Velio Spano – Wikipedia



Velio Spano (15 January 1905 – 7 October 1964) was once a Sardinian-born antifascist and, from time to time, fighter in the course of the Mussolini years. He’s additionally remembered for his (principally political) writings: he got here to be known, increasingly more, as a journalist all through his later years. After the chief fell from energy in 1943 and Italy was once liberated in 1945, he emerged as a extra mainstream, flesh presser, serving as a member of the senate between 1948 and 1963, and taking part in an increasingly more outstanding management position within the Communist Birthday celebration.





Velio Spano (Teulada, 15 gennaio 1905 – Roma, 7 ottobre 1964) è stato un politico e antifascista italiano, membro dell’Assemblea costituente e senatore in line with le top quattro legislature.

Provenance and early years[edit]

Velio Spano was once born at Teulada, just a little the city on the subject of the southern tip of Sardinia, which were phase pf Italy since unification. Attilio Spano, his father, labored for the federal government. When Velio was once simply 5 the circle of relatives relocated some fifty kilometers to the north, to Guspini, a reasonably greater and extra dynamic small the city wherein the native economic system was once, at the moment, ruled by way of lead and zinc mining. Over the following 13 years he grew up a few of the mining group in Guspini, which was once broadly considered a hotbed of socialism. He was once uncovered to the existing leftwing concepts of the time, and to the possible energy of efficient political organisation. After he handed his 11th birthday he turned into primarily based, for many of the 12 months, in Cagliari the place he attended the Giovanni Siotto Pintor Heart Faculty for 2 years. He then transferred to the Giovanni Maria Dettori Top Faculty, the place he effectively finished the “classical” curriculum in 1922 which opened the right way to a university-level schooling. It was once additionally In October 1922 that Mussolini took energy around the water in Rome, even though it will be some years prior to the overall implications of this building turned into broadly obvious. For a teen with Spano’s political background and instincts, on the other hand, there was once little likelihood of giving the chief the good thing about the doubt, and in 1923 he reacted by way of becoming a member of the preferred anti-Mussolini side road protests in Cagliari that were unleashed by way of the coup after which, in 1923, by way of becoming a member of the Cafliaria Younger Communists (FCCI).[2][3][4][6]

In December 1923 his father secured the most important promotion which concerned the circle of relatives relocating to Rhodes, which were dominated as an Italian colony since 1912. Velio was once virtually 19 by way of this level, on the other hand, and didn’t accompany his oldsters. As an alternative he moved to Rome and in Summer season 1924 enrolled on the college there to check for some extent in Jurisprudence. At round the similar time, virtually indisputably in every other a part of Rome, the socialist parliamentarian Giacomo Matteotti was once abducted and murdered by way of fascist paramilitaries giving upward push to in style revulsion and a impulsively intensifying appreciation of the actual nature of Mussolini’s fascism. Following his disappearance, virtually nobody anticipated he would ever be discovered alive. His frame was once discovered simply outdoor town a few months later.[7] Virtually without delay Spano joined the Lazio area Younger Communists. It was once at about the similar time that he got here around the good philosopher-journalist Antonio Gramsci. They’d interact in combination in lengthy discussions about “The Sardinian query”. Spano would later recall he owed his life-long dedication to communism, no less than partially, to those discussions with Gramsci.[1][2][4][8]

Younger militant[edit]

Early in 1925 Spano took at the management of the College Communist Staff at Rome, collectively with Altiero Spinelli. His activism didn’t pass neglected by way of the safety products and services at the team and in 1926, on the invitation of the birthday celebration there, he moved to Turin, and commercial town with a long-embedded custom of liberalism and socialism to take at the management of the College Communist Staff there. He enrolled on the college to proceed his research, however by way of 1927 had deserted those. That 12 months he joined the organisational equipment of the Younger Communists (FCCI), which were an unlawful organisation in a while after the Fascist take-over in 1922. Running, so far as imaginable, under the radar of officialdom, he known himself at the moment the usage of the code title “Mariano”. Via this time he had turn into, within the phrases of no less than one commentator, a “skilled innovative” in accordance with the federal government’s systematic building of the institutional underpinnings for an authoritarian tyranny together with, particularly, the so-called ”outstanding regulations” (‘’” leggi eccezionali del fascismo”’’) of 1925/26. He was once arrested in Turin and sentence to a two month jail time period and advisable, on the similar time, for some extra systematic type of “confinement” that may take away him from antifascist activist.[9] Right through his two month imprisonment his case was once referred to the federal government’s particular court docket (“Tribunale speciale in line with l. a. difesa dello Stato”) in Rome, which was once invited to believe his position within the (unlawful) reconstitution of the ”Communist Birthday celebration of Italy”. The particular court docket delivered the end result in their deliberations on 12 April 1928 and imposed on him a sentence amounting to an extra 5 years and 5 months for “communist affiliation and propaganda”. The overall sentence passed down was once set at six years. Spano’s jail stories are recognized essentially via what he himself stated and wrote of them. He attempted to take hold of the alternatives for private and political building introduced, writing of the enjoy to his circle of relatives in 1930, “I’ve now not misplaced a unmarried centimeter of my stature”.[1][2][4][10]

