The secrets and techniques about Franco’s ending hidden within the Nixon tapes

EL PAÍS gives the complete transcription of the White Home recordings on the tip of the Franco regime and the succession

Within the early Nineteen Seventies, the Administration of US President Richard Nixon was involved about the way forward for Spain. They had been involved concerning the poor well being of Normal Franco and thought that his demise may deliver instability to a rustic that they wanted to take care of their navy bases and their corporations. The Mediterranean had turn out to be a disputed space with the communists and the Individuals had a agency ally in Spain.

Nixon’s concern made him have all of the diplomatic equipment to strengthen ties with the protagonists of the late Franco regime and even set up secret missions to acquire info.

The vicissitudes of that relationship between america and Spain had been recorded within the recording system that the president had put in within the Oval Workplace of the White Home and within the audio diary of a member of his employees. These audios are within the Nixon Presidential Library they usually have been absolutely transcribed and translated for the primary time for the elaboration of XRey, a podcast concerning the lifetime of King Juan Carlos that’s broadcast on Spotify.

EL PAÍS now publishes them in full.

Richard Nixon returned from his go to to Madrid in October 1970 with combined emotions. On the one hand, the welcome from the individuals of Madrid had stunned him: the residents had taken to the streets and applauded him continuous on the journey that had taken him in an open automotive with the dictator from the airport to the Palacio del Pardo, on the outskirts of the capital. The reception could have been even higher than that given to President Eisenhower in 1959, Franco advised him. He had additionally had a fruitful assembly with Vice President Luis Carrero Blanco and had met Prince Juan Carlos, who had made an excellent impression on him due to his data of English.

As a substitute, the encounter with Franco had induced her concern. He admired the dictator for his deep convictions and his management, however the caudillo had fallen asleep within the automotive and hadn’t been very talkative. Nor on the dinner afterward, whose silence was corrected by International Minister Gregorio López Bravo, one of many few who spoke English.

Franco’s well being appeared worse than the studies stated. That left too many questions on the way forward for Spain within the air. The person Franco appointed to succeed him was Juan Carlos de Borbón, however he nonetheless appeared too inexperienced to interchange him. A second particular person was additionally wanted to take over the reins of the Authorities and keep away from, above all, instability within the nation. Admiral Carrero and Minister López Bravo appeared the most effective positioned within the race for energy. What had been Franco’s plans?

On January 26, 1971, Bob The Brush Haldeman, nicknamed for his brushed hair, stood in entrance of the tape recorder after an intense day at work. Nixon’s chief of employees had taken up the behavior from the primary days of his tenure, two days earlier than he President was sworn in earlier than Choose Earl Warren on January 20, 1969. Recording his voice helped him set up his concepts, overview the president’s agenda, and keep in mind what occurred at every assembly of the employees. That Tuesday in early 1971, Haldeman recorded the go to of the Princes of Spain. He didn’t say a lot about what occurred on that day, however he did report that the go to had been essential to Nixon.

The assembly was essential, however not very enlightening. Nixon met with Prince Juan Carlos within the Oval Workplace, however the Prince didn’t appear very comfy. The presence of Ambassador Argüelles prevented him from expressing his plans for the long run calmly. The assembly didn’t clear up many doubts about what would occur after Franco’s demise. Nixon tried to persuade the Prince of the necessity to keep a stability between freedom and order and requested the Prince to not be “overly involved with presenting a too liberal or reformist picture, however with underlining his youth, dynamism and friendliness.” That was sufficient to ship the message that issues would change when he was in command. At present we all know the content material of those interviews from some paperwork and research on the topic. There have been nonetheless about 20 days to go earlier than microphones had been put in on the White Home.

Nixon and his Nationwide Safety adviser, Henry Kissinger, confirmed in Washington the great impression that they had manufactured from Juan Carlos on the Madrid assembly, however they nonetheless thought he was inexperienced “to run the fort.” They wanted info and the one one who may inform them what was going to occur in Spain was Franco himself.

On February 6, 1971, Bob Haldeman returned to face the tape recorder and thus summed up his considerations and Nixon’s plans.

It was not nearly asking the dictator to elucidate what the way forward for Spain was going to be, however about making him see that the most effective factor can be handy over energy whereas nonetheless alive earlier than his well being deteriorated and thus keep away from the instability that america feared. It was essential to maneuver shortly, appoint a powerful Prime Minister and hand over a brand new head of state, Juan Carlos, to energy. “If not,” stated Haldeman, “there can be anarchy in Spain.”


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