Forty Years After Franco’s Death

A young American male traveling in Spain in the early 1960s, as I was and did, would notice that women did not sunbathe topless on the country’s beaches the way many did on the French Riviera. There weren’t even any bikinis. An American who lived in the country explained to me that the body-covering one-piece swimsuits I saw everywhere were “required.” I was also told that a couple holding hands in the street could be arrested if a policeman spotted them. Yet the tapas bars were filled by men and women, mostly young, in the small hours of the morning. There was laughter and singing. Wine flowed.

The streets of Madrid were the cleanest of any major city in Europe. They also felt the safest, in whichever neighborhood you ventured at whatever hour.

Abortion was a crime, but at that time it still was even in the liberal democracies of England and the U.S. The notion of same-sex “marriage” wasn’t on any mind, at least not a sane one.

If you lingered in the country, you learned that certain organizations were banned (Masonic lodges were an example), but there simply was not the palpable feeling anywhere in Spain of the fear and suspicion that saturated the atmosphere in Communist East Europe if a person had reason to go there and could obtain a visa.

 Gen. Francisco Franco (1892-1975)

Gen. Francisco Franco (1892-1975)

Nor did you see around you the distracted, harried look of men who are concentrated on making money or trying to. A siesta after the big daytime meal was still customary. Friends running into each other would easily “waste” an hour catching up on their news.

One other thing about Spain in those days: I was not yet Catholic, but when I went into a church to look at it, there were always persons praying. If a Mass was going on, the church was crowded.

I know what existed in France between 1940 and 1944 when the unholy trinity of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity was replaced as the national slogan by Work, Family, Country. I also know about Gen. Juan Ongania’s valiant effort to stem the “immoralization” (his word) of Argentina, 1966-70. However, the only personal experience of Christian social order I’ve had in my lifetime was my periodic visits to Spain in the early 60s. My memories of it are indelible. How to sum them up?

It wasn’t as if the Spanish government of the time self-consciously modeled its programs and policies on what used to be known as papal social teaching. That really only happened in one place in the twentieth century: Austria under Engelbert Dollfuss when Pope Pius XI was virtual co-chancellor. In Spain in the 60s it was more a matter of life feeling natural, secure, somehow protected. Of course I say this in hindsight, but what I see now is that Spain then had a government intent on enabling individuals to get to Heaven if only by reducing the risk of their damning themselves. In other words, it did not operate according to the liberal notion of freedom as the “right” to do whatever is humanly possible.

Everything about Spain began to change, and to change fast, after November, 1975, forty years ago this month. That is when Gen. Francisco Franco, Spain’s ruler since 1939, died. How fast was change? Within two years a friend of mine, the well-known Cuban-American priest, Rev. Enrique Rueda, was mugged in broad daylight on a main thoroughfare in downtown Madrid. Father was wearing his collar.

Recent travelers to Spain tell me it can be difficult today to find a weekday Mass outside the major cities. Many churches give the appearance of being padlocked – permanently shut for want of clergy and worshippers.

If you polled Spaniards today, asking them which they preferred, life in the country now or during the years 1939-75 when Franco ruled, who can doubt the vast majority, including those who remember the safe streets and young persons acting modestly whether they liked it or not, would answer “now”? Of course they would. Ever since the Garden of Eden men have preferred to live according to their own will instead of God’s, and for two centuries under government whose laws reflect the preference instead of being designed to buttress His.

Juridically, during all the years of Franco’s rule, Spain was a monarchy. He governed as Regent, but the Spanish people knew him as the Caudillo. Liberal media in the U.S. and elsewhere were always careful to explain that Caudillo was the Spanish equivalent of Fuhrer. It was insofar as both words can be translated as Leader, but to Spaniards of the time the word was no more sinister than “Boss” used to be to Americans when our big cities were still run by machine politics.

The “Boss” comparison is a pretty good one. One thinks here of, for example, Richard M. Daley, Democratic Boss of Chicago in the 1960s and the last U.S. politician of limited ambition we shall probably ever see. More modern politicians, beginning with Jimmy Carter running for the local school board and continuing with Barack Obama as he headed for the Illinois state legislature, have dreams of the White House dancing in their head from the very start of their careers. All Richard Daley wanted was to be mayor of Chicago.

