THE SPANISH QUESTION IN MEXICO: LAZARO CARDENAS AND THE SPANISH REPUBLICANS
This dissertation describes Mexico's relationship with the Second Spanish Republic and analyzes President Lazaro Cardenas' influence on this policy. Cardenas institutionalized the foreign policy of the Mexican Revolution during his six-year term (1934-1940) and used this policy to establish close political and personal ties with the Republic. These ties flourished until his death in 1970. His successors continued to support the Republic with no deviation from the path charted by Cardenas. In 1931 Mexican President Pascual Ortiz Rubio warmly heralded the birth of the Second Spanish Republic. When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, President Cardenas pledged Mexico's official support for the Republic. He immediately shipped food and weapons to Spain, and ordered Mexico's representatives in the League of Nations to defend the Republic against the Nonintervention Pact of the great powers. The Civil War ended in 1939. Cardenas immediately announced that Spanish refugees would be welcomed in Mexico. The Mexican government worked with other nations to assist the refugees who poured into France from Spain and helped many to emigrate to Mexico. This immigration continued throughout the 1940's and brought many talented new residents to Mexico. Mexico allowed the exiles to set up an organization which finally evolved into a government-in-exile which was formed in Mexico City in 1945. President Avila Camacho recognized the government-in-exile as the true government of Spain, and his successors continued to maintain this relationship until 1977--two years after Franco's death. Mexico's refusal to recognize Francisco Franco was an extraordinary episode in her diplomatic history, and can be traced, at least to a great extent, to the continuing influence of Lazaro Cardenas. Cardenas believed strongly that the Republic was the legally elected government of Spain and that Franco had been imposed with the assistance of foreign governments. For this reason, he continued to support the Republic and to quietly urge his successors to continue to recognize the government-in-exile. For Cardenas, Mexico's policy toward Spain was an ideal example of the foreign policy of the Revolution.