Former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Spain's far-right Sunday in a video shown at a rally in Madrid that also featured messages by the leading stars of Europe's populist right, including Italy's Giorgia Meloni and Hungary's Viktor Orban. In a recording that lasted under 40 seconds made while Trump was on a plane, Trump thanked Spain's far-right Vox party and its leader Santiago Abascal for doing what he called a "great job," the AP reports. "We have to make sure that we protect our borders and do lots of very good conservative things," Trump said. "Spain is a great country and we want to keep it a great country. So congratulations to Vox for so many great messages you get out to the people of Spain and the people of the world."
Vox captured national attention on Spain's political landscape in 2019 when it became the third-largest force in Parliament after an election that led to a national left-wing coalition that still holds power. Vox's messages include zero tolerance for Catalan separatism, disdain for gender equality, diatribes against unauthorized immigration from Africa, and embracing both the "Reconquista" of medieval Spain from Islam as well as the legacy of Gen. Francisco Franco's 20th-century dictatorship. Abascal returned the flattery when he took to the stage at the outdoor venue after more video messages by European and South American right-wing politicians and an in-person speech by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
"My thanks for President Donald Trump, a visionary in the fight for sovereign nations, a visionary in the fight for secure borders, who has had to suffer (attacks) from the most powerful establishment in the world and the largest media attack that any world leader has had to face in recent memory," Abascal told the crowd of several thousand, many waving red-and-yellow Spanish flags. Despite its spectacular rise, the party led by Abascal failed to meet the expectations it set for itself in regional contests this year and had suffered its first serious bout of infighting among its leaders. Vox is now eyeing regional and municipal elections next year as it battles to surpass Spain's establishment conservatives.
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