Santiago Casares Quiroga
Santiago Casares Quiroga
|Prime Minister of Spain|
13 May 1936 – 19 July 1936
|Preceded by||Augusto Barcia Trelles|
|Succeeded by||Diego Martínez Barrio|
|Born||October 23, 1884|
A Coruña, Spain
|Died||December 23, 1950 (aged 66)|
Leader and founder of the Autonomous Galician Republican Organization (ORGA), a Galician regionalist party, Casares participated in the Pact of San Sebastián in 1930, a platform composed of the principal parties of the republican opposition which aimed to bring down the monarchy of Alfonso XIII. He served as representative of the Galician Republican Federation, a republican group formed by his ORGA along with other Galician republican forces such as the Radical Party, the federalists and the radical-socialists.
In December 1930, he was sent clandestinely to Jaca as a delegate of the National Revolutionary Committee (CRN), to prevent Captain Fermín Galán Rodríguez from rising the Jaca garrison in advance of the date agreed by the CRN. Casares Quiroga did not arrive in time to stop Galán, and the Jaca uprising took place on 12 December 1930 without success. As a result, Casares Quiroga was imprisoned.
With the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in April 1931, he was named Minister of the Navy in the provisional government, becoming later the Minister of Governance (Interior). He was elected a deputy for ORGA in the Constituent Cortes, and remained Minister of Governance during the socialist-republican biennium (1931–1933) in the government of Manuel Azaña, Casares’ personal friend.
He was reelected to the Cortes in 1933, and in 1934 joined his party (now the Galician Republican Party) with Azaña’s and others to create the Republican Left, a party which would then become a part of the Popular Front. Casares Quiroga was again reelected in February 1936 and was named Minister of Public Works. After Azaña became President of the Republic in May, Casares Quiroga on 10 May became the 132nd Prime Minister and Minister of War. As the prime minister, he organized the referendum on the Galician Statute of Autonomy (the third statute of autonomy under the Republic, after Catalonia and the Basque Country), which was approved on 28 June 1936.
He was serving as prime minister when the military uprising of 17 July 1936 took place, which then developed into the Spanish Civil War. Incapable of confronting the uprising, Casares resigned on 19 July and was replaced by Diego Martínez Barrio, whose government was never confirmed, and then definitely by José Giral. Historians have generally agreed that Casares refused to deliver arms to the revolutionary workers’ organizations as the right-wing uprising unfolded. The memoirs of his daughter María Casares denied this.
He did not hold any other office during the Civil War, and left for France along with Azaña and Martínez Barrio after the fall of Catalonia. He died in exile in 1950. He was the father of actress María Casares.
He was an atheist.
- "Her father, Santiago Casares Quiroga, a leftwing atheist, defied another Galician native, born just across the estuary at Ferrol, Francisco Franco, the Caudillo in person." James Kirkup, 'Obituary: Maria Casares, Free Spirit of the French Stage', The Guardian (London), November 26, 1996, Features, Pg. 16.