Spanish Republican government in exile

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Government of the
Spanish Republic in exile
Gobierno de la República
Española en el exilio
Motto: Plus Ultra
"Further Beyond"
Anthem: Himno de Riego
Anthem of Riego
StatusGovernment in exile
Capital-in-exileParis (1939–1940; 1946–1977)
Mexico City (1940–1946)
Common languagesSpanish
• 1939–1940 (first)
Diego Martínez Barrio
• 1970–1977 (last)
José Maldonado González
Prime Minister 
• 1939–1945 (first)
Juan Negrín
• 1971–1977 (last)
Fernando Valera Aparicio [es]
Historical eraInterwar period • Cold War
• Established
4 April 1939
• Disestablished
1 July 1977
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Second Spanish Republic
Spanish transition to democracy

The Government of the Spanish Republic in exile (Spanish: Gobierno de la República Española en el exilio) was a continuation, in exile, of the government of the Second Spanish Republic following the victory of Francisco Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. It existed until the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1977.


Following the fall of the Republic in April 1939, the President of Spain, Manuel Azaña and the Prime Minister, Juan Negrín, went into exile in France. Azaña resigned his post and died in November 1940. He was succeeded as President by Diego Martínez Barrio, who had been Prime Minister in 1936. Following the occupation of France, the government was reconstituted in Mexico, which under the left-wing President Lázaro Cárdenas continued to recognise the Republic, although Negrín spent the war years in London. Negrín resigned as Prime Minister in 1945 and was succeeded by José Giral.

Until 1945, the exiled Republicans had high hopes that at the end of World War II in Europe, Franco's regime would be removed from power by the victorious Allies and that they would be able to return to Spain. When these hopes were disappointed, the government-in-exile faded away to a purely symbolic role. The government moved back to Paris in 1946. There was also a Basque government in exile and a Catalan government in exile.

In the immediate postwar period, it had diplomatic relations with Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Venezuela, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania,[1] but the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union did not recognise it.[2]

Following Franco's death in 1975, King Juan Carlos initiated a transition to democracy. In 1977, the exiled Republicans accepted the re-establishment of the monarchy and recognised Juan Carlos's government as the legitimate government of Spain. The key moment came when socialist leaders Felipe González and Javier Solana met Juan Carlos at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid — a tacit endorsement of the monarchy by the previously staunchly republican Socialists.

On 1 July 1977, the Government of the Spanish Republic was formally dissolved. In a gesture of reconciliation, Juan Carlos received the exiled leaders at a ceremony in Madrid.

Presidents in exile[edit]

# Portrait Name President From President Until Political Party
Diego Martínez Barrio
March 3, 1939 May 11, 1940 Republican Union
Álvaro de Albornoz y Liminiana
May 11, 1940 August 17, 1945 Independent
1 Diego Martínez Barrio August 17, 1945 January 1, 1962 Republican Union
2 Luis Jiménez de Asúa January 1, 1962 November 16, 1970 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
3 José Maldonado González November 16, 1970 July 1, 1977 Republican Left

Prime Ministers in exile[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of office Political Party President
Took office Left office Days
Juan Negrín
31 March 1939 17 August 1945 2331 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Álvaro de Albornoz

José Giral
17 August 1945 9 February 1947 541 Republican Left Diego Martínez Barrio

Rodolfo Llopis
9 February 1947 8 August 1947 180 Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
Álvaro de Albornoz
8 August 1947 13 August 1951 1558 Republican Union
Félix Gordón Ordás [es]
13 August 1951 17 April 1960 3170 Republican Union
Emilio Herrera
17 April 1960 28 February 1962 682 Independent
Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz
28 February 1962 28 February 1971 3287 Republican Union Luis Jiménez de Asúa

Fernando Valera Aparicio [es]
28 February 1971 21 June 1977 2305 Republican Union José Maldonado González


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shain, Yossi (ed). Governments-in-Exile in Contemporary World Politics. New York: Routledge. 1991, p. 152.
  2. ^ Ebon, Martin. World Communism Today. New York: Whittlesey House. 1948, p. 252.

External links[edit]