Lenin in Spain

"Vladimir Putin's war of invasion of Ukraine has reminded me of another president of Russia, in this case Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, who still has statues and memorial plaques all over the Eurasian country. Founder of the Soviet Union, bloodthirsty revolutionary leader, creator of the political police and selective extermination, his figure is still amazingly praised by many people. And, already among us, his nefarious influence in Spain leaves a long historical list of admirers: from several important socialists of the II Spanish Republic to the current 2nd Vice-president of the Government."

April 27, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes
lenin in Spain

On April 22, 1870 was born in the city of Simbirsk, 893 km from Moscow, the man who would be known worldwide as Lenin. A few decades later, he died at the age of 53, leaving behind him a legendary story, well exploited and spread by his successor Stalin and his followers. The legend tried and still tries to hide an effective criminal work that would spread throughout many countries of the world, without exception to ours.

Today, his figure is still present in the streets and buildings of Moscow and in cities all over Russia. Thousands of tourists, driven by curiosity or admiration, continue to flock to the mausoleum in Red Square that houses his mummy. Nearby you can also see the Rolls Royce he used when he came to power. Today's Russia, the homeland of Dostoevsky and of so many other illustrious Russians of history to honor, does not find the time to bury the old Bolshevik definitively and seems to continue now under his sinister influence. 

Only a misunderstood Russian patriotism, which cannot ignore the historical importance of the character, can allow such a tribute to the person directly and indirectly responsible for so many millions of deaths. The communist propaganda has managed to cover with a heroic halo the man who, perhaps initially resentful of the execution of his brother by order of the Czar, shed and caused to be shed so much blood in his land and in half the world.

It is well known that Lenin could not support himself before 1917. He was supported by his mother who periodically sent him money. He failed as a lawyer in St. Petersburg and refused to work in the countryside. His mother and sister spoiled him, and he treated them with contempt afterwards, in a profoundly chauvinistic manner. He maintained a regrettable love triangle between his wife Nadezhda and his French mistress, Inessa Armand, thanks to the apartment Lenin rented in Paris with money lent by his mother. 

It was a "petty bourgeois"like many historical revolutionaries, from Marx to Che Guevara. A man without scruples who based his control over the people on terror. The selective extermination, the liquidation of monarchists, Christians, Jews, bourgeois, democrats, social democrats and anyone who did not obey the only leader, began with Lenin. He used the Russian civil war to liquidate his "class enemies" and political adversaries, between the coup d'état of January 1918, when he dissolved the Constituent Assembly after an election that he lost, and the end of 1922. 

He created the political police (the one in which a young Putin would come to work years later), the concentration, labor and extermination camps later copied by the National Socialists, and initiated terror as a form of government. In a telegram, dated August 10, 1918, although unfortunately not out of date, Lenin ordered: "It is necessary to give a lesson. Hang (and I say hang in such a way that people will see it) at least a hundred kulaks, rich and known bloodsuckers (...). Do this in such a way that for hundreds of leagues around people will see, tremble, know and say: they kill and will continue to kill". By the way, at that time his cook was the grandfather of the current President Putin.

Although so many years have passed since his death, even today in Spain his life is not completely alien to us. Since the beginning of his revolution, to which he devoted his entire life at the beginning of the last century, there has been no lack of admirers of the dictator in our country. His influence is evident in various phases of our history.  

It is famous the anecdote of the trip made in 1920 by the socialist deputy for Granada Fernando de los Ríos to the Soviet Union commissioned by the PSOE. Together with Daniel Anguiano, the purpose of the trip was to see the possibilities of the party joining the Third International. During his interview with Lenin, De los Ríos asked him when his government would allow the freedom of citizens. According to De los Ríos' account, Lenin would have finished off a lengthy answer by questioning "Freedom for what?".

The later Minister of Justice of the Second Spanish Republic would have deduced from this answer that a totalitarian drift of the Soviet Revolution would take place, as it did. For this reason, at the next extraordinary congress of the PSOE, De los Ríos opposed the party's entry into the aforementioned International. This would provoke the subsequent split of a small sector of the party that would found the Communist Party of Spain.

Perhaps less well known is Lenin's idea that Spain was the country in Europe where the communist revolution could triumph first after Russia. The well-known socialist politician Francisco Largo Caballero, who became President of the Government and who has a statue in the Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid, openly preached the need for revolution in Spain and was soon known as the "Spanish Lenin". His dream was to create the Union of Iberian Socialist Republics. 

Of course, the leaders of the Soviet Union spared no resources of all kinds since then so that Spain would become a communist Republic as so many countries east of the Iron Curtain became years later. The defeat of the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War would frustrate the well-known project of implanting the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country, giving way to the Franco regime.

Today, the 2nd Vice-President of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has expressed on several occasions her pride in belonging to the Communist Party of Spain. May she read and reflect on Lenin's influence on the history of our country and follow the example of other left-wing politicians of a more peaceful and constructive disposition, such as Julián Besteiro. And let us hope that Russia manages to get rid once and for all of that already too long tradition of "strong" and bloodthirsty leaders.

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