Vox has made provocation one of its main political weapons. The last, on behalf of Federico García Lorca, shot in the Civil War by the coup plotters. The far-right formation took advantage of the 85th anniversary of his assassination this August to promote a campaign in which he vindicates the figure of the Granada-born poet as his own, while defending Franco’s legacy on the other hand, in a strategy in which he seeks tension. It is not the first nor the only time that the ultra-conservative party has resorted to this route to provoke the adversary. Those of Santiago Abascal also now promote mobilizations against the rise in electricity, while in their political decisions they defend the business elites. Before, foreign minors not accompanying you became the throwing weapon of their hate speech for which they do not hesitate to throw hoaxes and false data as happened in the campaign of the Madrid elections of 4M.
“Lorca today would vote for Vox because Lorca loved Spain,” said Vox Mireia Borràs deputy in parliament on August 25. A few days before Borrás, who ignited the opposition with his words, his comrade Macarena Olona had spoken along the same lines, when he launched a controversial message on social networks in which he lamented the death of the poet and asked that “no his memory will be politicized or dirtied. “Federico García Lorca. Eternal. Universal but ours. Today, especially, in our memory,” the far-right politics ended his message.
The provocation first by Olona and days after Borras in Congress was answered by the opposite bench. The deputy of United We Can, Txema Guijarro, began to recall that those who murdered Lorca were the same ones that Abascal has defended in the speakers’ rostrum. “What a shame, that’s why you killed him”, replied Guijarro, between the complaints of several parliamentarians. To finish the job, in a subsequent debate on Nicaragua, another Vox parliamentarian, María Ruiz Solás, pointed out: “Lorca belongs to everyone and he is ours too,” which caused irritation among the groups on the left. All while the formation has defended the Franco dictatorship in some of its interventions, such as when Abascal assured in Congress that the Sánchez government was the worst in 80 years, including the caudillo’s regime.
It is not the first time that the leaders of Vox use provocation as a political weapon, distorting, if necessary, history. The Secretary General of Vox, Javier Ortega Smith, affirmed in October 2019 that the Thirteen Roses, the young socialists shot by the Franco regime in 1939 accused of “adhering to the rebellion”, were dedicated to “raping, torturing and vilely murdering” “They committed brutal crimes,” he said in an interview on TVE’s Desayunos in which he asked the journalist if he had seen “reports on the murders that were carried out in the Czechs of Madrid. Do you know how history has lied about the so-called Thirteen Roses that what they actually did were torture, rape and vilely murder? “.
His statements caused outrage and stupor and led to several nieces of the Trece Rosas and the Trece Rosas Cultural Association presenting complaints to the Prosecutor’s Office against Ortega Smith, which joined the one already presented by the Spanish League for Human Rights in which Its promoters included the request to carry out a psychological report to the Vox leader.
This constant manipulation of history by the far-right formation led Congress to debate a Proposition No of Law in September 2020 of “rejection of the attempt to modify and manipulate the memory of the victims of Franco’s repression.” The initiative, sponsored by Unidos Podemos, was approved with the vote against the PP, Vox and Unión del Pueblo Navarro (UPN) and the abstention of Citizens, and in it, among other things, the Government was urged to erect a memorial in recognition of those shot in the Eastern Cemetery, among them precisely the Thirteen Roses. In that debate, the deputy of Vox Francisco José Contreras, denied that the communists fought “for democracy and freedom” on the Republican side. “They fought for a communist dictatorship, which is what would have been established in Spain if they had won,” he declared, reproaching the left for not having had “not a word of mercy” with those killed by the Army of the Republic.
Fights in the rallies when going to fiefdoms of the left
The party leader himself, Santiago Abascal, boasts of being welcome in the traditional fiefdoms of the left to which he goes knowing that there will be anger and his presence and that of his party will be a source of tension. In the last electoral campaign of the autonomous regions of Madrid, after calling the working-class neighborhoods “multicultural dunghills”, he had to leave the Vallecas neighborhood escorted in a rally that ended with police charges and clashes. But Vox returned to get the media focus to revolve around him. Their attitude led to the PSOE, Más Madrid and Unidas Podemos denouncing in a joint statement the “provocation” of the far-right formation but they asked the neighbors to “avoid any conflict” that “could instrumentalize Vox in an electoral benefit. “.
