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Spain, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and conclusion.

IN view of the extreme positions and savage hatreds engendered with fearful inevitability by the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, the story of the development of relations between Spain and the Eastern bloc is, at first sight, little short of miraculous, at least in certain of its aspects.

From 1939 to 1947 Franco Spain was seen both by the Western Powers and the Soviet Union as more or less Hitlerite, while, in turn, Franco looked upon the Soviet Union as the seat of Antichrist and the Western Democracies as hostile degenerates: the USSR was an evil empire, and Britain and the United States constituted an equally evil imperialist or colonial web.

The decade of 1948 to 1958 saw the continuation of mutual verbal attacks between the Franco and Soviet Governments. Yet, at the same time, secret commercial and cultural links were gradually forged; little by little, pragmatic, economic considerations took precedence over ideology. As Spanish has it, poderoso caballero es don Dinero -- Mr. Moneybags packs a hefty punch.

Not surprisingly, the 1953 Spanish-US Accords spread alarm in Moscow, where it was felt necessary to engage in some countervailing wooing of Spain. The upshot was an agreement between Molotov and Dulles to the effect that Spain should become a member of the United Nations Organization, which she did in 1955.

Between 1960 and 1976 diplomatic relations with all the Eastern bloc countries, except the Soviet Union and Albania, were resumed, and numerous trade and cultural missions visited Spain from Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary. However, the Soviet Union, too, continued unobtrusively to draw nearer and nearer to a diplomatic accommodation with the Franco State; the days of crude falangista anti-communism and vociferous Soviet detestation of Francoism were passed. Meanwhile, paradoxically, the Spanish Communist Party, having denounced Russian intervention in Czechoslovakia, embraced Eurocommunism and was at longer-heads with Moscow.

In 1972 regular air services came into operation between Madrid and the Soviet capital, and in 1973 diplomatic relations were set up between Spain and East Germany, to be followed by the same full formal link between Spain and the Soviet Union itself in 1977. Spain, the Soviet Union, the EEC, NATO and oil

The Soviet Union was anxious to persuade Spain to stay out of the EEC and NATO, but, as the seventies rolled by. the Russians became resigned to something that was increasingly inevitable, consoling themselves with the hope that there might be advantages for them in Spanish membership of the organizations in question: as she became more European and so more sure of herself, Spain might well develop a greater tendency to assert her independence vis-a-vis the United States. It must, therefore, have given Moscow some satisfaction that, in the seventies and eighties, Spain sought Russian and Latin-American oil supplies in order to gain independence from both the US and the Arabs -- considering Spain's special relationship with the Arab countries, the latter were not always as obliging in the matter of oil and its price as might have been expected. long Juan Carlos, Spanish models and the Eastern bloc

In 1984 King Juan Carlos paid an epoch-making visit to the Soviet Union, and President Chernenko praised Spain for its ban on nuclear weapons.

At one time the Shah of Iran looked to the model of Don Juan Carlos and the Spanish |Transition' as a possible cure for his ills and those of his country. In Latin America, as we have seen, democratic movements everywhere have drawn encouragement from that model, and, recently, delegations from Eastern Europe have come to Madrid to see what lessons they, too, may glean from it. In this connexion the French scholar Guy Hermet gave a significant title to an article published in Revue Commentaire in 1990: La democratisation a l'amiable: de l'Espagne a la Pologne/Democratisation by (more or less amicable) agreement -- from Spain to Poland. In short, Spain has turned her smooth or |velvet' transicion into an invisible export of incalculable influence. It might almost be said that, having successfully done it her way, it was, in fact, Spain that invented the |Sinatra Doctrine'.

Parallels have been drawn, also, between the two failed coups of February 1981, in Spain, and August 1991, in Russia -- between what Spaniards know as the 23F or tejerazo, designed to end the Spanish democracy, on the one hand, and the 19A, intended to topple Gorbachev, on the other. It is interesting to observe that the Spanish government was the first to consider the events of 19th August as an attempted coup and officially to denounce them as such. It is also worthy of note that, as long ago as 1967, the renowned Spanish intellectual Salvador de Madariaga, speaking in Oxford, declared that the road to peace in Europe would have to be paved with stones torn from the Berlin Wall, and that the terms apertura and aperturismo/|opening up', |liberalisation' were Spanish forerunners of the Russian glasnost.


Since the advent of democracy the King and Queen of Spain and Spanish ministers have travelled the length and breadth of the globe, visiting superpowers, middle powers and nations of the Third World. The faces of Don Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Adolfo Suarez and Felipe Gonzalez have become almost as well known internationally as those of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Chancellor Kohl and President Mitterrand. Where Douglas Hurd went Francisco Fernandez Ordonez was never far behind. Spain is at the United Nations, in the EC, in NATO, in the WEU. She has held the Presidency of the Community and of the Council of Europe.

Not long before his recent premature death Fernandez Ordonez said |Veo donde esta Espana, y la veo donde siempre quise que estuviera'/|I see where Spain stands today, and I see her where I always wanted her to be', while his predecessor as Foreign Minister, Fernando Moran, says in a recent book |Espana esta en su sitio'/|Spain is in her rightful place among |the nations' -- Spain has returned to the fold; she has come in from the cold.

NOTE: The author wishes to express his debt to Ms. Karin von Hippel for the application, in the first of these articles, of the concept of |sunk cost-effect' to the issue of Gibraltar and Ceuta/Melilla.

Anthony Gooch is Director of Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics. In 1986 King Juan Carlos conferred on him La Encomienda de la Orden del Merito Civil.
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Title Annotation:The Foreign Relations and Foreign Policy of Spain: A Survey for 1992, part 5
Author:Gooch, Anthony
Publication:Contemporary Review
Date:Nov 1, 1992
Previous Article:Science, the greens and the environment.
Next Article:Rewriting Vichy after fifty years.

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