Franco, academics and butt-heads!

IT’S a hot topic being debated in the up most echelons of Spanish intellectual high society.

Your village probably hasn‘t heard of the argument,  simply because your town hall has no one with light loafers prancing about one of those thick shag rug carpets that scholars are so comfortable when posing those ponderous intellectual paradigms to each other.

In fact, this group of academics is so special, they have just popped out of their closet to announce the termination of their last five year’s labour, the Biographical Dictionary of Spanish Personages (Diccionario Biografico Español).

The entire effort was tax payer supported, spending some €5.8 million from the Ministry of Education to produce the concoction. Impressed yet? Well, the entire book was part of the Real Academy of History and under their supervision. Yet, the tome has been ‘denounced’ for two blatant errors concerning Spain’s primary penal code.

The diffusion of information that is injurious especially when it is understood that it is a falsehood, especially if it justifies a genocide. Have you twigged it yet? All that work and money spent to state in print and supported by the History Academy that Franco “was a valorous and good Catholic” that rescued and solved the chaos in Spain.

Well, one professor, Emilio Garcia Wiedman, from Granada University opposes that view and wants him listed as nothing short of a “dictator”.

WOW! The politically correct definition is under attack. Years of ingrained thinking and high academic positions that were granted for “walking the correct political line” are upset. Their entitled positions of sitting on high scholarly power positions and deep entrenchment being blatantly criticized. It’s another revolution! This time with the pen.

If this may sound like a storm in a tea cup, I might remind you that the ‘free press’ in Spain isn’t as alive and breathing as liberally as you might imagine. There are four basic premises you cannot write about in Spain as a journalist:  a) the Royal family – any member of it; b) Franco; c) criticism of the Guardia Civil; d) God.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the subject. Shout and argue they do, long into the night. Maybe not enough time has passed to be able to PRINT the truth. Was Franco a dictator?-dah!

Watch this column for the incorruptible answer — although it might not be the truth — according to learned academics.

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