As Boss, he set the rules by which the political life of the city was run, but having set them he also abided by them. As long as anybody belonging to the machine did the same he could count on City Hall. If he represented a certain part of town on the city council, its garbage would be picked up without fail, snow removed expeditiously from its streets, new equipment provided for a park playground if needed, corruption of the police in the local precinct kept within tolerable limits, and so on.

The Caudillo set the rules by which the political life of Spain was run, and having set them he abided by them. This is the opposite of a tyranny. Under tyranny the citizen doesn’t know where he stands. The rules are not clear. Everything happens according to the passing mood of the tyrant. A tyranny is not a form of government. It arises to replace weak government or in the absence of any – anarchy.

Let’s compare Franco to a contemporary of his, the genuine tyrant Joseph Stalin, and to do so where it matters most: the question of who will live and who will die. Franco understood that civilization must sometimes resort to lethal force in order to defend itself. Defending Christian civilization is what he and fellow generals were doing when in 1936 they revolted against the Red republic that had replaced Spain’s monarchy in 1931 and become ever more radical and anti-Catholic over the years. Thus began the conflict known to the outside world as the Spanish Civil War, but called the Crusade by Franco and his fellow Nationalists.

We’re going to ignore the Crusade here. I once wrote about it in From the Housetops. We’re also going to ignore Franco’s own understanding of the Faith except to say it probably couldn’t be simpler or less “pastoral.” There was nothing “theological” or nuanced about it. It was what he was taught as a boy when he was catechized, and that was that. If you lived according to what he was taught, you stood a chance of making it at least to Purgatory. If you lived otherwise, going to Hell was more likely.

What interests us is that fighting the Crusade, and also the maintenance of Christian social order after the Nationalist victory in 1939, sometimes required the execution of spies, revolutionaries, and other malefactors. As commander of military forces in war and Caudillo later, Franco always insisted on reviewing the file of anyone sentenced to death, and also that he be the one who signed the death warrant. It was important to him because shooting a man is no small thing. However guilty he might appear, he deserved to have his case reviewed and the sentence carried out on the order of legitimate and identifiable authority.

Now read any biography of Stalin you want. According to all of them, he could spend hours signing death warrants with thousands of names on a single warrant. His victims weren’t even numbers to him. They were, to recall a famous phrase of Lenin, eggs that had to be broken in order to make the omelet of the Revolution. Their deaths were necessary to the state (that is to say Stalin) in order to terrorize the population into unquestioning submission.

Sometimes when Stalin finished signing death warrants, he would watch a movie and drink vodka with cronies, making sure the cronies drank more than he did. More than one of these men would himself be shot a few hours later, the vodka having loosened his tongue to the point of his uttering some faint criticism or perhaps repeating an anti-regime joke he’d heard. Stalin didn’t care for merriment except his own, as when he ordered his cronies to make fools of themselves by jumping and dancing in place until they fell down.

Not drinking with him could also be dangerous. To refuse or hold back could arouse the suspicion that you harbored subversive thoughts you feared might surface in your cups.

Stalin was a mass murderer, the number of his victims perhaps reaching 20 million. Franco’s greatest achievement was to save Spain from a government that was already radically socialist and becoming, under pressure from Moscow, economically and politically subject to Stalin.

His next greatest achievement was keeping Spain out of World War II. It wasn’t simply that she was spared worse material destruction than she’d already suffered during the fight against the Reds. Spain, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland (all neutral in the war) did not experience the social dislocations and moral revolution that defeat brought to the rest of Catholic Europe, or not as quickly as the rest.

For years after the war, Spanish independence and self-sufficiency was important enough to Franco that he successfully resisted the adoption of measures that would move the country toward integration into the economic globalism that was then nascent. This slowed Spain’s “development,” but also helped keep her Catholic for another generation.

Alas, the best of men age. Not simply do their own powers begin to fail, if they live long enough they lose the help of their ablest and closest collaborators. In Franco’s case, it was the help of his prime minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, assassinated in 1973 by Basque terrorists.

Had he outlived Franco, as it was supposed he would, the Admiral would be the one to go to the airport to greet a young Prince Juan Carlos, see him installed as monarch, and then keep him under his wing for at least several years, ensuring the survival of some portion of the Franco legacy. That didn’t happen. Even the statue of Franco that stood in his own home town in Galicia was taken down years ago. Spain is now just another of the EU Mediterranean countries – Portugal, Italy, Greece – despised by economically efficient northerners except when they want to live a little and head south for vacation.

