Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The Spanish parliament has approved a bill that will formally condemn the 40 year dictatorship of Francisco Franco and all the executions and imprisonments that occured under Franco's rule. This bill declares General Franco's military trials and the resulting executions and imprisonments as illegitamate and requires that all statues, plaques and symbols of Franco's rule should be removed from all public buildings. The conservative opposition has decried this bill for reopening old wounds and trying to divide Spaniards. This bill, which is being called the Law of Historical Memory, has yet to pass in the Spanish senate but it is believed that the bill most likely will be passed by the senate. This bill would also call for the government to fund efforts to try locate and dig up mass graves of victims from the Spanish Civil War. It seems ridiculous that the government wants legally condemn the Franco government when there are plenty of other human rights abuses that have occured in Spanish history, including the murder of countless thousands of political opponents and religious individuals by the previous democratic Spanish Republican government that Franco overthrew. Is it right to condemn one side in a war where both sides were clearly commiting war crimes? Was the Franco Government truely illegitmate? Its one thing to condemn human rights violations of the past but why should we try to supress our history and waste government money on trying to find mass graves that are well over 70 years old, if those graves even do exist to the extent which historians claim?