FORMER US president Donald Trump was among the foreign politicians to send messages of support this weekend to Vox, the far-right Spanish party that has the third-biggest presence in the Congress of Deputies. 

“I wanna begin by thanking Santiago Abascal for the incredible job that he does,” Trump says in the video, which was filmed on a private jet. “It’s a very unique situation that we’re all in. But we have to make sure that we protect our borders and we do lots of very conservative things. Spain is a great country and we want to keep it a great country.” 

The messages, which were also sent from future Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni and Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán, came on the occasion of Vox’s yearly festival. 

Called Viva 22, the event was held this weekend in the space that is usually home to the Mad Cool music festival, and was expected to attract 30,000 people, according to the organisers. 

Vox leader Abascal thanked Trump for the message at the event, describing the Republican politician as someone who was “ahead of the curve in the fight of sovereign nations and secure borders”. 

Meanwhile, a Spanish historical memory association has called for the public prosecutor to investigate one of the musical groups that took part in the festival. 

Los Meconios, who played at Viva 22 on Saturday night, sang a song titled “We are going to return to ’36,” a reference to the year that the Spanish Civil War began. 

In response, the Association for the Recovery of HIstorical Memory – a group that collects testimonies about Franco-era repression in Spain and works to exhume bodies from mass graves – called for a probe into the band on the basis their lyrics could constitute a hate crime. 

The group, however, responded via Twitter that this was not a correct interpretation of the song and that it is the current Socialist Party-led government “that wants to take us to a new ’36.” 

Far-right Vox was founded in 2013 but it was not until 2019 that it began to find widespread support among voters. At the general election in November of that year it won 52 of the 350 seats in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, the lower house of parliament.

It has also performed well in some regional elections, and currently governs in coalition with the conservative Popular Party in Castilla y León.  

Vox’s policies include opposition to separatist movements such as the Catalan secessionists, a recentralization of Spain via the abolition of the country’s system of autonomous regions, and a hardline on illegal immigration.

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