A Conversation with Member of the Andalusian Parliament Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes
In Spain – much like in a number of other countries in Europe – there has been a rise in populist civic-right political parties. One in particular, called Vox*, has enjoyed a significant rise in popularity in recent years. Vox is not only represented by numerous members in Spanish parliaments from the local, regional and national levels, but it also has representatives in the European Parliament. However, there exists a number of Spanish nationalists – who are not of the civic-right ideological persuasion – who have criticised Vox´s failure in fully becoming a steadfast political opposition to the ruling status quo in Spain.
In this regard, presented here is a recent conversation between Europa Terra Nostra author Sascha Roßmüller and Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes, Member of the Andalusian Parliament who had left Vox in order to join the nationalist Falange**.
ETN: Mrs. Fernándes, you are a member of the Parliament in Andalusia, elected as a candidate of Vox. However, in the meanwhile, you changed your party affiliation to the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (JONS). I´d say a clear decision towards a nationalist attitude. Has there been some particular trigger that incited you to this step, especially given the fact that this could probably diminish your parliamentarian influence?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: There was undoubtedly a disagreement with the regional management of VOX over the way in which the parliamentary group was working, but there was also a great disappointment regarding the defence of fundamental principles. VOX brought together many of us who think that a global alternative to the system is necessary, and we were very disappointed that it limited itself to supporting the old conservative parties without demanding anything in return. After two years of supporting Andalusia's regional government, there has been no change in the way the problem of immigration has been dealt with, nor in defence of the right to life, nor in gender policies. Everything remains the same.
ETN: Please can you sketch the essential differences between the two parties’ political manifestos, respectively strategies of Vox and JONS for our readers?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: VOX defends the 1978 Constitution. Falange wants a comprehensive reform of the Constitution and seeks a change of political regime for Spain. VOX's economic proposals are the most liberal on the Spanish political scene. On the other hand, Falange is a force critical to capitalism and maintains a robust discourse in defence of the workers. VOX's position on the European Union is ambiguous. It criticisms [sic] but is not in favour of Spain abandoning it or withdrawing from the Euro. The same applies to NATO. Falange believes that Spain should leave these supranational structures, recover its political, economic and military sovereignty, and reach agreements with other countries that are of interest to Spain.
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes was born in 1980 in Almería. She is married and is the mother of two children. She is trained as a stylist, security guard and bodyguard. She also studied Law for a time. Luz Belinda Rodríguez was also a member of the Spanish Air Force and was elected to the Andalusian Parliament in 2018.
ETN: What are currently the most urgent problems in Spain, and why do the responsible policy-makers – which needn´t necessarily be congruent with the elected government – fail to solve them?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: Spain's own continuity as a nation is threatened by the separatist groups in some of its regions. In Catalonia, the regional government tried to break national unity through an institutional coup only three years ago. Some of those responsible for that coup are in prison, others have fled, but the political apparatus that led to it has not been dismantled, so that in a few years, they will try again. The secessionist parties must be outlawed, and the promotion of separatism must be banned. But the major parties in Spain depend on the support of the separatists to govern, and they are not going to do so. That is why a profound change is needed in the current constitution.
ETN: Not long ago, media reported about a declaration of former high-ranking military officials that demanded the Spanish King should dissolve the Parliament, respectively the leftist-dominated government. How serious do we have to take that action of retired old military officers? Does this have any effect? What´s your opinion in this regard?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: There is an evident discomfort among a part of the Spanish military, which understands that the left government is bowing to the separatists´ demands. That is logical. But their demonstrations are anything but a private conversation in a WhatsApp group. The left-wing media have tried to give importance to these conversations that they really do not have. There is no military operation underway to overthrow the government in Spain.
ETN: As back in times of the European Financial Crisis, Brussels again offers regarding the consequences of the Corona restrictions assistance by money, or, more precisely, by debt policy. However, is this help or rather the creation of dependency? What´s, in general, your attitude towards the European Union regarding national sovereignty?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: The European Union has taken advantage of this health and economic crisis to increase member states' dependence on Brussels. President Pedro Sánchez publicized the agreement with Brussels as great news for Spain, when, in fact, it is very negative for us, as these loans will increase the state's debt, leaving us in the hands of the creditors, who will impose austerity policies and social cuts on the Spanish people. Spain must get out of the Euro and recover its ability to reach trade agreements that are in its interest, not in Brussels´ interest. The European Union is no longer an agreement between nations, but a macro-state that imposes its will on the European nations. This model of Union must disappear and give way to agreements between European countries that wish to do so, respecting their national sovereignty.
ETN: Can you describe to our readers the situation and development all around migration in Spain? What do you think where this journey will end up demographically, not least given Brussels current plans of a so-called New Pact on Migration?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: The arrival of illegal immigrants to the coasts of Spain does not stop. The Canary Islands have become the Spanish Lampedusa. More than 20,000 people arrived there alone in 2020. Several thousand of them stay in hotels paid for by Spain, waiting to be transferred to Madrid or Andalusia. Like the European ones, the Spanish authorities insist on the need to continue incorporating thousands of immigrants, so they irresponsibly encourage their arrival, causing many to die in the Mediterranean. It is a suicidal policy that harms Europeans and does not help develop the immigrants' countries of origin. This phenomenon must be stopped before it completely changes our societies.
ETN: Finally, patriots, sovereignists or nationalists, however you want to call it, face the threat of co-ordinated egalitarian globalism. Does, therefore, nationalist alliances – so to say, „cross-border“ against „no-border“ – and an alternative vision of Europe gain significance?
Luz Belinda Rodríguez Fernándes: We are facing mighty political and economic powers. That is why it is important for all of us who defend national sovereignty to be co-ordinated, regardless of the differences between us.
* Vox is a right-wing party in Spain founded in December 2013 by former members of the Partido Popular (PP). Its programme aims at nation-state centralism and criticizes multiculturalism. It can also be regarded as being pro-free-market in terms of economic policy, which in turn can be described as economic liberalism. Vox has 52 members in the National Parliament, three Senate Members and four MEPs, who belong to the European Conservatives & Reformists (ECR) group there. The party leader is Santiago Abascal Conde.
** Falange Española de las JONS is a political party registered in 1976, which emerged from the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista. The party's intellectual roots go back to pre-Franco-Falangist philosophy and are inspired by José Antonio Primo de Rivera, respectively Ramiro Ledesma. The FE-JONS is a nationalist party belonging to the small parties. Its leader is Norberto Pedro Pico Sanabria.
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