Poor Spain. I haven’t been back since Franco died. If someone offered me a free trip, I’m not sure I’d accept. My fear is that seeing today’s Spain with my own eyes, while at the same time seeing with my memory’s eye the Spain of a half century ago, would break my heart.

  • Ronnie Barajas

    Viva FRANCO!

  • Selah

    This is a story I am very familiar with. I have seen this same
    scenario played out in Chile.

    I had a good friend,
    who has since passed on, he was older than I and he told me how much he loved
    the Spain of the 1950’s and 60’s. It was peaceful and you could walk in the
    streets late at night with no fear. The people were friendly and loved to
    laugh. He was a of a bit of a hedonist himself however his soul longed for
    something better and he missed that Spain of Franco. Today Spain is one of the
    most hedonistic places in the West. It was known as a Catholic country during
    Franco however it has quite an ugly history pre and post Franco for being

    The Left hates and vilifies
    Franco. You can hardly find a history, novel, or film today that
    does not have a heavy-handed leftist bias about those years. I recall the
    romantic portrayals we were fed of brave American freedom fighters fighting
    against the evil fascists (Hemingway et al). You can take it to the bank – if the
    popular media, culture and intellectuals speak evil of something you know it
    must be good. Spain just prior to Franco was killing priests and catholic faithful
    and burning churches. Somewhat similar
    to Mexico in the 1920’s. You don’t see that portrayed in these portrayals of
    pre-Franco Spain. I used to think Spain was lovely but it’s not. I have no
    regard for its culture or people anymore.

    I was fortunate to
    live in Chile in early 1974 for 3 months, just after Allende was overthrown. His
    socialist government had done so much damage that the vast majority of the
    population I spoke with were elated the nightmare was over and the military had
    finally responded to the demand of the populace and intervened to take control.
    I had expected the people to feel just the opposite based upon what I had been
    reading in Time magazine at the time.
    I learned from this to distrust the press when it comes to political reporting.

    The first year or so in
    Chile there was conflict as the new
    government had to defeat the enemy and there was understandably a heaviness in
    the air due to that trauma. However by
    1978 when I returned Chile was as this author described Spain the 1960’s. I
    could walk downtown at 2 am with no fear whatsoever. This military government under
    Augusto Pinochet voluntarily stepped down in 1991, returning to the citizens of
    Chile a prosperous and peaceful country. Good intentions and honoring agreements
    of amnesty however were not in line with the left leaning government and it has
    been de-constructing the once prosperous, moral and peaceful country delivered
    by the military back into another chaotic
    left leaning totalitarian bureaucracy.

    The number one issue
    of concern in Chile today is the violent plague of anarchistic juvenile and
    political crimes that goes un-punished by the liberal judicial system. The
    courts have reserved their unjust revenge almost exclusively for anyone who had
    even a minor role of authority during the military government. Even today, 25
    years after the military returned the government to civil authority, they are being
    jailed on trumped up charges.

    There is justice
    however as the ungrateful populace deservedly is terrorized by youthful gangs
    of anarchists, foreign investment is drying up and social order decays. I have
    little sympathy for their plight.

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    Thank you very much for your informative comment. It’s gratifying to read the perspective of someone familiar with what took place in Chile. Of course, all we hear about Augusto Pinochet in our U.S. press is extremely biased to the lefties, and makes him out to be a monster.

  • JTLiuzza

    An enjoyable (even if sad) read. Thanks, Mr. Potter.

  • Hateful Troll

    The author of this piece deserves our gratitude. Catholic Spain, from the time of the “Black Legend” on, has been subject to such and so much vitriol that it is shameful. General Franco was a great man, a liberator.

    It is sad beyond measure that the Spaniards themselves — now become self-loathing — have joined the anti-Spanish chorus.

  • LeonBerton

    Your observations and judgments are on the mark. I was in Spain for a couple of years immediately after Franco’s death and witnessed the blind euphoria that accompanied the increasing devolution of the social fabric. About ten years later, while in Spain on a research grant, I resided as a guest in an Opus Dei residence. With rare exception I witnessed prominent members of that organization express bewilderment and surprise that Spanish culture had so quickly eroded after its new Constitution had been implemented. The naïveté that marked so many, especially most Spanish Catholics, about what was potentially going to really unfold in that era and subsequent decades was striking.

