Vox is a phenomenon. Since its emergence, its growth has been enormous. Its leader, Santiago Abascal, managed to turn his political force into a reference for right-wing or conservative political parties, worldwide. From Brazil all the way to Washington, Vox has fans all over the world. Even more surprising is how it has managed to surpass the main traditional force of the Spanish right: the Popular Party, PP.
In the last Catalan parliamentary elections, which of course reflect a national concern, Vox, for the first time, beat PP and Ciudadanos, the other opposing forces to the national government – captained by the socialist PSOE party. In this way, Vox became the main political party opposing the administration of Pedro Sanchez.
There is much that can be taken from Vox’s experience, for the world, which aspires to oppose the left. For this reason, El American interviewed Abascal. To talk about his latest triumph, about Vox as a reference and about the future of the right in the world.
Vox, after an important triumph, is emerging as the main opposition force in Catalonia and, consequently, in Spain. How can we explain this?
It is true that with the results obtained in Catalonia we are the first national political force that opposes the confluence of interests between separatism and the left. Confluence that has made of violence in the streets a political instrument to subdue the Catalans and break the constitutional order.
Nevertheless, we have long been the only opposition to the social communist government of Pedro Sánchez and to the policies of the pro-green consensus supported by the rest of the political formations.
Vox is on the rise and PP is on the decline. How do we explain this?
First of all, I have to say that we are not happy with the results in Catalonia. They are bad news for Spain and, therefore, they are bad for VOX despite its spectacular growth. However, we are not going to let the Catalans down and Ignacio Garriga, the VOX candidate for the Generalitat of Catalonia, and the rest of the deputies will work tirelessly to recover the freedom and prosperity of the Catalans. Whatever the cost.
Our main virtue is our convictions and our clarity. We stand for the same thing since our foundation and I believe that this is something that Spaniards appreciate. We do not change according to polls or electoral results, we are clear about the problems of the Spanish people and we aspire to solve them.
We’re not afraid to stand up to the progressive agenda, even if we are alone in this task, because the Spaniards are with us.
Is it necessary for forces like the PP to exist in politics or does Vox aspire to condemn them to the dustbin of history?
We don’t celebrate the poor results of the PP, just as we don’t celebrate the poor results of Ciudadanos. VOX cannot represent the entire political spectrum. It is true that we represent more and more Spaniards throughout the national territory, but probably there are Spaniards who need a political space like the one represented by PP and Ciudadanos, which do not differ in anything and therefore have an obligation: to merge and offer a single acronym because they share the same program.
We have the historical responsibility to offer a patriotic and social alternative to the Spaniards, they have the responsibility to merge.
Vox has become a Spanish phenomenon. This, in turn, within the global context, makes Vox a reference for the right in other countries. Some say that your formula is to be populist and play with emotions. Is this the case?
We don’t believe in the labels that some and others try to put on us. Is it populist to defend the unity of Spain? Is it liberal to defend a drastic lowering of taxes and a reduction of political waste? Is it conservative to defend the family as the capital institution of our society? Is it reactionary to defend security in the neighborhoods and our borders in the face of the migratory avalanche? We do not care about labels or denominations, we are a political party that is clear about its principles and that, unlike others, is willing to defend them to the end.
What do you think of the term “populism”?
Nothing in particular. I don’t mind being labeled a populist, just as I wouldn’t mind being labeled the opposite. I would worry about betraying the Spaniards, the millions of citizens who have trusted us, by not fulfilling our commitments and abandoning the defense of the values that have brought us this far.
By the way that they have become a reference: today, in the United States, the Republican Party is going through a crisis. With the emergence of the Trump phenomenon – and the fact that part of the establishment has turned its back on him- it seems that the great GOP has split in two, what do you think could be the future of the party?
We understand that ideas that have been supported by more than 74 million Americans are not in crisis, quite the contrary. On the other hand, I am not much given to making predictions, but I trust that they know how to choose the right person to face the progressive and liberticidal agenda that also has the support of large technology corporations.
If you could give any recommendation to the Republicans in the United States, what would it be?
That we are not alone. That millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic dare to challenge the immense power of plutocrats and media bent on whitewashing communism and denigrating our civilization.
Are you optimistic about the world in general, and do you think the good guys will prevail over the bad guys?
I’m very concerned about Spain. The nation is going through a crisis unprecedented in our recent democratic history. The communists have gained access to different ministerial portfolios with the complicity of their separatist and terrorist allies and with the approval of the PSOE, directly responsible for the social and economic ruin of millions of Spaniards. The PSOE is the facilitator, the architect of Spain being in the hands of those who want to destroy it at any price.
VOX is their only opposition. We are the only party that has opposed the declaration of the State of Alarm, which suspends fundamental rights and freedoms of Spaniards, or the closure of the body that is the depositary of our national sovereignty (the Congress of Deputies).
Can we be optimistic? It would seem naive to say yes, taking into account the historical moment the nations of the Iberosphere are going through. However, more and more of us are standing up and confronting criminal organizations such as the Sao Paulo Forum and the Puebla Group. Before, the defenders of freedom and common sense were uncoordinated. Today we have tools such as, for example, Carta de Madrid: en Defensa de la Libertad y la Democracia en la Iberosfera, the founding act of the Madrid Forum which, to date, has managed to unite more than 100 people around the denunciation of the advance of communism and the commitment to the rule of law, the rule of law, human dignity, etc.