Inner circle pressured dictator to step down

DECLASSIFIED papers belonging to the US government reveal how Francisco Franco’s daughter, son-in-law and several Cabinet members tried to convince the dictator to step down after he suffered a massive heart attack.

Up until the day of the cardiac arrest on October 23, 1975, Franco was not aware how ill he was because his family kept his condition a secret, according to the US State Department documents.

The papers also claim that Spanish government officials wanted the dictator to hand over to leader-in-waiting, Prince Juan Carlos – now King of Spain – a month before he eventually died on November 20, 1975.

The declassified papers are part of a series of documents on Spanish-US relatons on file at the National Archives in Washington DC. They tell of how the government of the North American country kept a close eye on the Spain as Franco lay on his deathbed.

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