The ‘Sentry of the West’ (1950–60)
In fact, the material foundations of Franco’s regime were far from secure. By the end of the 1940s, Spain was on the verge of a major economic crisis, because the country’s
infrastructure was incapable of sustaining the programme of self-sufficiency adopted for political reasons in 1939. At the end of the Civil War, and during the Second World War, it was relatively easy to persuade people that shortages of food, clothing, fuel and manufactured goods were due, first, to the destruction wrought by the ‘reds’ and, subsequently, to the difficulties resulting from international conflict. When the situation scarcely improved after 1945, Franco resorted to his theory of the international ‘judeomasonic-communist’ conspiracy by way of explanation.