Former US President Donald Trump speaks via video at a global far-right rally in Spain

Former US President Donald Trump backed Spain’s far-right in a video released at a rally in Madrid that also featured messages from Europe’s top populist right-wing stars like Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Hungary’s Viktor Orban.

In a recording that lasted less than 40 seconds made while Trump was on a plane, Trump thanked Spain’s far-right Vox party and its leader Santiago Abascal for what he called the “great job” they were doing. make.

“We have to make sure that we protect our borders and do a lot of very good conservative things,” Trump said. “Spain is a great country and we want it to remain a great country. So congratulations to Vox for so many good messages that you send to the Spanish people and to the peoples of the world.

Vox brought national attention to Spain’s political landscape in 2019 when it became the third force in Spain’s parliament after an election that led to a national leftist coalition that still holds power. Vox’s messages include zero tolerance for Catalan separatism, contempt for gender equality, ranting against unauthorized immigration from Africa and embracing both the “Reconquista” of medieval Spain from Islam as well as the legacy of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in the 20th century.

Abascal returned the flattery when he took to the outdoor stage after other video messages from European and South American right-wing politicians and an in-person speech by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“My thanks to President Donald Trump, a visionary in the fight for sovereign nations, a visionary in the fight for secure borders, who had to endure (attacks) from the most powerful establishment in the world and the biggest media attack the world leader has faced in recent memory,” Abascal told the crowd of several thousand, many waving red and yellow Spanish flags.

Despite its dramatic rise, the party led by Abascal fell short of the expectations it set for itself in regional contests this year and suffered its first serious bout of infighting among its leaders. Vox is now eyeing regional and municipal elections next year as it battles to overtake Spain’s traditional conservatives.

The annual rally comes just weeks after Abascal and the rest of Europe’s far-right celebrated the victory of Meloni’s neo-fascist Italy Brothers party.

Meloni’s recorded message lasted several minutes and focused on her priorities as she prepares to become Italy’s prime minister: pushing for a cap on energy prices in the European Union and regaining economic autonomy. .

Meloni’s victory has European Union leaders worried that Italy, the bloc’s third-largest economy, could put national interests first, as Hungary and Poland do.

“We are not monsters, people understand that. Long live Vox, long live Spain, long live Italy, long live European patriots,” Meloni said. “Only by winning in our countries can Europe become the political giant we want, not a bureaucratic giant.”

The Vox rally also featured video appearances by former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, Chilean right-wing politician José Antonio Kast, the daughter of the former interim Bolivian President Jeanine Añez and Republican US Senator Ted Cruz.

“On the one hand are the global elites and the global left, who are becoming increasingly brutal and violent, on the other are the conservative populists, who share the values ​​of God, country, family and freedom,” Cruz said. “Sometimes the left wins dangerous victories, as we saw in Colombia. Sometimes the good guys win, as we saw in Italy.”

Cruz said he hopes gains for the global right will include a landslide victory for Republicans in the U.S. Congressional midterm elections next month. Trump campaigned for right-wing candidates in this Nov. 8 election and is eyeing another presidential election.

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Kevin E. Boling