|This article appears in the March 26, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Blas Piñar's Next Generation
by Gretchen Small
There were many who dismissed Lyndon LaRouche's repeated warnings that Spain's leading fascist figure, former Franco official Blas Piñar, and his project to rebuild a fascist international, represented a strategic threat not just to Europe, but to the Americas, and to the United States itself. Piñar, EIR was insistently told, is a has-been, a fringe element, a nothing politically within Spain, and even less in the Americas. Those who so argued have been proven very wrong.
EIR's investigations continue, but we now know that Piñar's networks extend into the highest levels of the Spanish militarya matter of the greatest urgency in the combined context of the March 11 terrorist atrocity and the subsequent coup move. Coordination between Franco's and Mussolini's heirs has grown even tighter since EIR, in August 2003, documented Blas Piñar's international fascist project; and Piñar remains in close touch with his co-thinkers in Ibero-America. ("The Fascist Fall-Guys for a New, 'Hispanic 9/11' Attack on the U.S.," EIR, Aug. 22, 2003). The old fascist is not only working to unify Spain's squabbling Falangist, "traditionalist," Carlist, etc., forces into a single Frente Español (Spanish Front), but more importantly, he is recruiting a new generation of fascist leaders to carry on "the cause," in this moment of turmoil.
One experienced British Atlanticist who concurs with LaRouche's estimation of the fascist danger, told EIR, in the wake of the Madrid bombing, "there is a romantic nostalgia for the Franco dictatorship, and this is true not just for older generation, but for younger people as well. These are serious people, and dangerous." He confirmed that investigations are now under way into the fascist networks' involvement in the March 11 Madrid atrocity.
Fascism, a Family Affair
Blas Piñar himself is a second generation Franco-ite, the son of a soldier who fought with Gen. Francisco Franco's forces in the 1936-39 Civil War. In the post-World War II years, as the battles escalated within Franco's circles over how to reshape the dictatorship in the modern era, Piñar could always be found in the lead of the most extreme right-wing circles, the spokeman for the fascist purists. Piñar's tour of duty at the head of Franco's Hispanic Cultural Institute ended abruptly in 1962, when he wrote a virulent attack on the United States for Spain's ABC daily, titled "Hypocrites." (The institute, at which he served from 1957 until his firing, positioned Piñar to build up networks in Ibero-America, offering scholarships for young people to study in Spanish universities.) In 1966, he set up the Fuerza Nueva publishing house and magazine of that same name, which in later years became the favorite forum for fascists from across Europe who had taken refuge in Spain after World War II. It still publishes and serves as a center for international organizing to this day, hosting, for example, a Jan. 15, 2004 presentation by former Colombian Senator Pablo Victoria, on Colombia.
Piñar was never just a "political" leader, but was always a key leader in the fascist movement's wetworks capabilities. As unrest increased in Spain in the 1969-70 period, Adm. Luis Carrero Blanco, who headed Franco's Servicio de Documentación de la Presidencia del Gobiernothe Presidency's Documentation Serviceturned to his close friend and ally, Piñar, to help set up terror squads to be unleashed upon activists opposing the regime, especially within the priesthood. Paid thugs and young Falangist militants linked to Piñar's Fuerza Nueva party formed the backbone of Los Guerrilleros de Cristo Rey, the Christ the King Guerrillas, which did the dirty work.
From the mid-1970s until 1982, Piñar built Fuerza Nueva up as a political party, and thereby became in 1979, the only declared fascist to get elected to Spain's Parliament in that period. Fuerza Nueva's youth movement at that time, Fuerza Joven, was notorious for its thuggery against opponents.
As it is with the Mussolinis, fascism is a family project with the Piñars.
In December 1981, Piñar's son, Blas Piñar Gutierrez, by then a Captain in the Spanish Army, gained his own national notoriety, when he instigated the publication of a manifesto attacking freedom of the press and defending military officers who had been implicated in a coup attempt ten months before, on Feb. 23, 1981. The "Manifesto of the 100" was signed by 100 lower-level officers, of whom only eight were arrested as ring-leaders of the movement, the junior Piñar among them. The Feb. 23, 1981 coup attempt began with the seizure of Parliament, while in session, by Guardia Nacional Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero. The uprising took hours to put down, because of high-level backing within the officer corps which had to be broken.
