How was the end of Francoism in Spain?
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The Spaniards remember this Sunday the 47th anniversary of the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, an event that caused the fall of the totalitarian regime that had been in power in the European country since 1939.

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Franco (1892-1975) had fallen ill weeks before, however, it was the night of November 20, 1975 when the then Prime Minister, Carlos Arias Navarro, announced his death on Spanish national television, which opened the period called the Transition and that culminated in the return of democracy.

Franco established his regime after winning the civil war (1936-1939) against the Republicans and consolidated it with alliances with German Nazism and Italian Fascism, as well as with ultra-Orthodox sectors of the Catholic clergy and based on brutal repression of opponents.



End of Francoism

Starting in 1959, the Franco regime began the so-called Stabilization Plan, a set of measures to stabilize and liberalize the Spanish economy and open it to the outside world.

As a consequence, Spain began to be an urban, secularized society with greater educational resources. Its insertion in the West generates, among other aspects, the division of the political class, the increase of the opposition and of the social movements.

The Añoveros case and the execution of the anarchist Puig Antich

Arias Navarro, at the start of his government in 1974, proposed a process of democratic opening, however, this openness did not last long.

In February of that year, Arias Navarro ordered a house arrest and was about to send the Bishop of Bilbao, Antonio Añoveros Ataún, into exile, who in a homily was in favor of the use of the Basque language and defended the values ​​and culture of the basques

The Vatican and the Spanish Episcopal Conference supported Añoveros Ataún and threatened to excommunicate all government officials if the bishop’s expulsion materialized.

On March 12, 1974, the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, sentenced to death for the murder of a police commissioner, was executed by garrotte. The execution generated a wave of outrage and condemnation across Europe.

Arrest of democratic soldiers.

In 1975 expressions of rejection of the totalitarian regime grew on the part of the student and worker sectors, in addition to the actions of the Basque separatist organization ETA.

Added to this, in the summer of that year several members of the Armed Forces were arrested, who were accused of belonging to the clandestine Democratic Military Union (UMD).



Executions of September 1975

On September 27, 1975, the dying regime shot five people. They were the last shot of the Franco regime, which, it is estimated, executed some 50,000 people through this system.

The executed were José Luis Sánchez-Bravo (21 years old); Ramón García Sanz (27 years old); José Humberto Baena (25 years old); Juan Paredes Manot “Txiki” (21 years old) and Ángel Otaegui (33 years old).

Sánchez-Bravo, García Sanz and Baena were militants of the Anti-Facist and Patriotic Revolutionary Front (FRAP), while Manot “Txiki” and Otaegui were from ETA.

They were accused of murdering a policeman and three civil guards.

Those involved were found guilty in a summary process, that is, they did not have procedural guarantees, since the judicial file was processed in a few hours.

Neither Franco nor Arias listened to the worldwide clamor, including that of the then Pope Paul VI, to commute the death sentence, which occurred in the midst of democratic Europe and the Common Market and the global defense of human rights.

Two months later, the death of the dictator Franco would come, which began the Spanish democratic transition and which became the current parliamentary monarchy.

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