v· Falangism in Latin America has been a feature of political life since the 1930s as movements looked to the national syndicalistCatholicfascism of the Spanish State and sought to apply it to other Spanish-speaking countries. The term Falangism should not be applied to the military dictatorships of such figures as Alfredo Stroessner, Augusto Pinochet and Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, because while these individuals often enjoyed close relations to Franco's Spain, their military nature and frequent lack of commitment to national syndicalism and the corporate state mean that they should not be classed as Falangist (although individuals within each regime may have been predisposed towards the ideology). The phenomenon can be seen in a number of movements both past and present.
Juan Perón built his power base on his alliance with trade unions in Argentina, many of whom supported syndicalism whilst his government would go on to maintain links with Francisco Franco. However Falangism in the country was largely ill at ease with Peronism until the emergence of the Tacuara Nationalist Movement in the 1960s. This violent movement, who looked to José Antonio Primo de Rivera for their inspiration, linked itself to Perón although they went into decline following a government crackdown on their activity. This group, inspired by the works of Julio Meinvielle.
Elsewhere both Manuel Gálvez and Juan Carulla endorsed Hispanidad and in doing so expressed strong admiration for Falangism, especially Carulla.
A group called the Falange Auténtica is currently active although it identifies more with the left wing of Peronism.
A breakaway group known as the Movimiento al Socialismo - Unzaguista emerged in 1987 under David Añez Pedraza. Representing a more left wing take on Bolivian Falangism it became moribund before the title, rather than ideology, was effectively appropriated by Evo Morales in 1999 to form the basis of his leftist Movement for Socialism.
A revivalist group, Frente Socialista de Naciones Bolivianas, was formed by Horacio Poppe in 2000 and they have since emerged as the Falange Neounzaguista, otherwise known as the 'Whiteshirts'. Taking their name from Óscar Únzaga, they have led a recruitment drive in Bolivian universities, although they remain a minor force.
In 1935 a group of social-Christians split from the Conservative Party to form the Falange Nacional, which for a time brought Falangism to Chile. However the movement would later support the leftist administration of Juan Antonio Ríos and in 1957 was one of the founding groups of the Christian Democrat Party of Chile. Despite its name this group was largely made up of liberal Catholics and bore little resemblance to Spanish Falangism.
A more avowedly Falangist group, Movimiento Revolucionario Nacional Sindicalista (Revolutionay National Syndicalist Movement), would appear in 1952, although it did not achieve the influence of the Falange Nacional. The name has proven durable however as it still organises to this day, albeit on a very minor level. They also organise a youth movement, Guardia Revolucionaria Nacionalsindicalista.
During the 1930s future President of ColombiaLaureano Gómez became an enthusiastic supporter of Falangism, although this fervour had died down somewhat by the time he took power in 1950. Nevertheless a Falangist group was active in the country during the 1940s.
A current group exists, the Falange Nacional Patriótica de Colombia, which claims to be active in the National University of Colombia. Recently they changed their name to Frente Obrero Social Patriota
A minor Cuban Falangist movement existed from 1936 to 1940 under Antonio Avendaño and Alfonso Serrano Vilariño. This group was effectively ended by a law which barred political groups from making specific reference to the policies of foreign groups.
Although the government of Fulgencio Batista maintained good relations with Franco it was not Falangist and the only real manifestation of Falangism since 1940 was with the minuscule (and probably defunct) La Falange Cubana.
A group known as the Alianza Revolucionaria Nacionalista Ecuatoriana appeared in 1948, drawing its influences directly from Falangism and synarchism. Under Jorge Luna they recruited followers from the young upper middle classes and adopted a platform of Christianity, nationalism and anti-communism. Ultimately, however, the group became more of a street fighting army in support of José María Velasco Ibarra than a serious political movement.
A fringe tendency towards Falangism continues in the Falange Nacional Garciana Ecuatoriana, said to be a newly formed group.
Mexican synarchism, which combined Catholicism with Anti-communism, bore some of the hallmarks of Falangism and looked to Franco (amongst others) for inspiration. Its political representatives, the National Synarchist Union, became influential during the late 1930s.
Alongside this indigenous variation a wholly mimetic group, the Falange Española Tradicionalista was formed in the country by Spanish merchants based there who opposed the consistent support given to the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War by Lázaro Cárdenas. The group neither sought nor had influence outside this immigrant population, however.
Mexican far right groups often emphasise Orgullo Criollo (Creole Pride), which underlines the celebration of their links to Spain and the Hispanidad culture.
Falangist influence was felt in the country during the later 1930s, particularly in the Colegio Centro América in Managua where the ideology was widespread. Such activity was suppressed after 1941 however as Nicaragua took a decidedly pro-USA line after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Around the time of the Spanish Civil War the Falange was heavily active amongst the 8000 or so Spanish citizens on the island, with an official branch of the Falange organised in San Juan. This group officially disavowed any involvement in local politics, although it was scrutinised closely by the FBI during the Second World War.
Two very minor Falangist groups have been active in the drive for Puerto Rican independence. The first of these was the Falange Boricua who have claimed that they were banned on 7th May 2000 after leader Walter Lozano was arrested attempting to blockade US military bases on the island. They have since been refounded as the Movimento Nacional Sindicalista de Puerto Rico.
Enrique Parra Bozo, who was noted for his admiration of Franco as well as his Catholicism and anti-communism, led the Partido Auténtico Nacionalista along Falangist lines. The group lent its support to the military regime of Marcos Pérez Jiménez and even attempted, unsuccessfully, to nominate him as their candidate for the 1963 Presidential election.
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