D.K.: When was VOX created? What is your ideology and what are the main political goals of VOX and what are the current positions that you hold in power? What is your personal status in VOX?
A.P.: VOX was founded at the end of 2013, but it had no real relevance until October 2017, with the illegal referendum in Catalonia and the proclamation of the Catalan Republic (which only lasted 8 seconds). VOX was instrumental in the legal complaints against the independence leaders, and it began to be known by the Spanish people. At that time the party had 3,400 members, currently has more than 50,000. For me the best definition of the VOX ideology is that of its secretary general, Ortega-Smith, stating that VOX is sovereign, because it defends the sovereignty of the Spaniards against an increasingly totalitarian European Union that seeks to erase national identities, and separatism, which claims to destroy the unity of our nation. You know very well what it means not to have a sovereignty, not to have a freedom, you have suffered it in the worst possible way. Little by little, Spain is being robbed of its freedom from Brussels and from an autonomous system that encourages division and separatism. VOX wants to return Spain to the Spanish.
In this year’s elections, VOX has obtained 24 MPs (10.3%, 2.7 million votes), 3 MEPs, 1 senator, 57 regional deputies and 529 councillors. Within the organisation, I am just an activist, one among fifty thousand. I have been politically active for more than twenty years and, last year, I joined VOX because I consider it the best tool to defend the freedom of my country.
D.K.: How did Spain change from the right wing regime of Franco over to the current left leaning government?
A.P.: Basically because Spain is a culturally left-wing country. No one has started battle, so far, to the ideological postulates of the left. The history of Spain has been presented as something dark, sinister and fanatic by media, cinema, system of culture and education. In fact, we are the country, which believes the myths of the black legend (a false version of the history of Spain made by its English and Dutch enemies in the modern age) the most. This is fundamental, first, because it condemns any idea of patriotism. Who can love such a hateful country? And, second, because it praises leftist movements, like the Stalinist communists of the II Republic, as defenders of democracy and freedom. This has led to the creation of such laws as the historical memory law, driven by the left and supported by all other parties (except VOX). With this law, those killed by the “bad guys” (the nationalists) are victims who must be remembered, while those killed by the “good guys” (the republicans) just disappeared and must be forgotten. The current government wants to develop this law further and intends to fine and imprison anyone who says something good about the Franco regime, that is, to remember that Franco built more than four million social houses and to consider it as something good would be a crime. Fortunately, more and more Spaniards are waking up to these lies.
D.K.: How big is the influence of far left in Spain? And, on the other hand, how strong are nationalists and does the Catholic church still have a strong influence?
A.P.: The extreme left is strong in Spain – Podemos obtained more than 3.7 million votes in the last elections, to which we would have to add those of the independentists. This is due to what I mentioned earlier – the social acceptance of many of left postulates, and to the fact that it has been subsidised by different governments. Until recently, opposition to the extreme left was minor, but that has changed with the emergence of VOX. There are more and more of those who dare to publicly say who the left really are: fanatics and intolerant persons.
Regarding the church, although it is still very important, its voice is silenced by the political correctness. Although the attacks, even aggressive ones, against the church are constant, only a few brave ones have dared to raise their voices against the progressive dictatorship. The church continues to denounce abortion (there are about 100,000 a year in Spain), but it is silent about the dominant discourse too often.
D.K.: What is the current situation regarding immigration in Spain? Are there any significant differences from Italy, which at least until recently had succeeded in forming a right wing government?
A.P.: Spain has been receiving illegal immigration from North Africa for many years. The images of the assaults of organised groups of immigrants against the fences of Ceuta and Melilla are infamous. Those, who manage to pass, are not expelled and stay in Spain as a reward for attacking our policemen. Immigrants currently represent 10% of the population, and the main group are Moroccans. In addition to the absurdity of continuing to accept immigrants with more than three million unemployed, the crime rate is very high in some nationalities. But, until very recently, it was impossible to talk about immigration without being silenced with the police words “racist” and “xenophobic”. Now everything has changed. For example, in the case of the Soros NGO “Open Arms”, VOX has publicly supported the actions of minister Salvini and has denounced the NGO for collaborating with the human trafficking mafias. This would have been impossible in Spain just a few years ago.
