The educational project that Marion Maréchal, granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of Marine Le Pen, launched in Madrid this summer concluded its first training course on leadership and governance aimed at young people, which began in October. Names linked to Vox have passed through the corridors of the Spanish delegation of the Higher Institute of Sociology, Economics and Politics (ISSEP), despite the fact that the institution has tried to disassociate its brand from any political party.
The sovereign international of Marion Maréchal Le Pen
The outbreak of the pandemic coincided with the launch of the Spanish delegation of ISSEP. Two people from the far-right training environment were essential for the project to land in Madrid with which Maréchal intends to combat what he calls “intellectual terrorism” and “neofeminist” that, in his opinion, prevails in the university system. These people are Kiko Méndez Monasterio and Gabriel Ariza, son of the president of Intereconomía, Julio Ariza.
The former deputy of the National Front – a formation that has come to be known as the National Regrouping in an attempt to reform its image – launched this higher school in Lyon (France) in 2018 with the aim of training the next leaders. “As they still do not have the power to reach the institutions, they seek to generate discourse, promote ideological profiles and that these people later occupy positions of power in the elites of the extreme right,” explains Felipe González Santos, postdoctoral researcher in the department of sociology of the University of the City of London.
To achieve their goal – and “very focused on the cultural battle” – they use teachers with “highly ideological profiles, opinion leaders, journalists and politicians,” adds this expert. Among the professors who have been part of the cloister this year there are names linked to the Vox environment, such as Méndez Monasterio himself; but there are also relevant personalities from the right such as former PP minister Jaime Mayor Oreja, president of the European Anti-abortion Federation One of Us; the former president of Sacyr Vallehermoso Luis del Rivero; the president of the League, Javier Tebas, and the president of the Intereconomía group, Julio Ariza.
Among the teachers, there is also Marcial Cuquerella, who made headlines a few months ago for being a promoter on social networks of a conspiracy theory that went viral and which ensured that letters with death threats to leftist politicians were part of a strategy to manipulate the Madrid elections on May 4.
Maréchal Le Pen defended in an interview with elDiario.es the need for “the rights to argue among themselves” to “get out of isolation” and “put forward what we have in common rather than what separates us.” In the meeting that the director of the institute had with this wording, she contributed several keys about her project. “The university system is devoured by the politically correct, intellectual terrorism, all the theories of the North American university campuses, the postcolonial, indigenous, neo-feminist and all those yo-yo-yo, to the detriment of knowledge and knowledge,” he said. the former French deputy.
The ISSEP director gave up using the family name after abandoning party politics. “He has many disagreements with his aunt and grandfather on ideological issues,” says González Santos. While Marine Le Pen represents a “populist and workerist” extreme right, Maréchal is part of a “more ultra-conservative movement, close to the Republican party. [de EEUU] radicalized. “This last route seeks” to occupy the space of Christian democracy and radicalize Christian discourses: to present themselves as liberal in terms of regulation and very conservative in social issues —gender, LGTBI or importance of Christianity— “, adds the researcher of the London City University Less than a month ago Abascal and Maréchal met at a conference to discuss on the future of Europe.
Tuition for the first degree taught by ISSEP costs 12,000 euros. The training is aimed at young people, is divided into seven blocks —History, Philosophy, Economics, Law, Geopolitics, Management and Communication— and is distributed in 320 hours, according to published information in his web page. Thinking about the next course, they have announced the launch of another training, shorter and at a lower cost —7,500 euros—, aimed at “professionals with extensive experience”. This is not the only announcement that they have made at the end of its first year in operation, the institution has also made changes in its structure: the philosopher Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, who was already part of its faculty, is going to be the academic director of the ISSEP.
In a recent interview published in El ConfidencialQuintana Paz assured that between ISSEP and Vox “there is no organic link.” In the same vein, Méndez Monasterio manifested itself when the project was made public. He limited himself to ensuring that his participation in that educational institution was “a private activity” and that he was part of the board of trustees of the foundation that had been created to start this school. A year later there is no information on the institution’s registration in the Ministry of Justice. Méndez Monasterio assures that “ISSEP is a French foundation” and they have partnered with it.
The Vox Foundation grants scholarships to ISSEP students
Beyond these responses, there are several indications that ISSEP and Vox share environments. The Disenso Foundation has launched a scholarship program to study at the educational center promoted by the former French deputy. Dissent belongs to the far-right formation, is chaired by Abascal and his secretary is Méndez Monasterio. The latter, together with Gabriel Ariza, is the promoter of this project.
Maréchal recognized in his meeting with elDiario.es that “Providence or chance” allowed him to “contact Gabriel Ariza” to export his training to Spain. As detailed, Ariza “followed” his “project for a long time” and presented himself – along with “a group of Spanish entrepreneurs” – as a person very close to his “pedagogical project”. On behalf of an Ariza company, Tizona Communication SL, is registered in Spain the mark ISSEP Instituto Superior de Sociología, Economía y Política. According to sources consulted that have been linked to Vox, this company has developed arguments for the formation of the extreme right. At the end of 2019, The confidential He even published that Tizona had been advising the party for more than a year on matters of message, discourse and communication.
The Institute’s own website collects the link between the businessman, Méndez Monasterio and Abascal’s party, by replicating an article from the same medium in which they were defined as “two of the most influential ideological advisers of Vox.” The father of the Tizona owner, Julio Ariza, revealed in one of the published videos by the institute that he “was” in the “conception” of this educational project and that he was the one who proposed the ISSEP slogan: “Choose to lead.” The highest office of Intereconomía has come to go on the lists of the extreme right formation and is a teacher at the center
Along with Ariza senior, in the cloister there are other names that are linked to the extreme right-wing formation, such as Rubén Pulido, who has been Vox press officer in the Andalusian Parliament and reference of the training in migration issues. Among the students there are people linked to the party, such as the deputy secretary of communication of the formation, Manuel Mariscal.
One of the students in the class that ends this month assures that he is satisfied with the training received. “Of the seven blocks of content that have been taught, there is only one that I did not like, that of Economics,” explains Yesurún Moreno, enrolled thanks to “a large scholarship” at the Márechal school in Madrid. According to his account, the institute’s website does not include the names of all the teachers who have attended his classes and he argues that “the level” of the teachers “in geopolitics and communication” has been “very good.”
Moreno defines himself as a Marxist, but acknowledges that most of his colleagues belong “to a broadly right-wing political spectrum”: “There are from a small group of traditionalists, another from neocons, liberal-conservatives and neoliberals. “He also relates an anecdote that happened” on the day of the presentations. ” among a score of enrolled: ‘Here we have come to learn and understand politics, it goes far beyond the party. Keep the card “.
The teacher has not wanted to confirm or deny this anecdote and has not clarified his link with the formation of the extreme right. “I do not work for the party nor am I affiliated,” he has limited himself to assuring, despite the fact that in July the Congress published his dismissal as “temporary staff in the position of advisor to the deputies of the Vox Parliamentary Group”
In the network woven between names from the Vox environment and the ISSEP, it is also striking that the study center has inherited one of the venues through which the far-right formation has passed in its electoral growth. The institute of the former National Front deputy was located in one of the premises on Nicasio Gallego Street, the same one in which Vox spent just ten months between 2018 and 2019, as La Marea advanced. The arrival of Vox to that space was not without controversy. As revealed by infoLibreWhen the Abascal formation arrived, the company that owned the premises had been linked to the first vice president of the party, Víctor González Coello of Portugal. This writing has tried to contact Vox and a spokesperson for ISSEP, without having received a response.