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Borbon fellow and his Regime, view by Vargas Llosa
Demopunk Net, Nov/2000

On the ocassion of 25th anniversary of the rebel general Franco's death, spanish propaganda media spark a shower of eulogies, praises, psalms and triumphal canticles towards the actual Regime. One painful article stands up among this acritical euphoria, from the liberal at rock bottom Mario Vargas Llosa: "25 years of emotions".

It could be said that the Ortega-like emulo wants, as Gasset did, to repay to the regime, which harbours and spoils him, with intellectual coins. Cutted their liberal agenda down at an all low, centred their tiny speech on economical globalization, the liberals in fashion are smug and confident in the actual grade of development of the public freedoms. But, above all, their silence reveals satisfaction of the sickly range of political freedoms (rights to exercise untransferable popular sovereignty). Every libertarian activist have got a more complete speech in defence of freedoms, more consistent and carefully worked than these liberals at rock bottom. There are few liberals who support their natural radical capitalism together with critical attitude against the actual starving public freedoms, and above all, together with the missing political freedoms.

Differences between the actual regime and the preceding dictatorship are obvious, but quite smaller than the historical fiction tried to sell to us. And mentioned differences cannot be admitted as the permanent excuse to justify 25 years with no democratic improvement at all. The reference to the former dictatorship or to the sibling liberal democracies, is the permanent slogan to indoctrinate the population with the preconception about having reached its ceil, about the actual regime and its constitution are objects well described by the word democracy.

As the whole of chorus, Llosa springs the most dramatic hagiography on us: the beatification of the converted one. He exalts the role of the monarch Borbon as the best distilled essence of the actual regimen, and he has right on his side. Around the monarch is centred the much trumpeted mythology of the political system born in the Fascist Transition. Usually, we should resist the temptation to sharpen the criticism towards the monarch, because actually his utopian fall could not provoke the evolution of our predemocracy (certainly, elites pay him with a golden retirement in Lampedusa). But the intensity of propaganda during these days deserves a small response.

The beatification of the converted one requires to requalify, relativate and remake the most visible part of his past, obviating the rest. Llosa retell us, with his known eloquence, the mythology of the triangle composed by the monarch Juan Carlos I, his father don Juan, and the rebel general Franco. Propaganda refuses to accept the historical evidence of father and son cast the roles of "the good and bad policemen", in order to make sure an option for the monarchy within any future scenery. Only from above perspective it is possible to understand simultaneoulsy the arrival of child to a bloodstained Spain and his education in such a situation (Juan Carlos arrived to Spain in 1948), "the conspiracy in Munich", the false fickleness of liberalism of your father and his exile in the portuguese dictatorship. The relationships between father and son suffered from the ups and downs that might be foreseen in such a schizophrenic scheme. Llosa draws an umbilical cord between them, but avoid to inform and explain why don Juan refuse to abdicate in favour of his son until 1977, two years late after the death of the rebel general.

The relationship between father and son is merely an historical curiosity. However, the relationship between the prince Juan Carlos and the rebel general Franco implies a grave political resposability. We realize the political volition of the monarch Borbon to not maintain the political structure of the dictatorship, to go to the model of the lukewarm liberal democracies. Acknowledgement and gratitute which cannot be a blank cheque in perpetuity, exchanged by a monarchy world without end. And very much less it cannot explain the evasive silence maintained still today by the Borbon about the bloody dictatorship of Franco.

Fifty thousand. Fifty thousand people were assassinated by the general Franco after the spanish civil war. After is the significative word. Besides exiled ones and victims of reprisal in the interior. A bloody track which existed side by side with the child likely unaware in 1948,  but the adult in 2000 cannot be ignorant. A bloody debt that minimizes the pieces of brutality of the latin american dictatorships, who Spain pretends to give proud and vain lessons to. How could we accept with a silly smile that the monarch Borbon did not state, even the least condemnation, about those outrages, that all those crimes had been amortized by actual Regime? It is unaccepptable, and a serious responsability that in the 2000 there had been not yet a clear and explicit condemnation of the crimes of general Franco. While it does not happen so, the accusations of complicity in the Franco's regime are absolutely justified, and his "rare" historic journey along 20th century is better explained in terms of particular interests of Borbon family.

Today, they are celebrating the first 25 years of the actual Regime, which it is still a figure lower comparing to time while Juan Carlos voluntarily lived together the dictatorship. Other information hidden by Llosa, and the rest of chorus, is in 1955 rebel general Franco appointed Alfonso Armada as Juan Carlos' tutor, who remained as secretary of royal house until 1978 when the president of government Adolfo Suárez called for his resignation because his reactionary behaviour. We will talk about him again when analysing the myth of 23-February. But this information allows us to imagine what were the Franco's intentions in respect to monarchy. Juan Carlos was politically ignored by Franco (even since he was appointed as his successor), and the appointment of Carrero Blanco as the unique president of government (other than Franco), both circumstances could prove the rebel general actually pretended to perpetuate his regime under militar control and monarchy esthetics. The violent death of Carrero Blanco, disrupted the rough plans of Franco.

Fascist transition included courageous decisions of Juan Carlos, to ignore them would be stingy. Particulary, the legalization of every political parties is an historic debt which we must recognize. But the odious transition respected every fortune created during the dictatorship, amortized all of crimes, it made us inherit its whole political establishment, judges, policemen and bureaucrats, and stabilized a predemocracy which refuses to improve. Final balance is clearly negative, at least for the democrat minority. Rescueing only an example from the common grave of Franco, let us remember the young Ruano, throwed through the window and dead in 1960s, while our Borbon was being brought up. Even after dead, he suffered from jibe while Fraga Iribarne (Propaganda Ministry) presented his assassinate as suicide, even the courts of actual regime have insulted his memorial. But not everyone suffer from political amnesia; recently a lider of actual Regime, as president of government, has decorated policemen, murdered in those years. Nothing of above information could be inferred from the lyrical tale written by Vargas Llosa.

