Stories

In Spain, Franco's dictatorship is still no laughing matter

Barcelona, Spain Politics, Cultural April 9 @ 3:37pm

Two instances of lawsuits against jokes targeting Franco's dictatorship are forcing Spanish society to reexamine its relationship with the past.

First, the case of Cassandra, a young woman who was sentenced to a year in prison for publishing a series of tweets making fun of Carrero Blanco, a top ranking official in Franco's regime. Carrero Blanco was set to be the dictator's successor up until he was killed by the terrorist group ETA in a flamboyant attack: a bomb in his vehicle went off and the car ended up on a building's rooftop. Cassandra published 13 humorous tweets like: "Kissinger gave Carrero Blanco a piece of the moon, but ETA paid him a trip there".

The second case is that of Dani Mateo, a well-known comedian who, while on air at the late night show "El Intermedio", made fun of a huge Catholic cross at the "Valle de los caídos" (Franco's tomb and a standing monument built by the dictatorship). He called the cross "horrendous" and "shit". A foundation that vindicates Franco's dictatorship has filed a complaint against the comedian, which the judge has accepted.

These two events are forcing Spanish society to reexamine the legacy of the dictatorship. Some are pointing out at similar jokes made during the 80's, right after the dictatorship, that were never prosecuted.
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