A morte de Franco e do franquismo nos relatórios da embaixada portuguesa em Madrid

Translated title of the contribution: The death of Franco and of Francoism in the Portuguese diplomatic reports from Madrid

Research output: Working paper



General Francisco Franco, the long-standing Caudillo who had governed the Spanish dictatorial regime since 1939, died in Madrid on 20 November 1975, paving the way for the Transición towards democracy, within a broader and unfolding Iberian political process which had been ignited earlier by the Portuguese anti-dictatorial coup d’état and ensuing revolutionary period (1974-1975). The aim of this text is to analyze how Franco’s death and, broadly, its political contour in Spain, were received in neighbouring Portugal, by scrutinizing the content of diplomatic reports sent to Lisbon by the Portuguese embassy in Madrid in the last months of 1975. The analysis of the Portuguese ambassador’s narrative allows for a twofold argument. Firstly, that Franco’s death was, by late 1975, an inevitability waiting to happen, given his severe health condition, which somehow transformed that fact into an uneventful occurrence. Secondly, that Franco’s physical disappearance was but part and play of a larger process, connecting the political decay of Francoism and the ideological waning of the last francoists, as shown by the first steps of Juan Carlos I coming (democratic) monarchy. In the conclusion, the text purports that, within the broader interdependences between the two Iberian countries, the death of Franco seems to have had little direct influence on the taming of Portuguese political radicalism, attained through the pro-moderate military operation of 25 November 1975 in Lisbon, despite the convergence that both events had in fostering the democratic path followed both by Madrid and Lisbon after the end of that year. Therefore, rather than the almost simultaneous occurrence of the two facts, it was the convergence consequences of them both for the democratization of the Peninsula that which Iberian history and politics should remember.
Translated title of the contributionThe death of Franco and of Francoism in the Portuguese diplomatic reports from Madrid
Original languagePortuguese
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Francisco Franco
  • Francoism
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Diplomacy
  • Revolution
  • Transition
  • Democracy


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