Courtesy Reuters

The Spanish Phalanx and Latin America

FROM its inception the Spanish Phalanx has frankly been a Fascist group. Its founder was José Antonio Primo de Rivera, a handsome and reckless young lawyer who could never forget that his father had been Dictator of Spain. When José Antonio and his friends issued a magazine to publicize their ideas (the first and only number appeared on March 16, 1933) they called it El Fascio. José Antonio declared: "We are Fascists, because we find our origins in Mussolinian principles; we are Nazis, because in National Socialist doctrines vibrate our faith and doctrine. But we are, above all, Spaniards. The National Syndicalist State, corporative and totalitarian, is of Spanish type. It is not a block from the Italian or German quarry. It is a Spanish creation." This is the line which the Phalanx has followed ever since its official foundation at Madrid on October 29, 1933 -- Fascism, but Spanish Fascism.

General Francisco Franco, speaking to a United Press correspondent in July 1937, followed the same line. The new Spain, he said "will follow the structure of the totalitarian régimes, like Italy and Germany. It will adopt corporative forms, for which most of the formulas are already found in our own country, and it will destroy the liberal institutions which have poisoned the people. As in all empires, special attention will be given to the hierarchic principle: love of country, social justice and the protection of the middle and laboring classes will be encouraged. It will be inspired, of course, by the models of Italy and Germany, but with characteristics clearly national. It will be a suit cut to Spain's own measure."

On March 4, 1934, the Phalanx officially merged with the J.O.N.-S. ("Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista ") and became the " Falange Española y de las J.O.N.-S." The J.O.N.-S. was itself the result of several previous mergers. Perhaps the origin of all these groups traces back to the appearance in Madrid, one month before the Spanish Republic came

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