Find Docs

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol06 (Page 14)

Wodocs >> Reference : Libraries and Archives >> Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives vol06 Page 14
Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol06
Francisco Franco -- Profile of a dictator
Cid* was both personally titillating to
him and central to what passed for
ideology in his dictatorship. In the
posters and paintings, in the cere-
monies of his regime, an impression
was created of Franco's all-seeing
omnipotence by projecting him as a
saintly crusader entrusted with God's
mission. This projection of Franco as a
medieval champion, Caudillo by the
grace of God, helped justify the idea
that he was totally irreplaceable.
Despite the iconographic creation
of Franco the great warrior, there is
an abyss between what the hagiogra-
phers and the critics make of his mili-
tary skills. He was often compared
with Napoleon but shared with the
Corsican little more than diminutive
size and the fact of becoming a gener-
al very young. That his style as a gen-
eral could not have been further from
that of Napoleon was made clear dur-
ing the Civil War. His approach was
the despair of his Axis allies who con-
demned his strategy as over-cautious.
Franco was obsessed with logistics
and territorial control and unrecep-
tive to contemporary notions of rapid,
mechanized war. He frankly confided
his political purpose to Roberto
Cantalupo, Mussolini's Ambassador.
He wanted to conquer slowly in order
to carry out "the moral redemption"
and "spiritual conquest" of the areas
occupied by his troops.
The same calculated ruthlessness
characterized the repression of the
left during the Civil War and after.
After mass trials were held, Franco
would flick through folders of death
sentences, often while doing some-
thing else, and sign them. The scale of
the repression ­ with perhaps as
many as one million prisoners in
labor camps and jails and two hun-
dred thousand executions ­ served as
a lesson for decades. Franco distantly
presided over the entire process. Like
Hitler, he had plenty of collaborators
willing to undertake the detailed
work of repression and, like the
Fuhrer too, he was able to distance
himself from the process.
Nonetheless, since he was the
supreme authority within the system
of military justice, there is no dispute
as to where ultimate responsibility
lay. Moreover, in his speeches, Franco
made no secret of his belief in the
necessity of blood sacrifices.
On the other hand, with his charac-
teristic lack of self-perception, Franco
was convinced that he was not a dicta-
tor. In June 1961, he told William
Randolph Hearst, Jr., that "in Spain,
there is no dictatorship," and that "my
powers as Chief of State are less than
those of the presidents of most Latin
American states and the fact that the
present laws forbid licentiousness nei-
ther denies nor limits real liberty."
At the end of April 1969, when
General De Gaulle resigned the
French presidency after losing a refer-
endum, Franco commented: "Make no
mistake, the fall of De Gaulle could be
seen coming because he was always a
dictator." He could think of himself in
such benevolent terms with total sin-
cerity, believing in some way that a
readiness to let his ministers talk in
cabinet meetings more than compen-
sated for the one-party state, the cen-
sorship, the prison camps and the
apparatus of terror.
The interminable cabinet meetings
reflected poor chairmanship more then
anything else. Moreover, decisions
which really mattered to him were
often taken outside the council of min-
isters. For those in the charmed circles
of the regime, there was freedom to do
anything except oppose Franco. It was
only the defeated, "the anti-Spain" of
the left, which suffered the oppressive
weight of the dictatorship.
Moreover, because Franco saw
political power as akin to military
authority, he perceived his dictatorial
powers as the exercise of military com-
mand. Regarding himself as the savior
of Spain universally beloved by all but
the sinister agents of occult powers, it
was hardly surprising that Franco did
not consider himself a dictator.
From the late fifties, he was able
to abandon many of the cares of gov-
ernment, leaving much of the day-to-
day administration in the hands of
Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco and his
team of technocrats. That left him
many routine duties which he fulfilled
in the manner of a monarch, receiving
large numbers of people in audience,
inaugurating public works, presiding
at the meetings of the council of min-
isters and, perhaps most importantly,
attending religious services.
During his rise to power, Franco
had shown a prodigious capacity for
hard work. In the Civil War years, he
worked interminable hours, overseeing
the war effort, maintaining military
and diplomatic relations with the Axis
powers and maneuvering within the
labyrinthine political struggles of the
Nationalist camp.
His propagandists never ceased to
stress his resistance to discomfort and
his the powers of endurance. However,
in addition to the hard-working
Caudillo, there was also a "homo
ludens" who was as dogged in the pur-
suit of pleasure. After the Civil War,
Franco indulged to the full his passion
for hunting and, in the late 1940s, dis-
covered the delights of deep-sea fish-
ing. Franco began to play golf in 1936
and was recommending it to his gener-
als in 1940.
When not at the chase or on the
golf course, he spent considerable time
playing cards (mus and tresillo) and
dominoes with his inner circle of mili-
tary friends. He enjoyed watching
movies in his private cinema and tele-
vised football matches. He also liked
the corrida de toros. As he got older, he
watched ever more television on his
innumerable TV sets. The long hours
he spent watching the 1974 soccer
World Cup were a contributing factor
to the attack of thromboflebitis with
which his long death agony began. He
even did the quiniela or football betting
pools every week, for a time signing his
boleto or coupon with the pseudonym
"Francisco Cofran," and winning twice.
It is difficult somehow to imagine
Hitler or Mussolini doing the pools.
Continued from page 6
* Rodrigo Diaz (El Cid), was a Castilian
nobleman who fought on both Muslim and
Christian sides in the 11th century wars of
the Reconquest. -- Editors
There is no dispute
as to where ultimate
responsibility lay.

<< Previous       1 .. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21       Next >>

Other Documents:
vol 1938 02, vol 1938 12, vol 1939 08, vol 1939 10, vol 1940 05, vol 1940 12, vol 197512, vol 1938 04, vol 1938 05, vol 1939 12, vol 1940 01, vol 23 4 dec 2001, beamangle, dkhighdporifice, dkpipepvtdata, Attach, flyer, spray tower, handout 2002, locres 2, release, decipher, photo, westanal, guide, NOVASC, novas c 2 doc, Beam Comp Example, moonpoly 2002, Newcomb, Newcomb Manual, Data Flow Diagrams, participant list, vondrak, zacharias, curvpath, pm AAS poster, Gaussian Distribution, Linear Least Squares, Sensitivity Integral, 3 D plot fits, lyap2, NAO 150, Rotate Vector, lyapcalc, wedges, Scifull, Precession Memo, Precession Maple, Curves 3 D,

WODocs | |
All rights reserved. wodocs.comİ 2009

New Docs

Documents Category:
Arts (Design, Movies, Music, Radio, Television)
Automotive (Cars, Marine, Motorcycle, ATV, Snowmobiles)
Business (Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Construction and Maintenance, Materials, Real Estate, Services)
Electronics (Computers, Motion Control, Power Supply)
Games (Board, Family, Party, Card, Construction, RC Toys)
Health (Animalm, Beauty, Healthcare, Medicine, Pharmacy, Surgery, Weight Loss)
Home (Accessories, Cooking, Decor and Design, Electrical, Family, Pets)
News (Newspapers, Sports, Television)
Recreation (Collecting, Hiking, Scouting, Survival, Travel)
Reference (Education, Libraries and Archives, Museums)
Science (Agriculture, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry)
Shopping (Antiques and Collectibles, Clothing, Flowers, Food, Home and Garden)
Sports (Bicycle, Snowboard, Skiing, Other)