The junior Piñar served a two-month jail sentence for his role in the affair, but was fully rehabilitated in 1985. On Jan. 16, 2004, Blas Piñar Gutierrez was promoted to Brigadier General, and quickly named Sub-Director of the Spanish Army's Training and Doctrine Command, which controls, among other things, the Army War College. Thus, this third generation fascist, reportedly at the personal recommendation of Army General Staff Commander, Gen. Luis Alejandre Sintes, is now responsible for research, development, administration, and control of doctrinal matters; regulation of the employment of Army units, and of their structure and personnel; and the formulation of the operative requirements of the weapons, materiel, and equipment of the Spanish Army.
Rejuvenating Fascism, Italian Style
In April 2003, a party named Alternativa Nacional was established under the senior Piñar's personal direction, with the stated purpose of rejuvenating the Franco project for the 21st Century. Piñar is its Honorary President, and a very active one. Its Secretary General is Rafael López-Diéguez, a former militant in Piñar's Fuerza Joven, now a little over 40 years old, who speaks of his decision to lead the party with religious fervor. The average age of AN's leaders is 40 years, and the majority are new to political activity, many being businessmen and professionals. Piñar is the model to follow, they write: a man ahead of his time, whose time has now come.
Demonstrating the international impact of the AN project, an Agusto Pinochet-supporting website, Despierta Chile, published an interview with López-Diéguez.
The AN is closely coordinating with the project to revamp the Italian fascist networks around Benito Mussolini's granddaughter, Alessandra Mussolini. When four neo-fascist parties walked out of the Alleanza Nazionale party in December 2003 because one of its leaders, Gianfranco Fini, had committed the sin of apologizing for Mussolini's anti-Semitism, the AN issued a declaration of full support for the walk-out. Fini had already turned against right-thinking fascism, when he accepted the right to vote of immigrant residents, and accepted that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam together provide the roots of Europe's identity, AN wrote. They sent a telegram of support to the first meeting of the new "Together for a Social Movement" formed by the four hard-core fascist groups. (That Jan. 25, 2004 meeting in Milan was marked by such slogans as "Our Fascist Pride," and "We Are the Children of Mussolini.")
Four days later, AN Secretary General Rafael López-Diéguez went to Italy. AN's website (www.a-n.es) proudly posts pictures of him posing together with the leaders of the new movement: Benito's granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini, Forza Nuovo's Roberto Fiore, the Fronte Nazionale Sociale's Adriano Tilgher, and the Movimento Sociale Fiamma-Tricolore (MS-FT)'s Luca Romagnoli. A gathering, in other words, of the hard core of the fascist wetworks. EIR reported in its Feb. 26 issue:
"Both Fiore and ... Tilgher were sentenced for membership in terrorist organizations such as Terza Posizione and Avanguardia Nazionale, two formations which were legally disbanded in the 1980s. Luca Romagnoli, the leader of ... MS-FT, has no such background because he is too young. But the founder and secretary general of MS-FT, Pino Rauti, shares the same past with Fiore and Tilgher. Rauti, a volunteer in Benito Mussolini's separatist and SS-controlled Salò Republic in 1944, was among the foundersalong with Giorgio Almirante, Gen. Clemente Graziani, and synarchist philosopher Julius Evolaof the Italian neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), and of a paramilitary fascist organization called FAR, in 1946. Rauti was indicted several times for terrorist crimes, but was always acquitted, with the aid of money for his legal defense paid by his comrade Fiore from London. In 1995, when the MSI became the Alleanza Nazionale, to be retooled as a neo-liberal, conservative party under the leadership of Gianfranco Fini, Rauti founded the MS-FT."
Although the hoped-for joint slate for the European Parliamentary elections has yet to materialize, AN reports that they and their Italian hosts have a common view on European matters, and agreed to study the possibility of establishing a joint working group.
Demanding 'Virile' War
These are the networks which demanded war after the March 11 bombings. AN posted a statement from Piñar on the Madrid massacre, demanding "virile" actions be taken against terrorism: The Spanish Army should have been sent against the Basque regions, and not to Iraq, he argued. Spewing rage at the Spanish Constitution for nurturing separatism and the "mutilation of Spain," and the Aznar government for being weak-kneed, Piñar called for supporters to boycott the national protests against the terrorists. Calling attention to his reach into Ibero-America, Piñar cited phone calls from four Argentines, who are in the Carlist circles of the magazine Maritornes.
Piñar's allies in the FE/La Falange, for their part, demanded "total war without quarter" against separatist terrorism and its political allies. "Spain has to finish off the assassins and their complaisant political class," declared Democracia Nacional, another Falangist group in Piñar's would-be Frente Español.