A court in Madrid has once again challenged the agreement adopted by the plenary session of the consistory, on September 29, 2020, which agreed to withdraw the names of Francisco Largo Caballero Avenue and Indalecio Prieto Boulevard, in addition to the plaque located in the Plaza de Chamberí, dedicated to Francisco Largo Caballero, as the Contentious-Administrative Court number 30 of Madrid already did in a ruling known in June. In addition, on this occasion, the Contentious-Administrative Court number 1 has sentenced the Madrid City Council, Vox and the Raíces association to pay the costs of the process, an amount that the magistrate María Jesús Calvo has set at 700 euros for each one of the three defendants and that will be destined to defray the minutes of the appellant’s lawyer, on this occasion, the PSOE. He acknowledges adjusting the price downward given the “complexity” of the matter.
A report assures that the Largo Caballero plate was protected when it was shattered by the Almeida Government
A little over two months ago, Justice forced the return of the plate that two workers destroyed with hammers, on November 6, 2020, for more than an hour. Vox had proposed in September of that year to remove the plaque and the names of the protagonists and it was approved with the support of Vox from PP and Ciudadanos. The opposition described the measure as “illegal” and the PSOE began the judicial process to restore the piece that remembered in the Plaza de Chamberí the person who was responsible for the UGT and socialist president of the Council of Ministers during the Second Republic.
The agreement of Almeida, Ortega Smith and Villacís considered that Francisco Largo Caballero could not be honored “because of his bloody political and personal career” and that the memory of his monuments was an offense for “many people from Madrid and Spaniards who suffered his crimes and looting.” Vox, PP and Ciudadanos agreed on a story that, for the second time, Justice dismantles due to lack of rigor in its construction.
More opinion than history
They assured Largo Caballero that he participated in conspiracies against the Constitution from his political beginnings, that he could only be described as “criminal, instigator of all kinds of violence prior to the civil war,” that he established a regime of terror prior to the civil war, in collaboration with Indalecio Prieto and that provoked a coup against the Republic, on October 5, 1936, in which they killed 33 priests and religious, 300 soldiers and members of the security forces, in addition to destroying 17 churches.
The removal of the plaque was based on article 15 of the Historical Memory Law (LMH). UGT appealed the decision for considering said Law inapplicable in this case, which recognizes those who suffered persecution or violence during the civil war and the dictatorship, “giving rise to a resolution lacking motivation and arbitrary.” The previous sentence resulting from the UGT appeal already clarified that none of the facts exposed by the City Council, Vox or Raíces were accredited and, again, the Contentious-Administrative Court explains that there are more value judgments than proven facts.
Judge María Jesús Calvo explains that the conduct of Largo Caballero and Prieto exposed by the City Council, Vox and Raíces are not accompanied “by the sources of knowledge of the facts and accusations contained therein.” That is to say, that the decision adopted in plenary session was made based on alleged facts that have not been verified or proven. That uncredited report historically circumvented the political opposition, but has not been able to with Justice. The judge explains to José Luis Martínez Almeida and Ortega Smith that in order to reconstruct the historical facts “it is essential” to cover them “with a minimum of objectivity, especially in a matter such as the one concerned.”
Already in the first sentence of Contentious-Administrative number 30, it was warned that “neither Francisco Largo Caballero nor Indalecio Prieto extolled the uprising against the Republic nor promoted or supported the coup d’état, nor did they exalt the repression of the Dictatorship, since both died in exile.” Therefore, they do not find a fit in any of the cases covered by article 15 of the LMH.
For this reason, the new ruling of the Contentious-Administrative number one draws attention to the absence of precise temporal data that link the events attributed to them with the historical milestones covered by the aforementioned article 15 of the LMH. And he adds that “the repeated value judgments that were intermingled in his account, leads us to conclude the insufficiency of the aforementioned motivation for the purposes” of the removal of the names and the plaque. It indicates that in the written statement of the City Council the same omissions are noted as in that of Vox “and to a greater extent the aforementioned value judgments.” At the moment, there is unanimity in the Spanish Justice in condemning a revision of contemporary history without foundations.
Ramón Silva, mayor of the PSOE in the City Council, explains that “for the second time the Justice shows that Almeida acted with ideological revenge by ordering the removal of Largo Caballero’s plaque.” “The ruling makes it clear that the plenary agreement is contrary to the law and annuls it. From the Socialist Municipal Group we demand that Almeida stop making a fool of himself and not appeal this sentence: it would be to continue wasting the public money of all Madrid men and women in a battle that seeks to humiliate the victims of Francoism, “says Silva.