Fernando de Santiago y Díaz


Fernando de Santiago y Díaz

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
nationality = Spain


order = 72nd President of the Government of Spain
2nd of Democratic Transition (1975–1977)
term_start = July 1, 1976
term_end = July 3, 1976
predecessor = Carlos Arias Navarro
successor = Adolfo Suárez González
office2 = Governor-General of the Spanish Sahara
salary2 =
term_start2 = March 4, 1971
term_end2 = April 24, 1974
predecessor2 = José María Pérez de Lerma
successor2 = Federico Gómez de Salazar
office3 =
salary3 =
term_start3 =
term_end3 =
president3 =
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
birth_date = birth date|1910|7|23
birth_place = Madrid, Spain
dead =
death_date = death date and age|1994|11|6|1910|7|23
demise_place = Madrid, Spain
spouse =
party = Movimiento Nacional
vicepresident = Juan Miguel Villar Mir

Fernando de Santiago y Díaz de Mendívil (Madrid, July 23, 1910 - November 6, 1994) was a conservative deputy and interim prime minister of Spain during the Spanish transition to democracy in the late 1970s. He had earlier been a general in the Spanish Civil War and under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

As an active soldier, Santiago participated in the Second Moroccan War in the 1920s and threw in with the Spanish Nationalists in the 1936 Civil War, rising to the rank of lieutenant general. During the Franco regime, he served as a professor and later director of the "Escuela Politécnica Superior del Ejército" (Superior Polytechnic Army College).

In the waning years of Franco's rule, from March 4, 1971 to April 24, 1974, the dictator gave Santiago a task as political as it was military: serve as governor-general of Spanish Sahara after Spanish forces had massacred members of a native independence movement in the "Zemla Intifada". Santiago presided over the introduction of limited home-rule in the region, which was eventually decolonized a few years later.

Following the dictator's death, February 20, 1975, Santiago was named "Vicepresidente del Gobierno para la Defensa" (deputy prime minister for defense) of Spain's first post-Franco government, under Prime Minister Carlos Arias Navarro. Following Arias' resignation, Santiago briefly served as interim prime minister, July 1-July 3, 1976.Spanish: [http://www.fuenterrebollo.com/Gobiernos/transicion.html Portal Fuenterrebollo: Gobiernos Transición] , accessed April 30, 2007.]

Under the administration of Adolfo Suárez, Santiago remained the principal deputy prime minister but gave up oversight of the defense ministry. While Arias Navarro had been considered a Francoist, Suárez would turn out to be a reformer, putting Spain on the road to democracy. Santiago would become a harsh critic of Suárez' government. He submitted a resignation letter shortly after Suárez announced he would support the "Ley para la Reforma Political" (Political Reform Law) and its call for open elections; his resignation was accepted September 21, 1976.

Out of office, Santiago continued to meet with conservative military officials disturbed by Spain's democratization and liberalization. In September 1977, he met with a group of army leaders -- including Jaime Milans del Bosch -- who secretly wrote a letter to King Juan Carlos I asking him to undertake "actions to rescue the destiny of the Fatherland". Bosch would later be implicated in the "23-F" coup attempt, February 23, 1981.

References


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