for example, the Francoists who supported the appointment of Prince Alfonso de Borbón, married with the eldest granddaughter of Franco, as Franco's successor-) didn't allow the Spanish democracy. Moreover, his murder probably hinders its initial progress, because Carrero considered his Vice Prime Minister Torcuato Fernandez Miranda -he was the preceptor of Juan Carlos and the mastermind of the OTL Spanish Transition in its early stages from his post as President of the Spanish Courts and the Council of the Kingdom- as the most suitable person to replace him as Spanish Prime Minister when Juan Carlos was crowned king of Spain after Franco's death, i.e., the first half of 1976 would not have been a waste of time because Arias Navarro wouldn't be the Spanish Prime Minister in those six months.

    And without forgetting the international repercussions of his murder: his death could have encouraged the Portuguese rebels that overthrew the Estado Novo in the Carnation Revolution, and Hassan II would not have dared to reach the maximum impact on the question of Western Sahara against a strong Francoist government led by Carrero Blanco (and if Hassan II had dared, Carrero Blanco would obediently followed Franco's orders -Franco defended the Spanishness of the Western Sahara, but if had to surrender it, he preferred Saharawi independence to surrender to Hassan II because he had the possibility to place a pro-Spanish government in the new country that allowed maintain a Spanish portion in the lucrative business of the phosphate mines and Spanish fishing in the Saharawi coast- not to allow a Moroccan invasion through the Green March, even if it meant a war against Morocco; a Spanish-Moroccan war had probably won by Spain due almost certain rebellion of the Rif people, severely punished during Hassan II's rule -he bombed them with napalm during Rif revolt (1958-1959) and encourages its economic underdevelopment-, against Moroccan authorities and would ask to return to Spanish sovereignty/protection with the promise of autonomy that respect Rif culture, while a Moroccan defeat would likely lead to bloody overthrow of Hassan II at the hands of pan-Arabists military, supporters to approach the pro-Soviet Algeria, so USA would be forced finally to accept Spanish sovereignty over the Rif -the old Spanish protectorate in Morocco plus Tangiers and probably extended to part of the courses of Mouloya and Sebou rivers to have stabler borders- to maintain Western control over the Strait of Gibraltar; in OTL Arias Navarro and Juan Carlos took advantage of Franco's agony to reverse his orders and negotiate a diplomatic solution with Hassan II and Mauritania, despising the will of the Saharawi people).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
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  18. Niko Malaka Well-Known Member

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    This is a very insteresting point. I can see an scenario where a pro-spanish government is put in an independent Western Sahara out of survival instinct (Mauritania and Morocco are looking for their loot) but in difficult terms with the ultra right-wing nature of the spanish regime. Nonetheles, the spanish left has also strong links with saharawi political factions, and certainly with the POLISARIO (btw, off topic, people forgets this is an achronim of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y o de Oro, so it goes in capitals) thus at the moment a socialist or any otherleft-wing government win the spanish general elections...what happens in the Western Sahara? My bet it's an inverse fate of Macías, but without the brutality of the guinean politics.

    Also, would the Green March still happens, would it lead to a war? In this case, would it be a long war? I doubt it, in the case of war, Morocco would find itself with a two fronts wars and maybe three if Algeria decides to take advantage of the situation, which is not unlikely since, stranger things happen, the francoist regime had morally supported the FLN during the algerian war of independence (well, also the OAS, but who cares)
     
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  19. Linense Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    La Línea de la Concepción (España)
    I personally believe that if that Spanish-Moroccan war had happened, it would have been short-lived but probably Carrero Blanco would have held his post as Spanish Prime Minister until the conclusion of a peace treaty to ensure the future pro-Spanish Sahrawi independent state (probably it expanded with the Sahrawi annexation over the Moroccan territory of Cape Juby -also called Tarfaya Strip-, a territory under Spanish sovereignty to north of Western Sahara that was given to Hassan II after the Ifni War in 1958 when in fact it had never been under Moroccan sovereignty) and the return to Spanish sovereignty of the Rif (and possibly the former enclave of Ifni, mostly inhabited by a Berber tribe called Ait Baamran, because Berebers surely suffer reprisals by Arab Moroccan due the Berber character of the Rif people; I said this because several weeks/months ago there were some small demonstrations in Sidi Ifni supporting the previous Spanishness of the city and asking the Spanish nationality for its citizens, demonstrations who were repressed by the Moroccan authorities), i.e., 2 or 3 months, at most. After all, he is a politician military and who better to lead a government during a war.