French exile, Egyptian project[edit]

In 1932, as a part of a extra normal amnesty introduced the former month to have a good time the primary ten years of fascism in Italy, 639 of the 1,056 prisoners officially categorized as political prisoners had been launched. Velio Spano was once a kind of launched.[4][11] In January 1933 he turned into conscious that the government once more on the lookout for him with a warrant for his seize, on the other hand, and determined to to migrate to France. [3]

Thru 1933 Paris was once impulsively turning into a casual headquarters for exiled communists from Italy and Germany. Spano turned into a part of the unlawful organisation out of the country of the Italian Communist Birthday celebration, taking rate of the segment dealing with control and liaison in appreciate of Italian emigrant staff. In October 1934 he teamed up with the French polymath-philosopher Romain Rolland and others to release a decision for the discharge of Antonio Gramsci whose well being had deteriorated continuously and alarmingly since his arrested and imprisonment by way of the Italian government in November 1926. Gramsci loved an impressive popularity amongst Europe’s left-wing highbrow elite, which was once in particular smartly represented in France, and the marketing campaign for his free up, and for a world delegation to be authorized to discuss with Italy so as to make a choice of the prerequisites below which political prisoners had been being held, received important traction.[2][4][12][13]

Via November 1935 Spano was once in Egypt, having been despatched by way of within the birthday celebration to adopt a propaganda project a few of the Italian troops advancing throughout Libya in opposition to Suez to deter British intervention within the intensifying Abyssinian Conflict. For this venture he used the francophone duvet title “Paul Conibet”. [1][2] Between 1935 and 1937 he then undertook quite a lot of additional clandestine visits to Italy on behalf of the exiled birthday celebration management in Paris, this time the usage of the quilt title “Renzo Lojacono” with the ordinary goal of looking to deal with a definite point of organised antifascist process, basically in Naples and Rome.[4]

The Spanish struggle[edit]

In December 1936 Spano was once despatched by way of the birthday celebration to Barcelona to give a contribution to the antifascist struggles within the Spanish Civil Conflict which had damaged out six months previous. He joined the “interbrigadistas” being arrange in Spain by way of the Comintern. His preliminary focal point was once on political broadcasting, for which he displayed a phenomenal set of talents, to begin with in Barcelona and later in Madrid from the place, beginning in February 1937, to was once positioned answerable for “Radio Milano Libera”, a completely Italian language station focused on the Italian military gadgets despatched by way of Mussolini to combat along Franco’s ”nationalist” forces. There was once additionally a transparent aim, given the frequencies used, that the station’s antifascist political messages must be heard in Italy, the place it was once now not at all times really easy to ship antifascist messages in the course of the broadcast media from nearer to house. At the proof of the selection of other folks arrested in Italy on suspicion of taking note of the “Radio Milano Libera” transmissions despatched throughout from Madrid, it seems that that the station attracted a vital listenership.[4][14][15]

Against the tip of 1937 Spano returned to Paris the place a focal point of his energies was once on policial j0urnalism in the course of the print media. He took on co-directorship, with the Torinese Mario Montagnana, for l’Unità, the birthday celebration’s mass-circulation day-to-day newspaper which were banned by way of the Italian govt in 1926, however of which clandestine copies had been nonetheless produced, now not at all times with the similar frequency, in Milan, Turin, Rome and Paris between 1927 and 1944 (when common day-to-day e-newsletter resumed).[3][4][16]

Thru maximum of 1938 He was once additionally intensively engaged in political paintings in reinforce of well-liked entrance actions. Right through the summer time of 1938 he organised a “birthday celebration faculty” close to Longwy within the mining area of northern Lorraine with Luigi Vitobello.[3][4]