  • john

    Surely this is some kind of joke? You are basically saying that 1) Christianity can only survive under dictators, 2) Franoo wasn’t as bad as Stalin because he was more selective about whom he executed and 3) Franco was justified in killing people to maintain deportment that conforms to a conservative view of Christianity (Whatever happened to consequentialism?? Or is that forbidden only among Catholics who aren’t dictators??). To further be almost apologetic on behalf of the Vichy government and a brutal, Argentinian dictator overthrown by popular revolt adds only more insult. Where you come off with your definition of “tyranny” is even more mind boggling. “Tyranny” is where one man calls the shots. If one person makes the rules and only that one person can change the rules, that’s tyranny!

  • John S

    Ergo. God is a tyrant. His church must be tyrannical.

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    Liberals cannot tell the difference between freedom and slavery, tyranny and responsible government, order and chaos. This is why Spain and the rest of Western Europe is such a sewer now. America is not too far behind.

  • john

    Really? More likely, people lost in nostalgia make up their own definitions of “tyranny” and non-existent “realities” when they realize their ways of oppression have been roundly defeated and rejected. It is telling that, in the midst of one of the worse world financial crises of the modern era, the author acknowledges that an overwhelming number of people would still vote to maintain the status quo rather than return to dictatorship. And please tell me, do you have a response to my question about consequentialism? Does it apply to dictators? Or Is it ok for dictators to execute people, steal, imprison opponents and smash all dissent as a means to “keep people in line” (ignoring, for a moment, that they have no business imposing their ideas of the way people “should behave” on anyone else)?

  • john

    Churches can be whatever they want. Governments have no business favoring one church/religion over another OR imposing one on anyone. Liberals, moderates and conservatives ALL agree on that! I don’t even know how to categorize anyone who thinks otherwise. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, perhaps?

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    Your question about consequentialism assumes that Franco was guilty of that false moral calculus. Quod gratis affirmatur gratis negatur.

    I have a question for you: Do you object to Franco outlawing abortion, birth control, pornography, and Freemasonry?

  • Franco’s Spain did not impose religion on anyone. And what is your authority for the statement: “Governments have no business favoring one church/religion over another”? If you are a Catholic, you are rejecting Church teaching. See Quas Primas:

  • GeneDe

    Just a point or two, if I may… You said: churches can be whatever they want.
    What does that mean?
    You said: governments have no business favoring one church/religion over another OR imposing one on anyone.
    Granted, the First Amendment reads that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…
    That covers your OR imposing one on anyone, BUT! Can you not see what the so-called “separation of church and state” — found nowhere in the Constitution, by the way, has lead to in this country?
    You said: Liberals, moderates [?] and [“]conservatives[“] ALL agree on that!
    Again, can you not see what the so-called “separation of church and state” has lead to in this country?
    And finally, you made a pretty bizarre statement: I don’t even know how to categorize anyone who thinks otherwise. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, perhaps?
    You have gone from one “extreme” to the other extreme. So, anyone who is a member of the American society, believes in the Natural Law, e.g., has the right to practice his/her religion — the free exercise thereof (the second part of the sentence of the First Amendment), is somehow, in some way, to be classified as an extremist? AND especially if they don’t believe in the phony “separation of church and state” — and that includes me. Falls into the category of Al Qaeda or the Taliban?
    Let me emphasize what has happened to our country since our “supreme court” has kicked God out of the public schools and out of the public sphere in general all summed up in one phrase: the Culture of Death.
    And by the way, the Al Qaeda and the Taliban that you mention can be directly attributed to our sticking our noses into other sovereign (mostly Muslim) countries in order to take out those who were no long useful to us, and, of course, to “spread democracy”. Right.

  • albertcooper

    My Spanish friends all disagree with me when I stand up for General Franco,who defeated Communism and upheld the Catholic faith

  • Z.M.