    The Rif region will probably be integrated again in Spain it would be formed by the actual Moroccan region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, plus several portions of the Fez-Meknes (Taounate and Taza provinces), Oriental (Berkane, Driouch, Guercif, Jerada, Nador and Taourirt provinces plus Oujda-Angad prefecture) and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra (Kenitra, Sidi Kacem and Sidi Slimane provinces) regions. This expanded Spanish Rif could welcome the Moroccan Berbers who probably would be forced to flee towards the Rif or Algeria to prevent Arab Moroccan persecution due to Berber character of Rif people, as well as many pieds-noirs who wanted to return to a piece of North Africa controlled by a European country (after all, many of them were of Spanish origin, especially those from the Oran region). And that possibility could lead to greater territorial establishment of the OAS in Spain (and specifically in the Rif) to attack the political interests of France and the independent Maghreb countries (the Spanish government could be considered a righteous retaliation for French support for ETA).

    After that Spanish-Moroccan war, the new Spanish government headed by Torcuato Fernandez-Miranda will have greater strength to the opposition due to play the card of having to give up more to Spanish Armed Forces that have recently won a war. Ie, possibly less regional autonomy described in the future democratic constitution (where it is established a new Spanish Parliament with a majority electoral system similar to the Parliament of the 5th French Republic, to avoid continued political instability that had at that time in parliamentary regimes with proportional system such as Italy) and political obligation of Torcuato's government to avoid splitting into two great parties of the political forces of Francoist origin (ie, that a grand coalition/party that houses the UCD -which it originated around a party called People's Party created by José María de Areilza and Pio Cabanillas, attracting bureaucrats from the Movimiento Nacional; however, seeing its success, Adolfo Suarez joined in it with the condition that Cabanillas and others expel Areilza, a politician who could make him much shade- and AP -a coalition led by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, attracting the technocrats as Laureano Lopez Rodo-, leaving aside the Francoists extremists who would be picked up by the new Falange -divided between the pro-Franco led by former National Movement minister Raimundo Fernandez-Cuesta and anti-Franco heirs of Falangism of Manuel Hedilla, the Falangist national chief dismissed by Franco following the political unification with the Carlists in 1937- and the Francoist ultras of Fuerza Nueva, led by Blas Piñar, whose popular support would be sufficient to achieve parliamentary representation in the first democratic elections due to the rising Spanish nationalism by the recent military victory). That would lead to an adjusted absolute majority of the right-wing grand coalition led by Torcuato or other politician that he supports to be his successor (during the OTL Transition, Torcuato supported the initial intentions of Suarez to be a transitional president until the first general elections, but Suarez changed his mind after some polls that indicated the possible PSOE's victory)

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    On the other hand, if Nanwe will continue considering the PCE as the main party of the Spanish left-wing, I think it should have parliamentary representation of PTE (a Maoist split of PCE-PSUC created in 1967) or of a previous merger with ORT (a Maoist version of the PSP, since its creation in 1969 wasn't a split of a previous political party) in the first democratic elections. As time pass, the PTE could form a Marxist left-wing whose territorial organization is of Jacobin inspiration, recovering the old Jacobin side of PSOE during the Restoration and the early years of the Second Spanish Republic, distancing of Spanish federalism advocated by the PCE and the various socialist parties (Felipe Gonzalez, Enrique Tierno Galvan, and Rodolfo Llopis). And the parliamentary appearance of PTE could lead to parliamentary appearance of one or more right-wing deputies (Francoist Blas Pinar and Falangists José Antonio Girón and Raimundo Fernandez-Cuesta).

    Finally, on the assassination of Carrero Blanco, there were many negligent acts that helped allow the escape of ETA members because the Spanish government refused to perform as a complete shutdown of the outputs of Madrid nor accepted the French offer to give them the address where the murderers hiding in France (France helped ETA especially during the presidency of centrist Valery Giscard d'Estaing: 27 May 1974 - 21 May 1981) This helps support the active and pasive participation of senior Francoist positions in the assassination.

    PS: I had problems with my computer and I had to repeat and delete this post several times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
    Heat likes this.
  20. Nanwe Left-Macronista

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Brussels, BE || Madrid, ES
    [​IMG]

    Cosa è il partito chiesa?


    If there is one major differentiating factor between northern and southern Europe's political scene, at least on the right, is the prevalence of very broad centre-to-centre-right parties in southern Europe, with the exception of Greece. This is probably best exemplified by the Italian Democrazia Cristiana (DC), not only because it is the oldest example but also because it is the one with the most active and cut-throat internal life. These parties are characterised by the existence of a broad amount of ideologically diverging internal currents. These usually range from the centre-left to the hard right, essentially representing all the elements of what could be termed as the ‘moderate vote’.

    Perhaps one of the key characteristics of these parties is its inter-classist composition and appeal, largely at odds with the class language of the Southern European left, particularly in Spain and Italy, where the Communist left is much stronger than its social democratic counterparts, who are usually atomised.

    But representing the ‘moderate vote’ is not the same as being a conservative party. Indeed, with the exception of the Portuguese PPD, all other parties avoid that terminology. And for a good reason, as the kind of top-down, hierarchical organisation that characterises parties is an oxymoron to the fractious internal life of the DC or of the – aptly names – Unión del Centro Democrático (UCD).

