The leaders of the Spanish extreme right party Vox are trying to create a platform of conservative leaders in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The so-called Forum of Madrid is an international alliance “to stop the advance of communism in the Iberosphere”, stated in the foundational charter.
Its most recent movement took place at the beginning of this month, the 3rd of September, when the alliance was defended by Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox en México. Received the support of 15 senators and three members of the traditional National Action Party (PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who promise to found a Mexican Vox in a near future.
The bloque, which seeks to oppose the Forum of San Pablo and the Puebla Group — articulations of former presidents, parties and social movements in 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 Charter of Madrid, signed by extremely right-wing politicians from Europe and Latin America, such as federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP); Federal Deputy Bia Kicis (PSL-RJ); Arturo Murillo, ex-minister of the government of Bolivia, imprisoned in the United States; Antonio Ledezma, exalcalde of Caracas and one of the protagonists of the 2002 coup against Hugo Chávez; María Corina Machado, one of the organizers of Venezuelan guarimbas, violent acts of opposition; and Rafael López Aliaga, ex-candidate of extreme right to the presidency of Peru.
The document was presented by leaders of Vox in Ecuador, during the taking of posession of current president Guillermo Lasso, and in Peru, during the last presidential elections with Keiko Fujimori. In August, the group studied 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 Fundación Disenso, a nucleus of conservative intellectuals. The Euro-deputy 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 fight against narcocommunism, in countries like Peru and Bolivia. Cuba is la cabeza de la serpiente” , declared.
In Brazil, the federal deputy and the hijo of the president, Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP), has made a public statement in support of the Madrid Forum and even stated that he could help in the dialogue with the Argentinean decision, in order to be 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 drivers of the new initiative for the fight.
A brief retrospective shows that the roots of the articulation led by the Spaniards emerged at a meeting in the United States.
In 2019, the international political representative of the Vox party, 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 Vice President Mike Pence.
In 2020, the secretary of international relations of Vox and the president of the party, Santiago Abascal, returned to the United States in February to learn about the operation of several think tanks and participate in a new edition of CPAC. At this meeting, Spanish Eurodeputy Herman Tertsch and Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro were present.
The first edition of CPAC with headquarters in Brazil took place on the 3rd of September, organized by Eduardo Bolsonaro in Brasilia and counted with the presence of several characters of the extreme American right, in addition to an online conference with Donald Trump Jr.
This same day, the leaders of Vox will present the “Foro de Madrid” in Mexico.
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The Bannon connection
The links between the extreme Spanish and Latin American defense and the most conservative sector of American politics go back a little longer.
Both Vox supporters and the Bolsonaro family met several times in public with Steve Bannon, former campaign strategist for Trump in 2016, creator of the Human Dignity Institute, a kind of conservation school in Italy and promoter of an extreme defense alliance worldwide.
There are indications that Bannon collaborated with Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign in 2018 and recently stated that he was willing to cooperate again with the current president in 2022.
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Steve Bannon was one of the protagonists of the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a company that sold personal data of users British in favor of the campaign for the sale of the United Kingdom of the Union Europea (Brexit). In August, he was arrested in the United States, accused of fraud and embezzlement of 1 million dollars from the fund of the campaign to build the wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
In Brazil, the Bolsonaro-Mourão formula could be overturned by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) for spreading false news and illegal use of data to record telephone lines used to send out massive messages.
The trace of Bannon in the Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro and Vox campaigns is also evident in the slogans. Just as Trump deciced “America First”, Vox also uses the motto “¡Los españoles first!”, which Bolsonaro adapted to “Brazil above all”.
Edition: Arturo Hartmann