Regarding Italy, it is clear that the destruction of the Libyan state in 2011 has caused a massive arrival of immigrants on its coasts. This has undoubtedly changed the opinion about the immigration of many millions of Italians. You just have to see the support that Salvini and the League have.
D.K.: Is your organisation interested in the regional cooperation with likeminded political organisations? What is the VOX inner “foreign policy”?
A.P.: The real political struggle of this time is the confrontation between globalism and the nation states. It is a struggle that no country can carry out separately and requires collaboration with other national forces that share the same objective. That is why VOX is a member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists, to fight for a different Europe from the bureaucratic dictatorship in force in Brussels and that respects the values of European culture.
A good Ukrainian friend told me that Russia was his enemy, but after having visited Germany, he considered that multiculturalism, gender ideology, feminism, etc., were a more dangerous enemy than Russian tanks, because they kill the soul of a nation. That should not happen, so cooperation is imperative.
D.K.: We Latvians had our Legion, which fought on the “wrong” (= not winning) side on the Second World war against the invading Red army. Spain had its Blue division. Are these soldiers still commemorated in Spain today? What is the state attitude towards these veterans? Was the Spanish Civil war anti-communist side related to the Second World war volunteer formations which served on the Eastern front?
A.P.: The Blue Division remains a topic of interest in Spain, and articles and books about its history are frequent. In February, ABC, one of the leading Spanish newspapers, published an article about the battle of Krasni Bor, where 4,500 Spaniards resisted for hours the attack of 45,000 soldiers and 80 Soviet tanks. The article praised the courage of the division and caused great controversy, even the Russian embassy issued a protest statement.
The state has recognised the status of The Blue Division, and even in 2004, with a socialist government, veterans paraded on the day of the armed forces. However, veterans maintain a brotherhood and a museum that is supported by private funds.
The name of the division comes from the blue shirts of most of its members, who were volunteers of the Falange. Many of the fighters of the national side in the Civil War had a pending account with the USSR. Stalin was the main support of the Republic, sending weapons, soldiers, organising the international brigades, and sending their GPU advisors, who instructed the Spanish communists in the repression techniques implemented in the USSR. Interestingly, the “good guys” of the GPU dissolved a Troskist militia, also the “good guys”, arrested and shot many of its members and tortured their leader, Andrés Nin, to death. This is one of the many cases that throws to the ground the infamous law of historical memory.
D.K.: I have noticed, that nationalists in Europe are split on the issue of Catalonian independence both due to ideological and pragmatically political reasons.
A.P.: Our electoral system gives a lot of advantage to the separatist parties. For example, the different separatist parties have 12 more MPS in the national parliament with 150,000 fewer votes than VOX. Thanks to this, both the left and the right have often needed their votes to govern. In return, they have given them more and more power, starting with education. In Spain we do not have one united educational model, we have 17. When a region is in the hands of those who intend to destroy your country, it is easy to imagine what kind of education they are teaching. The only way to reverse the current situation in Catalonia is to return that power, starting with education, to the State. VOX believes that the law must re-prevail in Catalonia, and it is true. Currently, judicial decisions are not followed, Catalan embassies are created to attack Spain paid with state money, attempts are being made to prevent children from speaking Spanish in schools, etc. It is a real madness. Some people responsible for the illegal referendum are in jail awaiting sentencing, yes, but the root of the problem has not really been intervened. An example, in Tarrasa, Barcelona, an independentist teacher assaulted and taught a ten-year-old girl for painting in her notebook a flag of Spain. What have been the consequences? None, despite the scandal, the teacher is still working and has been defended by the Catalan government.
Spain needs to be present in Catalonia. VOX is needed.