20 hours ago
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
It was late at night when the initial count of the votes came in. The Popular Front had defeated the National Front by just two percentage points. The Center only had five percent of the vote, but they would form a government with the Popular Front. Azaña would be prime minister. General Franco, meanwhile, was celebrating his first anniversary as commander-in-chief in North Africa. He knew that the election results would mean being exiled to the Canary Islands — or at least virtually exiled, as he would still have an army. What to do? He knew Mola would also be "exiled," him to Navarre. Franco decided to try his luck. He phoned Mola, and they spoke. After talking about their likely new assignments, Mola said to Franco, We should go camping this summer when we both have leave. Franco agreed. But where? Franco asked. I'll come to Tenerife, Mola replied. And there we shall discuss our hopes.