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World Association of International Studies

Post Thoughts on Franco Exhumation
Created by John Eipper on 06/14/19 3:28 AM

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Thoughts on Franco Exhumation (Angel Vinas, Belgium, 06/14/19 3:28 am)

Several colleagues have provided useful insights into the debate currently raging in Spain about the preliminary sentence of the Spanish Supreme Court regarding Franco's exhumation. I will address three points.

1) Acknowledgment of the need to wait for the final decision, which may last a few months longer or even more, on the exhumation itself. This kind of procrastination has been explained because of the alleged protection of the rights of the Franco family in face of the "irreparable" damage which might be caused before the final decision is taken. It means, legally and politically, that those personal rights are put before the general interest as defined by Parliament and Government concurring in the exhumation.

2) Identification of Franco as head of State from 1 October 1936 to his death. This has caused a furore because it would seem to ignore the realities of the time. It is the point I will discuss in my announced post this coming Tuesday.

3) Acknowledgment of the legality of the Franco dictatorship, as argued by Jordi Molins. This is a moot point. The Spanish State (as defined by Franco) existed. It was legitimised in terms of both Spanish and international law. One can differ as to when this happened. With Sir Paul Preston I agree that it was recognised as a fully fledged member of the international community by the series of diplomatic recognition in 1939.  I'm not a lawyer but my argument will combine historical facts, precedents and a small reference to legal texts which haven't prominently appeared in the discussion so far.

My conclusion? For reasons not made explicit (which I find a pity) the magistrates of the Supreme Court have deemed it advisable not to found their decision on any legal text. This is in my view an important omission.

JE comments:  Looking forward to your longer essay, Ángel.  We'll post it on WAIS, with an English translation shortly after that.

My outsider's perspective:  the exhumation controversy seems to be doing little more than energizing the nostalgists and neo-Francoists.  Am I off the mark?

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