• Exhumation. The protests of the Franco enclosed in Mingorrubio: "Who are you to forbid us to leave, this is a dictatorship!"
  • The last part: Francisco Franco leaves the Valley of the Fallen

A bunch of older Francoists, barely a dozen men and women in coats and without flags, have accompanied Francisco Franco in his new grave when 44 years of his death are completed. In his first 20-N outside the Valley of the Fallen, the dictator has not found the announced collective warmth of the Francoists, but the prayer of a handful of people paid to the nostalgia of his regime, the visit of a great-grandson and the words fighters of the president of the Foundation that bears his name.

"We will continue to defend Franco's legacy even from the catacombs." It is Juan Chicharro , the most visible face of a Foundation that has lived for many years with public subsidies and that could have its days counted if Pedro Sánchez's promise on his illegalization is fulfilled. "Well, if you want to outlaw us, this liberticidal government will have to reform the Constitution ."

Chicharro has placed himself before the pantheon where the remains of Francisco Franco and Carmen Polo rest and has summed up without batting the entire verbal arsenal against the Government. "We come from the mass in the Valley of the Fallen and we are outraged. What has been done with Francisco Franco is a desecration. His legacy is a general interest for the Spaniards and we are going to defend it."

And there it has reached "the catacombs".

It has happened in the cemetery of Mingorrubio, where the remains of the dictator are buried since October 24 after being exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen. Traditionalist Catholic movements had announced a rally this afternoon from Cuelgamuros , but the pilgrimage has stayed in a couple of cars with the dome of the Franco Foundation and the only family representative: the great-grandson Francisco Franco Suelves , so elusive with the press at the entrance of the cemetery as at the exit.

His presence has been indispensable for the members of the Foundation to enter the crypt, where they have placed a wreath and celebrated a brief prayer.

"I come to pray for Spain," said Maria Dolores Basallo , who had been standing for a couple of hours around the pantheon. Together with Jaime Ortiz and the former member of Franco's bodyguard, Agustín Moradillo , the woman has formed a gathering that radiographs this 20-N solitude in the cemetery.

- Franco did a lot for Spain. He should have stayed in the Valley.

- Yes, there were people from both sides, who have all suffered. They always taught me that it was a monument to reconciliation.

- Nothing, nothing, this has been electoral. It is a matter of hate.

During the morning, someone came to the door of the pantheon to place some flowers. A couple of men, who spoke Catalan among themselves, have placed a large bouquet wrapped in the flag of Spain on the glass facade of the crypt. When they retired they have shouted Up Spain! and when television journalists have tried to talk to them, they have been expeditious: "No to the press, you are traitors!"

The morning of 20-N has been here as gray as the sky, a kind of journalistic expectation and popular disdain. Except for the cameras, the police and a nostalgia for a minority, nothing in Mingorrubio has made us think it was 20-N.

However, the afternoon at El Pardo could be something else. The Archbishop of Madrid has authorized a mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception of El Pardo requested by the most immobilistic Catholic sectors and in which exaltations of Francoism could occur, as has happened in other years. Chicharro: "We had to beg for a church to be able to celebrate a Mass for a Christian. The archbishopric offered us one, but it was a parish for a capacity of 200 people and that is very little."

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  • Francisco Franco Bahamonde
  • Historical memory
  • Valley of the Fallen
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • Madrid
  • 20-N