SPAIN: Toward an Uncertain Future

Although Francisco Franco is 81 and in failing health, the announcement was a shock. He had entered a Madrid hospital for treatment of phlebitis* in his right leg. An hour later when workers poured into the streets for lunch, Franco's illness was the topic of conversation all across Spain.

The announcement in itself was without precedent. Spaniards had long been forbidden even to speculate publicly about the timing of el Caudillo's death. Although he was known to suffer from Parkinson's disease, so far as Spanish officialdom was concerned, the only times he had ever been indisposed were when he had...

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