Spanish head of state General Francisco Franco (L) and prince Juan Carlos salute the crowd in Madrid in October 1975.
Spanish head of state General Francisco Franco (L) and prince Juan Carlos salute the crowd in Madrid in October 1975.

Today is the anniversary of Franco’s death. People in the Spanish state celebrate this date in many ways: some still mourn the dictator, others celebrate they took power, like the Spanish king… And many are just happy to have gotten free from such a dictatorship. In a day where we still mourning for the victims of terrorism in Paris, Catalan people will celebrate the fall of a dictator and will remember all the victims of a dictatorship that lasted also 40 years.

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Since 2000 the association for the recuperation of the historical memory, has promoted the opening of trenches used to deposit those who were executed during Franco’s dictatorship. No public institution has ever carried out any investigation about these victims. During the 90s, only a few families dared to claim for the localization and exhumation of the corpses of relatives and friends.

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In the last 15 years, the above mentioned association promoted the opening of common graves recovering over 2 million corpses. Right now, the Spanish government has frozen all activities.

quimtorra_0Mr. Quim Torrà, president of Omnium Cultural (a cultural organization that aims to preserve Catalan language and culture in the world) emailed me in a newsletter a few days ago saying:

On 20th November is the 40th anniversary of Franco’s death. In a democratic Europe, the Spanish state is the only one that has never condemned the dictatorship. Franco and the members of his government were never judged in an international court. Furthermore, the few trials against Franco’s dictatorship are still unfinished.”

Due to these shameful facts, several Catalan social organizations, like Omnium Cultural, are celebrating today a special joint event, with testimonies and witnesses of the horror of the Spanish dictatorship, calling for justice for the victims of fascism. There will be protest songs, artistic performances and live music to honor those who suffered and died at the hands of Franco’s government.

For many years, the 20th November was a date when the heirs of Spanish fascism would celebrate an event full of melancholy for the loss of the dictator. Today, and for the first time, we want to truly celebrate democracy.” adds, Mr Torrà in his invitation.

grisesNeedles to say, I am also celebrating that we are free from a dictatorship, I was actually lucky I was born 2 years after Franco died. So I lived all this time in this pseudo-democracy that Franco’s descendants have allowed to happen for the last 40 years. I grew up listening to the stories on how many times my grandpa was put in jail for “speaking against the general” or how my father was beaten at school by the teacher because he could not speak Spanish.

How much has fascism conditioned the different mentalities of several generations here in Catalonia! Some joined the enemy, others are afraid of thinking on their own and only a couple of million people have the nuts to go out to the streets every year and claim for the freedom that was ripped away from us. Help us to restore freedom and dignify all of those who gave their lives and blood to defend it! Condemn the crimes of Spanish fascism!

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