Because the fascist transition and its consequences are not, even with myopia, the shining scenaries which are insistently presented. Llosa lumbers Borbon with the solution of the so-called "militar cuestion" (merit claimed by the spanish capitalist left-wing too). It would be silly to deny that majority of appointments for the militar heading were very well-conceived, to suppose the consequences of other appointments provokes terror. But also it is insulting to hide systematically other facts. The members of UMD (Democratic Militar Group), victims of reprisal, continues in the bottom of our memory. When does Borbon expect to restore the memory of UMD?, when does he admit publicly in these persons the same attitudes which propaganda media do in him? On the other side, we are still paying the solution of the "militar cuestion": the so-called Transitory Reserve is being used, among other things, to be paying for life salaries for the most problematic military men, an enviable "severance pay". If Llosa wants to export the spanish transition, had better explain to his chilean friends that they have to use the wallet.

On the other side, rating actual Regime as secular system is unsuitable at all. The Catholican Church takes treatment as state, a direct thousand-millionarie allowance together with tax percentage decided by catholics, even who do not take such a decision end up funding many catholic NGOs. Its almost complete tax exemption means an astronomical allowance with unknown dimensions. Regime transfers substantial funds for "assisted" religious schools, in public schools it is paid the salaries for teachers of catholic religion even for kids three years old, even in special education schools. Donations to the Catholic Church are subsidized by Regime with an additional 15%, many times laundering "black money" of business with the Catholic Church. Besides, one mature liberal as Vargas Llosa should know the stance of the Catholic Church on abortion, prostitution, marriage, adoption or euthanasia. Also, he should know the complicity of the Catholic Church in the genocide of general Franco, and how today they deny and refuse to accept so evident responsability. Obviously, Spain is not Iran, but the adjective secular is not acceptable, even very approximately. Does the spoiled peruvian know above data, or does he talk from hearsay?

In the mythology of the fascist transition, the epic of the coup reachs the highest levels of historical falsification. Few people wonder, and of course nobody answer, why the King took seven hours (yes, seven hours) to exercise publicly his militar authority on the rebel forces. Having available almost every radio station. To wonder why his television message happened just fifteen minutes after Alfonso Armada left the occupied parliament without achiving his pretended "government of national unity". Where was bluntness defending democracy? Actually bluntness there would have been to speak inmediately to the whole country using the available radio stations (the vast majority of them). Actually heoric there would have been to control inmediately and publicly the incipient coup with his militar authority. Actually definitive, to have avoided any "Armada" attempt. What more can it be asked for so much historical flashiness?

Oh!, Alfonso Armada. Shocking biography which looks like a crossing of thousand roads. He was sentenced to 30 years in jail during the trial on 23F81 coup (a mandatory memory of the small journalistic error of the main headline of newspaper ABC in 24F: "Armada is not involved in the coup") and shortly after reprieved. In 1955, he was appointed by Franco tutor of prince Juan Carlos. Later he was secretary of Juan Carlos' House until 1978 when due to his reactionary activities the president of government, Adolfo Suarez, forced his resignation threating with his own resignation. And so, after 22 years together the King Juan Carlos he was appointed general in Lerida city. During previous months to 23F81 carried out an intensive political activity, inappropriate for a general. Rather typical activity of a possible president of "government of national unity". Ten royal audiences, secret interviews with tens of politicians: Múgica (capitalist left, PSOE), Pujol (catalan nationalism, CiU) and lot of politicians from UCD (at present in capitalist right, PP). The "government of national unity" and especially its royal support is an open secret during fall of 1980. Suarez's government, legitimized by elections in previous year, is harassed from every fronts behind back of public opinion. The last straw was in January (one month before the coup): six days after the resignation of the president Suarez, Armada was "reinstated" and appointed Second Heading of Army Staff. And showing off so privileged career, the day 23FEB81 Armada tried in the hijacked parliament the much talked-about government of national unity. Fifteen minutes after his failure, seven hours after starting the coup, the King appeared publicly for the first time. Could the Borbon fellow remain outside of this long intrigue of Armada? History, actual history is an obstacle for the King if he hopes to brag about the 23F coup, and let us accuse propaganda media of historical falsification.

Well ... making an effort of objectivity we realize the interests of Borbon's family allowed the birth of a predemocratic regime, initially Borbon's strategy was positive for democrats. If today were in 1978, we would maintain that hopeful passion for being living through the "start of something". But weight of time is the proof of a sickly democracy has been stabilized, a regime which the unique political freedom is legislative elections of closed lists and low proportionality, where almost every direct-democracy rights are forbidden, the separation of powers is an indefensible entelechy and popular constituent power is non-existent. And there is no the least intention among the political establishment to change so painful status.

In absence of political freedoms we cannot hope to defense our public rights. "Spain is today a free country", the american writer states. Told by a liberal it should be a deep and motived truth. But actually, freedom of speech has been buried by absence of freedom of spreading, freedom of strike has been relativized by minimum services and dismiss threats, freedom of worship is economically biased, freedom of demonstration ends up frequent beatings of demonstrators without the needed authoritation. "Spain is today a free country", Llosa rolls, but we do not think other people do so, for instance: the deported people of Sase, the political prisioner by refusing to do military or civil service, victims of reprisals as ex-judge Liano or Association Against Torture.