    All three parties reflect a broad spectrum of the political opinion, usually as they developed as hegemonic political forces in order to represent a viable alternative to the left-wing in the aftermath of authoritarian right dictatorships, and usually embodied the most reformist aspects of the previous regimes or the moderate – bourgeois – democratic opposition. But the degree of ideological coherence varies, from the most cohesive being the Italian DC to the least, the Spanish UCD. For instance, whereas the DC is fundamentally formed by the various stands of Christian democracy, ranging from the Christian left of the Dosettianni (or their successors) to conservatism in the Andreotti line; the UCD lacks such a central ideology.

    Instead, the Spanish broad-tent party appeared as a result of the merger of the various ‘moderate forces’ that sprung after 1975. The party was originally devised as a presidential party, rallying around the figure of Adolfo Suárez. After his political demise, the party evolved towards an anti-communist, ‘good manager’ sort of party that tried to circumvent social issues in order not to affect the internal cohesion of the party and its many factions. Furthermore, since 1976, the UCD has largely benefited from state patronage thanks to its control of the state apparatus at the national – and regional level – for the better part of 30 years, and as a result, the party suffered considerably in the early 00s as it sought to find its position in opposition.

    As a result of the quick creation of the party, and despite the statutory prohibition of internal currents, these exist and represent one of the key factors in the governability of the country and in the composition of the various cabinets as well as their political leanings. Generally, however, there have been three main kinds of cabinets, the centre-right ones (usually called mayoría natural governments) in which the liberals and Christian democrats predominate and in alliance with AP; there are also the centre-left or mayoría social governments in coalition with the social democrats and where the UCD’s social liberals hold key ministries. There is a third kind of government, although it has been rare since the 1970s, the minority governments, supported through what Spaniards call ‘geometría variable’ in which the UCD governments find supports across the political spectrum on an issue basis.

    Without understanding the internal dynamics of the party, however, it is very hard to comprehend the UCD. The main factions are the following: Suaristas (centrist populists), liberales (ranging from libertarians to social liberals), izquierda centrista (social democrats and social liberals), democristianos (Christian democrats and conservatives), centristas (technocrats from the upper echelons of the State apparatus) and moderate regionalists, including Andalucists, Galician regionalists, Extremeño regionalists, moderate Catalan nationalists or Valencian blaveros.

    Suarismo

    Suarism, or more accurately post-Suarism is perhaps the most complicated of all the various tendencies of the UCD to explain. Although the UCD has never been a party of clear-cut ideological currents, but rather of personalities and power clusters in certain provinces or regions, Suarism is perhaps even harder to classify.

    According to former UCD Minister and well-known Suarist, Rafael Arias Salgado, Suarism is "not so much an ideology, but a political style, a connection with the people's needs and its expression in their own terms".

    If one takes this description as accurate, then it accurately reflect the political trajectory of the former Prime Minister: From small-c conservative in the early 70s, he moved towards the left by the early 80s and following his resignation, he bounced somewhat back to the right, perhaps under the influence of his deeply religious wife, and later by the personal tragedies of the Suárez family.

    As a result, the most accurate - and consequently the most ambiguous - appellative for it could be a 'populistic centrism with elements of Spanish nationalism'. Suarist rhetoric stresses consensus-building and -seeking with the forces to the left of the UCD. In this sense it is difficult to know when a UCD politician is a Suarist as UCD politicians abuse the term consensus on a daily basis, being one of the few common ideological, or rather rhetorical arguments employed by all currents.

    However bona fide Suarists emphasise economic issues over social ones - as this is where the line between right- and left-wing Suarists is drawn - and the current favours economic interventionism and the development of a bread-winner-centred welfare state. Economically then, Suarists could be classed as a secularised version of the Christian democrats of the UCD. But it is however more complicated, because as whereas most of the UCD is strongly pro-Atlantic, the Suarists have been traditionally much more weary of depending on the United States to determine Spain's foreign policy and to this day, many lament Calvo Sotelo's decision to join NATO in 1982.

    As a result, Suarists are mostly determined by their rhetoric and their moderate speech combined with references to representing the people, a populist device. To this is combined references to the Patria and a centralist vision of Spain that puts them at odds with either the autonomists within (like the relationship between Suárez and Manuel Clavero Arévalo) or without the UCD (exemplified by the relationship between Suárez and Catalan President Jordi Pujol).

    It is important to note, however, that neither Suárez nor other Suarist politicians have allowed this rhetoric and unitary conception of the national identity to stand in the way of developing political consensus or reaching political deals. Perhaps the best example was the support given by Suarist leader of Centristes de Catalunya, Eduard Punset to the PDC government of Xavier Trias in 1999.

    The Suarist current has however suffered from the retreat of Suárez from the public eye and has lost its position as one of the biggest currents in the post-Cold War environment. Nevertheless, major UCD politicians belonging to this current - or style - are Ignacio Aguado, Rosa Posada or Fernando Clavijo among others.