    Your pernicious liberal nonsense leads inevitably to the degeneration and eventual dissolution of those societies stupid or wicked enough to live by it. The risible poppycock you espouse is responsible for the open sewer of licentiousness and criminal insanity the remnant of the faithful are forced to endure living in the midst of today. Let me take your lunacy to its logical conclusion: All authority, all law, all imposition of any degree of control over any individual whatsoever is tyranny. Empty the prisons, do away with the police, let anarchy prevail. Everyone will live by Crowley’s chief doctrine; do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. You hate Franco and those like him because you instinctively understand what a terrible threat such great men pose to the realization of the kingdom of satan on earth which you liberal masonic types so assiduously work to bring about, whether you be conscious of that fact or not. Liberalism is the disease, and heroes like Franco are the physicians who carry out the honourable and glorious work of eradicating such a loathsome plague. May the Kingship of Christ soon be extended over the whole earth, and may God save those who are His.

  • Malcolm

    I would remove them from my group of friends. ! Viva mi General !

  • DLink

    Franco had his problems but on balance his actions saved Spain (and probably France and Italy) from communism after WW II. Also, do not forget that he stymied Hitler’s advance into the mediteranean (and was treated quite shabbily by the allies in return) and accepted thousands of Sephardic Jews from the eastern countries that Hitler invaded. Though he will obviously never be a candidate for sainthood, one should recognize that he was one of the hinges on which great events in the world sometimes swing to the puzzlement of some of the intelligencia.

  • Chaz54

    May the Holy Spirit have mercy on you lost souls… Franco murdered 500,000 Spainiards but I am so glad the streets were “safe.” A Holocost is a Holocost whether it be Jews or Spaniards. Franco went AGAINST AN ELECTED GOVERNMENT… Yes ELECTED… My God when will you ever see that a country has a right to IT’S OWN GOVERNANCE…it’s hard for me to say, but I will TRY to pray for you…

  • Chaz54


  • Chaz54

    These things may or may not be “correct” but church interference in an ELECTED GOVERNMENT is INCORRECT… Period.

  • Chaz54

    It seems to me that GREAT MEN do not NEED to murder 500,000 people if they are so great…

  • Chaz54

    You ignorance is bordering on stupidity….the Constitution was written by men of the ENLIGHTENMENT…REVOLUTIONARIES who believed in SCIENCE not RELIGION…. I MAKE NO VALUE JUDGEMENT ON THAT BUT FACT IS FACT. Just because you wish to turn the Founding Fathers into scared, holy, religious men does not make them so… They are whom they were…have you ever bothered to read Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” or “The Age of Reason”??? YES R E A S O N not R E L I G I O N! Without Mr. Paine’s pamphlets circulating around New England we all would still be under the PROTESTANT YOKE of the BRITISH.

    You can re-write history all you want ( and it seems you are) that DOES NOT CHANGE IT…you are a fringe member of a radical Catholic Movement that still views Cardinal Siri of Genoa as the true pope, not St, John the XXIII… at least be transparent enough to identify yourselves as such. You are opposed to our Pope Francis and you deny that the Church is responsible for molesting children….You of course are entitled to your opinions but STOP HIDING BEHIND THEM you cowards…

  • Chaz54

    Dearest Brother;

    We the Catholic People are the Church…admit it, you are simply pissed off because YOU NO LONGER hold a false authority to PREACH & DICTATE.
    As a BROTHER, not a PRIEST do you brotherly duty of helping the poor and seeing to the sick… See to your own sick bitter soul…

  • Chaz54

    Sorry to hear that 5000,000 SOULS are “problems” to your way of thinking…

  • Chaz54

    You do you SURNAME no justice…as the Barajas Airport in Madrid now also bares the name of Adolfo Suarez… The first DEMOCRATIC Spanish Prime Minister AFTER Franco!

  • Chaz54

    Allende was ELECTED and overthrown by the CIA (don’t even TRY to say this is not do, the U.S now ADMITS this)…
    By the way, I thought you ilk were ROYALISTS… Juan Carlos of Spain returned Spain to the DEMOCRACY you all seem to hate???

  • Chaz54

    John… Thanks for that!

  • Chaz54

    I wonder why? Do you?

  • Chaz54

    Such Catholic & Christian advise you give…. Is that what the Lord told us to do? De-friend?

  • Chaz54

    OPUS DEI!!! at least you are being transparent…

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    One of the ugliest airports I’ve ever seen — which, I admit, is perhaps as irrelevant to the subject matter as your comment to Mr. Barajas.

