The vice president of Political Action of Vox, Jorge Buxadé, during his press conference on July 31. Mariscal (EFE)
On July 31, Vox’s Vice President of Political Action, Jorge Buxadé, opened his last press conference before the holidays with a greeting to “the hundreds of thousands of young Spaniards who are going to Lisbon and believe in a Spain, a Europe and a better world”. He was surprised that the spokesman for a theoretically non-denominational party alluded to a religious event like World Youth Day and even more so that it was led by Pope Francis, hardly popular among Vox leaders. Abascal has called the Pontiff “citizen Bergoglio” when he wanted to distance himself from his criticism of those who build walls in front of immigrants or let them drown in the Mediterranean. “As a Catholic I have deep respect for the Pope, but when he gives his political opinions I don’t have to share them,” he said in 2019.
However, the separation between politics and religion is increasingly blurred in the team that in the last year has been monopolizing all the power in Vox. On February 10, Buxadé presented Cardinal Atanasio Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana (Kazakhstan) and one of the most critical voices with the Pope in Madrid. This bishop of German origin represents the most traditional sector of the episcopate, in favor of reviewing the “excesses” of the Second Vatican Council in his desire to open the Church to society. Defender of the death penalty and enemy of liberalism, in 2018 he asked the Pope to cleanse “the curia of homosexual networks and cliques”, proclaim that the homosexual act is a mortal sin and prohibit the priestly ordination of gays.
In the presence of the bishop, Buxadé assured that “the moral situation of the West is extremely dangerous and only a naive, reckless or coward could deny it.” Without mentioning the Pope, he lamented “the chaos in which millions of Catholics live” upon seeing how the Church “has assumed the postulates of globalism” and also accused a part of the Spanish hierarchy of “being at the service of a party characterized by the constant resignation in defense of the most elementary pillars of Christianity”; in reference to the PP.
As he explained below, what Buxadé understands by “Christianity” is an autocratic regime in which popular sovereignty has “natural law, customs or tradition as limits”. After criticizing the “brutal explosion of subjective rights”, he assured that there is no right to abortion or to change sex, among others, and that “religious freedom cannot be understood as freedom of religion, since the right cannot protect any belief” , especially those that “subvert the social, legal and moral order of Europe”; that is, Islam.
For number two of Vox, the democratic system is only useful if it supports these ideas, because “when democracy is the substance and not the form, the majority principle is presented as a pure imposition of force.” Although he used cryptic language, his final statement was a full-fledged challenge to democracy: “It is necessary to provide democracy with substantive content and that content cannot be given by the majority, but rather by something prior, pre-existing and superior. Democracy demands that its limits be given by the common good, truth and beauty”. What the common good, truth and beauty are, cannot be decided, according to his reasoning, by the majority; but people like Bishop Schneider, who spoke next.
His speech was more philosophical, but no less warlike. He denounced the “weakening of the Western white male” and warned: “Our civilization is decomposing in the face of two unprecedented, simultaneous and coordinated offensives: Islamic globalism and Wokism”, alluding to the anti-discrimination movement in the US. Against this, he proclaimed, “It is urgent to form a spiritual army of courageous, virtuous and fully Catholic people.”
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subscribeSantiago Abascal (left) and Jorge Buxadé.
The use of military terms is a constant in fundamentalist religious movements, such as the El Yunque sect. Buxadé has denied belonging to this secret and paramilitary organization of Mexican origin that has spread its tentacles throughout Spain, but for the first time a person whose links to it can be documented ―the members of El Yunque have the order to deny their membership― occupies a position public. He is the mayor of Vox for Barcelona Liberto Senderos.
It is not the only promotion that has raised blisters within the party. Of the 80 councilors that Vox obtained in the municipal elections in the province of Barcelona, the one chosen to occupy his only seat in the council was Jordi de la Fuente. This is the former leader of a neo-Nazi group, the Movimiento Social Republicano (MSR), who was accused of painting Holocaust denialist graffiti next to a synagogue. , and has collaborated on the Kremlin RT television channel, endorsing the Russian version of the conflict in Ukraine. In December he must sit on the bench to answer for the violent assault on the center for unaccompanied minors in El Masnou (Barcelona) in July 2019. The prosecutor asks him for two years and two months in prison.
Vox sources admit that De la Fuente would not have obtained this position without the endorsement of the party’s general secretary, Ignacio Garriga, and the political vice president, Jorge Buxadé. They both know him well. Before joining Vox, he was organization secretary of Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC), a xenophobic and identity party headed by the current president of Vox in Barcelona Juan Garriga, cousin of the secretary general and former assistant to Buxadé. Both the latter and the two Garrigas are linked to Opus Dei, as is the family of Ignacio de Hoces, Buxadé’s right-hand man. Son of the Duke of Hornachuelos and deeply traditionalist, his name sounds like spokesman for Vox in Congress after the resignation of Iván Espinosa de los Monteros. If he is not the spokesman – he lacks parliamentary experience – he will be the strong man of the group, which he already controlled as political commissioner from the position of adviser to him in the last legislature.
The unstoppable rise of this ultra-Catholic nucleus has been displacing and expelling from the party those who joined Vox because they rejected the passivity of the Rajoy government in the face of the pro-independence order and its decision to raise taxes to adjust public accounts. They were the Spanish neocons: economically ultra-liberal, politically nationalistic and morally conservative. They would have felt comfortable in the ranks of the British Tories or the American Republican Party. But they were shocked when, in April last year, the Vox deputy in the Catalan Parliament Alberto Tarradas, 26, shouted from the rostrum: Long live Christ the King! “The worst thing,” reflects one of them, “is that he did it thinking that his bosses would like it.”
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