The strategy of choosing complicated squares and then exploiting the victimhood was already used by the leader of Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, in previous elections, especially in the Basque Country and Catalonia where he offered rallies in abertzales fiefdoms or municipalities governed by independentistas in which his party neither had representation nor aspired to have it.
In Congress and in other parliaments and institutions, the leaders of Vox have also been characterized by launching harsh diatribes against feminist groups, NGOs and aid workers who help immigrants who arrive in despair in Spain against those who have launched an aggressive campaign, especially if they are Muslims or unaccompanied minors (Menas), whom they identify with “crime, robberies, herd rapes and squatting of houses taking advantage of the absence of their owners”, as Abascal reiterated again at the first press conference he gave at the party headquarters on his return from summer vacation.
The deputies of the PSOE and United We can also not forget the day that the far-right deputy Carla Toscano went to Congress provoking with a T-shirt with the slogan “feminist tears” just the International Day Against Gender Violence, after seeing the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, get excited remembering the victims of this scourge. Toscano has already provoked the outrage of the group by warning on his Twitter account: “Feminists, I will be brief: you are grossed out” or by hinting by way of congratulating the end of the year that Spain will experience another civil war because of this Government: “Happy 1936. And save the leftovers from today’s dinner, you’ll need them.”
On July 21, the deputy of Vox Agustín Rosety, retired general of the Marine Infantry, denied that the uprising of July 18, 1936 against the government of the Republic was a military coup, but rather a day in which “half of Spain she rose up against another media because she was being attacked. ” “No. That it was not a military coup. That it was half Spain that rose up against the other media because it was being attacked. Just like you are doing now, sectarians!” He wrote on his personal Twitter account. Rosety was one of the 181 soldiers who signed in the summer of 2018 a manifesto in defense of the military figure of Francisco Franco, entitled ‘Declaration of respect and reparation to General Francisco Franco Bahamonde, soldier of Spain’.
His comment coincided with the approval by the Government of the Democratic Memory Law, which Vox has announced that it will appeal to the Constitutional Court for considering it “totalitarian, sectarian and guerrilla civilism.”
However, Ortega Smith remains in the lead as the protagonist of sounded episodes. In June 2014, he received an arrest warrant in Gibraltar for the theft of a concrete block in British waters, after placing a Spanish flag in that territory. The block has appeared at the party headquarters and the Vox leader himself has rekindled the controversy with new statements in which he anticipates that he will try at the first opportunity he has “to take out a block again, extend a new flag and show the Gibraltar colony that their fraudulent and criminal business is going to end “.
In February 2020, the Vox leader, who is a former legionnaire, appeared in a video performing target practice in the Javalí Nuevo Parachute Brigade, in Murcia, and in which he is seen lying on the ground shooting at the target to point and then show the camera his own shots. “This is a Daesh bastard, who had to be killed,” he boasts.
The far-right mayor of Madrid, moreover, has never wanted to join in the acts of rejection by the women murdered by their partners and has been the main detractor of the feminist murals that his formation tried to load in different districts of the capital. “Pseudocultural Marxism has its days numbered, welcome to freedom,” he said last January. addressing the groups on the left of the Town Hall.
Vox leaders exploit populism during tragedies
The formation led by Santiago Abascal also exploits to the maximum the populist style that he criticizes and sees installed in other parties, such as Podemos. An example of this have been the visits that the leader in Madrid, Rocío Monasterio, has made to La Cañada Real, one of the most marginalized and oppressed neighborhoods by poverty in the capital, to distribute firewood when Filomena left its inhabitants without electricity supply and the City Council – of which the Monastery is a part – washed its hands, blaming the Central Government. Or to take pictures “from house to house”, while he explained “4,000 people live there in conditions many times of misery. You have to have political will and enter La Cañada to end the outbreaks of crime and drug trafficking in Madrid. Criminals have to be in prison, but not all are criminals, not all are illegal, there are families, there are children … “. He has also been photographed visiting the ‘hunger queues’ to distribute food while denouncing the “passivity” of the coalition government.
One of the last photos that Vox has distributed are from Avila’s Twitter account in which several leaders of the extreme right-wing formation are seen distributing 35,000 kilos of fodder for cattle and “800 kilos of fruits, vegetables and bread for wildlife “to help with fire damage.