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    What exactly do you mean by “interference” in this context?

    And, compared to this, you think that in utero murder, frustrating God’s plan for conception, exploiting women by reducing them to mere sex objects, and secret societies that have long worked against faith and morals in society “may or may not be ‘correct'”?

    Elsewhere, you refer to the favorable commenters on this article as “cowards” who are hiding their true convictions (which convictions you got stunningly wrong!). At least we have convictions about grave moral matters; your conviction seems to be that Christ’s Church ought to have no voice at all in the governing of society.

    Given that conviction of yours, it is no surprise that serious matters of morality seem entirely up for grabs in your mind. You prove our point. Without Christ the King, politics become evil.

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    Hitler was elected.

  • albertcooper

    Yes I do as I am posi
    tive they would have been very unhappy under communism and Russia !

  • GeneDe

    Are you addressing my comment?? If you are, then stick to what I said and refute it — if you can.

  • So, realizing that I’m just a brother and therefore far less intelligent than a priest … or you … let me tell you what my limited intellect grasped of your post, Chaz54:

    Brothers are not to engage in spiritual works of mercy (e.g. instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinner), but are limited to the corporal works only, such as those you named.

    Also, I apparently at one time held a false authority to preach and dictate but now no longer do.

    Further, I am forbidden to lecture anyone about Catholicism.

    Did I get all that?

    Now, what do you say of the essence of what I posted concerning Quas Primas? Was this dumb brother factually wrong for pointing out that John contradicted that Papal Encyclical?

  • DLink

    Let’s be perfectly clear what the Spanish Civil War was about. The “elected” government was a minority government composed of a motley group of leftists determined to create another anti religious society modeled along Soviet and Mexican lines. They demonstrated this by murdering over 30,000 priests and religious. Was Franco unnecessarily harsh in his conduct of the war? By our standards, yes. But don’t forget, the consequence of a loss would have been mass murder on a scale not seen in Europe until Hitler. After the war he established a national memorial cemetery called the Valley of the Fallen where the dead of all sides were interred. With the establishment of full democracy in Spain, even “La Passionara” was allowed to take her seat in the assembly. Of course, her time and those of her compatriots had passed but they were still a noisy bunch. By the way, the figure of 500,000 murdered comes only from the New York Times and Pravda which were joined at the hip in those days. Example: To them, the non-event of the Ukraine famine.

  • schmenz

    ” Franco murdered 500,000 Spainiards…”

    Citation, please. From reputable sources preferred.

  • john


  • M.

    I know I’m late to respond here, but I don’t know where else to look for this information. I would like to know if Francisco Franco and Luis Carrero Blanco died as Catholics. I ask, as I would like to include them on a list for “Poor Souls”. I don’t know if these men NEED our prayers, but surely prayers would not hurt! Thank you and God bless.

    PS Br. André-Marie, I completely trust the information you give, even if you ARE “just a brother”. ;)

  • M.

    Mr. Potter, thank you for this article. Perhaps either you are “just” Br. André-Marie (ahem!) could tell me if either (or both) General Franco or Luis Carrero Blanco “died within the Church”. I am wondering if either of these men should be placed on a “Poor Souls” list, so that their souls can be prayed for, with the idea of helping them to get to Heaven. Thank you and God bless.

  • M.

    Sorry! The second sentence SHOULD read: Perhaps either you OR “just” Br. André-Marie (ahem!) could tell me if either (or both) General Franco or Luis Carrero Blanco “died within the Church”.

  • Dear M.,

    These YouTube videos show General Franco’s obsequies, which are obviously Catholic. I cannot cite passages from biographies, but I believe it is an historical fact that the Caudillo died a Catholic. If it had happened otherwise, that would be news:

  • Regarding Luis Carrero Blanco, the WikiPedia article on him says this:

    “Devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, he was close to Opus Dei. In 1951 he was closely involved in the production of the film Dawn of America, a patriotic work portraying Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas. Blanco worked on the screenplay of the film which received strong support from the Francoist regime because of its nationalist theme.”

    He was assassinated by the ETA in 1973. Again, as I said in the case of General Franco, if he had repudiated his Catholicism, THAT would have been news.