Former U.S. President Donald Trump throws hats at the crowd during a rally ahead of the midterm elections October 8, 2022 in Minden, Nevada, United States. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Barcelona: Former US President Donald Trump has backed Spain’s extreme right in a video shown at a rally in Madrid, which also included messages from leading stars of Europe’s populists such as Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Hungary’s Viktor Orban .
In a recording that lasted less than 40 seconds 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 are doing.
“We have to make sure 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 stay a great country. Congratulations to Vox for so many great messages you are sending to the people of Spain and the people of the world.”
Vox drew national attention to Spain’s political landscape in 2019 when it became the third largest force in Spain’s parliament after an election that resulted in a national left-wing coalition that is still in power. Vox messages include zero tolerance for Catalan separatism, disregard for gender equality, diatribes against illegal immigration from Africa, and recognition of both medieval Spain’s “reconquista” from Islam and the legacy of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in the 20th century.
Abascal returned the flattery as he took the stage at the outdoor venue after more video messages from European and South American right-wing politicians and a personal speech from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
“My gratitude goes to President Donald Trump, a visionary in the fight for sovereign nations, a visionary in the fight for secure borders, who has suffered under (attacks) from the most powerful establishment in the world and the largest media attack of all time leaders have faced in recent memory” , Abascal told the crowd of several thousand, many of whom waved red and yellow Spanish flags.
Despite its spectacular rise, the Abascal-led party has failed to live up to the expectations it had set for itself in regional competitions this year and had suffered its first serious clash among its leaders. Vox is now eyeing next year’s regional and local elections as it struggles to outperform 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 Brothers of Italy 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 price cap on energy in the European Union and restoring economic self-sufficiency.
Meloni’s victory has European Union leaders worried that Italy, the bloc’s third-largest economy, could put national interests first like Hungary and Poland are doing.
“We are not monsters, people understand that. Long live Vox, long live Spain, long live Italy, long live Europe, patriots,” Meloni said. “Only if we win in our countries can Europe become the political giant we want and not the bureaucratic giant.”
The Vox rally also included video appearances from former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, Chilean right-wing politician José Antonio Kast, daughter of former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Añez, and US Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
“On one side are the global elites and the global left, which are becoming increasingly brutal and violent, and on the other side are conservative populists who share the values of God, fatherland, 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 hoped the gains of the global right would include a landslide Republican victory in next month’s midterm US congressional elections. Trump campaigned for right-wing candidates in this Nov. 8 election and is considering another presidential bid.