martes, 31 de marzo de 2009

70th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War

Seventy years ago was published the last part of the war by the nationalist troops. In Spain, like Portugal, happened the opposite than in Eastern Europe: we had a long right-wing dictatorship and now we all endure leftist demagoguery. Fortunately, enough time has passed to allow democracy to begin to analyze without hysteria and demagoguery the causes that led to Spain to face so fratricidal war.

The so-called "revisionism" has raised a number of issues that are gradually emerging. In summary these are called the "myths of the Spanish Civil War", in general:

It was a confrontation between democracy and fascism.

To what extent could we call "democratic" to the forces of the Popular Front? In early April 1936, the Cortes passed an unconstitutional decree of indissolubility. Parties and trade unions were calling for a revolution, church burnings, strikes and the government's inability to enforce the law finally crushed the Constitution.

For their part, the military attempt to provide a coup (by general Mola, not Franco), did so "to restore constitutional legality," their proclamations ended with the words "Long live the republic". They didn't mention the church or the monarchy, they seemed to just try to restore law and order. But finally, the coup d'etat failed in Madrid (Fanjul didn´t deploy his troops in the city) and the country was divided into two halves.

In summary, the Popular Front were communists, socialists, anarchists and independentists. As of 1938, communists -following orders from Moscow- managed to seize power inside the republican side -they even killed several anarchists leaders who were supporting more the "social revolution" than the war itself-.

On the nationalist side were military, church, landowners, conservatives and a tiny proto-fascist party (FE-JONS, who claimed not to be fascist but national-syndicalist).

Foreign intervention

The League of Nations established an arms embargo on the two contenders, but it was not kept.

Leftists were supported by Mexico and France to import arms. They also bought military equipment to the Soviet Union. Also Stalin ordered the Communist parties to organize an "international army" to help the left side.

For their part, nationalist Franco, obtained loans from Hitler and Mussolini, as well as troops and military equipment. Special mention deserves the credit granted by Texaco to provide fuel for transportation, boats, planes and tanks.

Franco bombed Guernica to give a lesson to the Basque nationalists

The bombing of Guernica, strangely reflected in the immortal works of Picasso, not only was not ordered by Franco, but the bombing occurred on the part of German air forces and without the consent of Staff. General Mola had decided to attack by Durango, not by Guernica. Why they would bomb a small town? It is said that Germans wanted to try out techniques of bombing civilian populations, it is clear that after this incident, the Basque government closer their talks with Mussolini government to give up by their own.

A consequence of the PNV's treason was that the troops of General Mola conquered Bilbao's industries intact. The so-called "Bilbao's iron belt" remained a tiny kind of Maginot's Line: never finished, useless and very expensive.

There was only a rearguard repression by the nationalists

On both sides there were prison camps and summary executions. The settling of accounts spread over the two areas. It is not true that the killing of innocent civilians occurred only in the nationalist side, the Cheka in Madrid and other cities, organized, coordinated and established by the government of the Popular Front are only comparable to those of Stalin's NKVD. Enough said.


It's time to go to primary sources aside sentimentality and romanticism of beautiful ideas. My thesis is that at the time of distributing weapons to the people, violating the Constitution and promoting the establishment of a Soviet-style dictatorship, the Republic loses legitimacy.

The Republican side killed huge numbers of innocents. Their internal differences undermined the war effort. The collectivization of production decreased productivity and food to civilians. It was a continuous series of mistakes, infighting and ineffectiveness.

For the nationalist side there was also a slaughter of innocents. But do not forget that commutations of death sentences aside, military courts were established after the war. There was a sense of "legality." Furthermore, it is absurd to think that all those killed were innocent.

If we continue to delude ourselves and insisting to ignore our history, we have not learned any lessons.

2 comentarios:

Teseo 03 abril, 2009  

Me gusta lo de Bilbao Iron´s belt.
Por lo demás es demasiado largo, está escrito en letras extranjeras y hay un error al final del articulo

con un largo espacio en blanco.

Teseo 04 abril, 2009  

Ah, eran mapas...los menos analfabetos estaban con la republica

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