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New attacks on the busts of Indalecio Prieto and Largo Caballero in Madrid

Updated: Sunday, November 1, 2020 2:45 PM

Published on: 11/01/2020 2:31 PM

The treatment of the new law on democratic memory in Spain continues to generate great tensions which have again led to attacks against the busts of Indalecio Prieto and Largo Caballero in Madrid. The statues of the two Republican ministers and historic socialist leaders, one located in Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz and the other in Paseo de la Castellana, were once again vandalized.

The two monuments rose on Sunday painted in red and with the word “murderer” at the base. The attack coincides with the riots that took place that night in the Spanish capital, led by radical groups protesting the curfew imposed by the government to stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. From the PSOE, they were quick to denounce the facts and warned: “They will not be able to silence us. They will not have hatred to permeate our society.”

Also from the government. Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, condemned this action with a frank message. “On the way to another complaint. What society wants those who play to obscure and violate the democratic values ​​of our society. They will find us in front, defending them again,” said Ribera. This new violent action took place shortly after the first vice-president of the government, Carmen Calvo, considered the date of October 31 as “a day of remembrance and homage to all the victims”.

Calvo underlined in social networks that “the future law on democratic memory recognizes October 31, the date of approval by Cortès of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, as a day of commemoration and homage to all the victims”. On this subject, he added: “Today we must remember, gratitude and dignity to all the victims of the Franco regime and the dictatorship. We must repair the injustice that their forgetting has meant for so many years. . “

“Against those who want to divide, unity. Against fascism, democracy”

Not a month has passed since the busts were damaged by similar methods. In mid-October, the words “murderer” and “not red” appeared painted under the statues of Largo Caballero and Indalecio Prieto. Although the statues were quickly repaired by members of the UGT and PSSOE, Vox used the event to send a threatening message to the government: “Repeal the historical memory law. First notice.” These remarks provoked a cascade of reactions denouncing the forms.

“In a democratic country, the threat is unacceptable. Let us not let hatred penetrate our society. Against those who want to divide, unity. Against fascism, democracy”, declared Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, as well as of countless political leaders who condemned both the acts of vandalism and the statements of the far right. The tension went away several days later. On October 15, when the Madrid City Council hammered the Largo Caballero plaque that presided over the Plaza de Chamberí.

The consistory, with PP and Ciudadanos in the lead, made this Vox proposal without, according to the opposition, following the necessary procedures to do so, which is why Más Madrid and the PSOE will take it to court. Despite what happened on this occasion and in October, this is not the first time that the aforementioned monuments have been attacked.

Already in March 2005, with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the head of the government, the statues were again destroyed. That of Largo Caballero, painted in yellow and red and with slogans in favor of Franco; that of Indalecio Prieto, with insults and threats against Rodríguez Zapatero. Some vandalism events which, like last October, were quickly repaired by political leaders and citizens of Madrid.

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