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Nobody Expected the Spanish ‘Reconquista’

%E2%80%9CI+was+disappointed%2C+but+not+shocked.+Now+we+all+just+need+to+prepare+for+what%E2%80%99s+coming%2C%E2%80%9D+Marina+Mengual+%E2%80%9920+said.+
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Nobody Expected the Spanish ‘Reconquista’

“I was disappointed, but not shocked. Now we all just need to prepare for what’s coming,” Marina Mengual ’20 said.

“I was disappointed, but not shocked. Now we all just need to prepare for what’s coming,” Marina Mengual ’20 said.

Daniela Castro

“I was disappointed, but not shocked. Now we all just need to prepare for what’s coming,” Marina Mengual ’20 said.

Daniela Castro

Daniela Castro

“I was disappointed, but not shocked. Now we all just need to prepare for what’s coming,” Marina Mengual ’20 said.

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Spain’s immunity to far-right politics gave out after last year’s regional elections in Andalucía and is no longer a ghost that goes by unnoticed. Since Blas Piñar left the House of Representatives in 1982, no other far-right politicians have been able to step into the country’s Parliament. This spell broke loose after PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) lost grasp of the region after thirty-six years in power this last December 2018, giving twelve seats in Parliament to the anti-immigration, anti-feminist, nationalistic political party Vox led by Santiago Abascal.

For the past few years, Spain has faced controversy regarding feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration and most famously, the rise of Catalonia’s independentist movements. Many consider the rise of the far-right party a conservative reaction to the rising tensions. Their vision places women as second-class citizens and gives a boost to those who are seeing their power structures in danger. The party calls for the prohibition of gay marriage, an end to public funding of non-health-based surgery such as abortion or gender change, and the abolition of subsidized radical feminist organizations. The party also advocates for the repeal of Spain’s 2004 Gender Violence Law, which protects women from domestic violence, and the Historical Memory Law, which recognizes and establishes measures in favor of those who suffered during the Spanish Civil War and Dictatorship. Being the first time a far-right party has been successful anywhere in Spain, many people were, to say the least, surprised.

“Many of my family members still live in Spain, and they were definitely taken aback by the situation. Spain has faced some controversy lately, so radical movements like these were expected, but it’s still worrying to see a pattern of extreme-right movements expanding everywhere,” Marina Mengual ’20 said.

Francisco Serrano, one of Vox’s representatives in Parliament, is known for his Twitter platform, much like President Donald Trump. Serrano has been criticized for tweeting about “psychopathic feminazis,” the threat immigrants pose to European identity, and his pride in being branded sexist. “If you are called a sexist for defending equality, defending life and being proud of being Spanish, the answer is: Yes and with pride,” he wrote.

Vox has also received support from this same platform, most noticeably from other known political figures like Marine Le Pen and former ‘Grand Wizard’ of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.

“It is disgusting to see this type of support from other political figures, especially ones that are known for saying the same things that Francisco Serrano says,” said Marina Mengual ’20.

“VOX triumphs in Andalusia! 12 seats and the end of the socialist regime #EspañaViva makes it history and shows that change is possible. The Reconquista begins in Andalusian lands and will be extended in the rest of Spain #AnalucíaPorEspaña,” Duke wrote.

“It is disgusting to see this type of support from other political figures, especially ones that are known for saying the same things Francisco Serrano says,” said Mengual. “If you’re receiving support from people like Le Pen and David Duke, that means something, especially about the type of audience you’re targeting,” Matthew Nielsen ’20 said. “It’s scary to see the kind of support these politicians are getting everywhere such as in the U.S., Brazil, Italy, and Spain.”

Spaniards across the country were quick to react to the outcome of the election against the rise of Vox in Andalusia after the Syndicate of Students called for mobilization throughout the region. Thousands of students protested, screaming phrases like “No human is illegal,” “You fascists are the terrorists,” and “Andalucia has no place for fascists.”

Will Vox be able to further succeed in the upcoming May2019 municipal and regional elections? Or maybe even the coming general elections in 2020? Or is this a passing trend that will die off?

 

Daniela Castro
It’s scary to see the kind of support these politicians are getting everywhere such as in the U.S., Brazil, Italy, and Spain,” said Matthew Nielsen ’20.

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Nobody Expected the Spanish ‘Reconquista’