Dear Sir,
I was interested to read Mr. Green's reply to my letter (August 1). I would like to thank him, as he exactly illustrates the point I wanted to make, which is that the PP in Calvia, since they refuse to condemn the fascist military coup of 1936 in Spain, are only a suitable voting option for people such as Mr. Green, who appears to actually agree with the idea that the military can take over if they don't like government policy. I would, however, like to correct some errors in his letter. First, to lump Catalonian nationalists with ETA and to call them “murderous” is very wrong. I do not agree with the Catalonian nationalists, but they are perfectly respectable groups. What Mr. Green writes is equivalent to classing the Scottish Nationalists with the IRA. Secondly, according to General Franco himself, the coup was started to counter “a conspiracy of masons and left-wing politicians, along with communist terrorist subversives”. That sounds to me very much like the rantings of Hitler in the 1930*s. Also, Mr. Green is looking in his own very politically slanted crystal ball when he hypothesizes that “the only alternative to his (Franco's) regime would have been a Russian-type Communist government”. In actual fact the pre-civil war PSOE was the first European socialist party to distance itself from the excesses of Russian communism, and on the other hand, the fascist coup gave the Spanish Communist Party great importance that it had not had before, since while Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sent weapons, planes and troops to help Franco, Britain, the USA and France followed a non-intervention policy, so the only substantial aid for the Republic came from Russia, which obviously put Spanish communists in an advantageous position compared with the other democratic parties. Mr. Green writes that “after 40 years in power Franco left a Spain with a restored Monarchy and a stable democracy”. This is completely untrue. After the assassination of Admiral Carrero Blanco in December, 1973, Franco was in a difficult situation, since Carrero Blanco was his obvious successor. Prince Juan Carlos was chosen, but Franco left Spain without a democracy and with a dictator king. Forunately, King Juan Carlos, along with politicians of many different viewpoints amd the enormous help of Cardinal Tarancon pulled off the great success of turning a dictatorship into a stable democracy. No thanks at all to General Franco, Mr.Green. I am not sure if Mr. Green has much experience of Franco's Spain, beyond a bit of tourism. I have. I visited Spain many times from the late 1950*s when I was a child, and in 1975 I studied at the old Hospital Provincial in Palma under the eminent liver specialist Dr. Miguel Munar Ques. Spain under Franco was not so different from Nazi Germany, I knew a head waiter who had trade union meetings in secret, in school young children were encouraged to talk about what their parents and neighbours said about the government (I've got copies of some old schoolbooks to prove this), no religion except Roman Catholicism could have a permanent place of worship, gypsies went to special gypsy schools and not the normal schools and they were banned from being civil servants, women could not take a job or open a business without written permission from their husbands, the masons were banned. The list could go on and on. If we go back to the 1940*s I don't think the relatives of those who were executed for political beliefs or who died doing slave labour building Franco's monument in the Valley of the Fallen would agree with you that the Franco era was really so different from the Nazi evil, Mr. Green.
I would ask Mr. Green to study the history of 20th and 21st Century Spain a bit more deeply before passing his opinions.
Yours sincerely, Dr. Lawrence Renaudon Smith, Palma


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