Dimitrije MATIĆ

Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, Beograd



The role of the Communist party of Spain in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belgrade and Madrid after the death of Franco 


Abstract: This article analyzes the influence of the Communist Party of Spain on the development of bilateral relations between Yugoslavia and Spain until the official establishment of diplomatic relations in January 1977, with an important emphasis on the period after the death of Francisco Franco. Besides researching the cooperation of Yugoslav and Spanish communists on these matters, the paper examines the specific international circumstances and interests of the great powers in the context of Yugoslav-Spanish rapprochement. 


Key words: Yugoslavia, Spain, Communist Party of Spain, League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Santiago Carrillo, Euro communism, Yugoslav-Spanish relations, international relations 


Summary: Ideological development of the Communist Party of Spain and its independence from the Moscow center directly led to the party strengthening its ties with Yugoslavia. During the 1970s, the relations between Yugoslav and Spanish communists became closer, which allowed Secretary-General Santiago Carrillo and his closest associates to obtain a certain degree of influence over the process of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belgrade and Madrid, especially between 1975 and 1977. The death of Franco marked the beginning of the Spanish transition to democracy, which was further accelerated when Adolfo Suárez became the prime minister in July 1976. This change was greeted by both Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Spain. However, the speed and manner of Spanish-Yugoslav rapprochement produced certain disputes between the two friendly parties in December 1976. Not wanting to deepen the conflict with Yugoslav officials and understanding the greater relevance of bilateral relations over party affairs, the Spanish communists eventually supported the establishment of official relations between Yugoslavia and Spain, which was finalized in January 1977. The politics of the great powers and the countries of the European West and East also played an important role in these processes. Such external factors had to be taken into consideration before making any new decisions by Madrid, Belgrade or the Communist Party of Spain.