The leaders of the far-right Spanish party Vox are trying to create a platform of conservative leaders in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The so-called Madrid Forum is an international alliance “to stop the advance of communism in the Iberosphere”, they say in the founding letter.
His most recent move came earlier this month, on September 3, when the alliance was defended by Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox in Mexico. He has received support from 15 senators and three congressmen from the traditional National Action Party (PAN) and Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who promise to found a Mexican Vox in the near future.
The bloc, which seeks to oppose the Forum of São Paulo and the Puebla Group, articulations of former presidents, parties and social movements from the progressive and popular fields, will have annual meetings and a permanent management structure.
The proposal emerged in October 2020, with the publication of the Madrid Charter, signed by far-right politicians from Europe and Latin America, such as federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP); Federal Deputy Bia Kicis (PSL-RJ); Arturo Murillo, former Bolivian government minister, imprisoned in the United States; Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas and one of the protagonists of the 2002 coup against Hugo Chávez; Maria Corina Machado, one of the organizers of the Venezuelan guarimbas – opposing violent acts; and Rafael López Aliaga, former far-right candidate for the presidency of Peru.
The document has already been presented by Vox leaders in Ecuador, during the inauguration of current President Guillermo Lasso, and in Peru, during the last presidential elections alongside Keiko Fujimori. In August, the group was in Colombia with supporters of the Democratic Center.
Today the Charter of Madrid with Santiago Abascal is signed in the Senate of the Republic.
Let’s go for the defense of democracy, freedom and private property. pic.twitter.com/9zy3IyVTkJ
— Julen Rementeria (@julenrementeria) September 2, 2021
In addition to the initiative, the Spanish party also created the Disenso Foundation, a nucleus of conservative intellectuals. The MEP for Vox and president of the organization Hermann Tertsch, in interviews with Spanish local media, stated that the Foundation “seeks to strengthen alliances with democrats who are fighting narcocommunism in countries like Peru and Bolivia. Cuba is the snake’s head”, declared.
In Brazil, the federal deputy and son of the president, Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP), has already publicly demonstrated in support of the Madrid Forum and even stated that he could help to dialogue with the Argentine right, after being invited to participate in CPAC Argentina .
In Chile, the founder of the Chilean Republican Party, José Antonio Kast, defender of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, would be one of the promoters of the new right-wing initiative.
A brief retrospective shows that the roots of the articulation led by the Spaniards arose in a meeting in the United States.
In 2019, the Vox party’s international policy representative, Espinosa de los Monteros, participated in the Conference on Conservative Action in Politics (CPAC) in the United States, with the presence of then-president Donald Trump and his deputy, Mike Pence
In 2020, Vox’s international relations secretary and the party’s president, Santiago Abascal, returned to the United States in February to learn about the functioning of several think tanks (“Tanks of Thought”) and participate in a new edition of CPAC. At this meeting, the Spanish MEP Herman Terstch and the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro were present.
The first edition of CPAC based in Brazil, took place on September 3, organized by Eduardo Bolsonaro in Brasília and was attended by several characters from the US extreme right, in addition to an online conference with Donald Trump Jr.
On the same date, the leaders of Vox presented the “Forum de Madrid” in Mexico.
Find out more: CPAC Brasil: event has dances, threats to the Supreme Court and a kiss with Michelle in “heats up” for the 7th
The Bannon Connection
The links between the Spanish and Latin American extreme right and the more conservative sector of US politics go back even further.
Both Vox supporters and the Bolsonaro family met several times in public with Steve Bannon, former strategist of Trump’s campaign in 2016, creator of the Human Dignity Institute, a kind of conservatism school in Italy, and promoter of an alliance of the far right at the world level.
There are indications that Bannon would have collaborated with Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign in 2018 and recently declared that he was prepared to cooperate again with the current president in 2022.
Read also: Bannon met with Eduardo Bolsonaro and will get his hands dirty in 2022, says columnist
Steve Bannon was one of the protagonists of the scandal at Cambridge Analytica, a company that sold personal data of British users in favor of the campaign for the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). In August, he was arrested in the US, accused of fraud and embezzling $1 million (about R$5 million) of campaign funds to build the wall on the US-Mexico border.
In Brazil, the Bolsonaro-Mourão ticket may be impeached by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) for disseminating false news and illegally using data to record telephone lines used to fire mass messages.
Bannon’s trail in the Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro and Vox campaigns is also evident in the slogans. Just as Trump spoke in “America First”, Vox also uses the slogan “¡Los españoles primero!”, which Bolsonaro adapted for “Brazil above all”.
Edition: Arturo Hartmann