In October 1938 the birthday celebration despatched Spano to Tunisia. Tunisia were a “French protectorate” since 1881 within the context of the so-called 19th century Ecu “scramble for Africa”. French keep an eye on over Tunisia were an ongoing supply of anxiety between France and Italy from the outset, reflecting longstanding colonial rivalries. Business ties around the Mediterranean had existed for hundreds of years, and all through the second one part of the 19th century Tunisia were a favorite vacation spot of Tunisian emigrants, in order that on many streets the Italian language was once as prone to predominate as French. Right through the Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, reflecting the broader surge in nationalism, rejection of French “coverage” was once turning into extra in style throughout Tunisia itself. On this context, Spano’s venture was once to improve the organisation of antifascist actions a few of the massive Italian expatriate group and improve bonds of friendship with the French govt in France, which nonetheless represented a beacon of freedom and democracy at a time when fascist currents had been strengthening throughout a lot of Europe. Spano introduced an full of life propaganda programme and established contacts with a lot of younger communist activists from Italy who by way of this time had discovered shelter in to Tunisia. Those integrated Maurizio Valenzi, Ruggero Grieco, Nadia Gallico and her sister Diana along many others who would have thought to be themselves contributors now not of the exiled Italian birthday celebration, however as contributors of the Tunisian Communist Birthday celebration which were established (to begin with, as a department of the French birthday celebration) in 1934. Via mobilising in depth reinforce in the neighborhood in a remarkably brief period of time, Spano was once ready to ascertain in Tunisia an antifascist day-to-day newspaper referred to as “Il Giornale”, an Italian language newspaper with important monetary backing from Tunisia’s Jewish group, which set itself up in opposition to “Unione”, a day-to-day newspaper produced with reinforce from the Italian govt. Spano served as editor-in-chief of “Il Giornale”. On the other hand, in (almost certainly) 1939, because the global scenario deteriorated, the newspaper’s belongings had been seized and e-newsletter of it was once completely terminated.[1][4][17]

Nadia Gallico[edit]

For a lot of Europe struggle broke out all through September 1939, even though Italian army involvement was once deferred until June 1940. The Tunisian Communist Birthday celebration went underground. Lots of Spano’s political comrades returned to Italy, in quest of to steer clear of discovery by way of the government there by way of residing “underground”, with out registering anyplace of home with a municipality, and not staying in the similar position for terribly lengthy. Spano was once prepared to do the similar, however was once persuaded by way of the birthday celebration management that he might be extra useful to the reason by way of last in Tunisia. In the meantime, in a while after arriving in Tunisia in 1938 he had met Nadia Gallico, a legal professional’s daughter who had grown up in Tunisia as a member of the Italian group and as a part of a circle of relatives that was once avowedly pro-communist and anti-fascist. They married in Would possibly 1939: Nadia Gallico Spano performed a number one position in Spano’s process of establishing antifascist resistance in Tunisia and due to this fact proved an impressive supply of life-long non-public and political reinforce. I due route Nadia additionally gave beginning to the couple’s 3 recorded daughters.[3][18]


Early all through 1940 Spano was once arrested and detained, at the side of different Italian communists, within the “focus camp” at Sbeitla. He was once held there until Paris fell to the Germans in June 1940, which generated satisfaction amongst one of the crucial extra vocal Tunisian nationalist but in addition, in political phrases, ushered in a duration of higher uncertainty for the territory. Nadia Gallico Spano additionally frolicked confined on the Sbeitla camp which later, she memorably described. Safety didn’t rely on prime fences and guard canines: it was once “a location at the fringe of the wilderness. No longer such a lot a focus camp as an infinite stretch of deserted floor, with out even one development, and outlined by way of a line which it was once prohibited to pass. Somebody who did so, even with out which means to, risked being shot with out caution”. [3][19]

Tunisian Communist Birthday celebration[edit]

Right through 1941 Velio Spano reorganised the Tunisian Communist Birthday celebration to take account of the modified instances. With many comrades having quietly slipped throughout to Italy he emerged, de facto, in a management position inside what remained of the birthday celebration. He established hyperlinks with the Gollisti, with French socialists, and with the Neo Destour nationalists below Habib Bourguiba. There was once a shared enemy: the collaborationist French puppet govt at Vichy in central France.[2]
In November 1941, following betrayal by way of an informant, many of the last main figures within the Tunisian Communist Birthday celebration had been arrested. Right through the trial that adopted Velio Spano controlled to flee. He was once nonetheless convicted in absentia and sentenced to loss of life. The decision and sentence had been restated March 1942 and once more in June 1942. The foundation for it was once the choice that he had “reconstituted a birthday celebration that were dissolved and disseminated propaganda in response to phrases provided from Moscow in the course of the Comintern.[1][4]

In spite of the most productive endeavours of the police, who had been answerable to the Vichy govt for so long as Tunisia retained the standing of a “French” protectorate, Spano controlled to steer clear of recapture. Right through November 1942 Tunisia started to fill with German and Italian armies, as Tunisia was once drawn into the broader North African marketing campaign. Spano was once ready to adopt intense clandestine “political paintings” amongst contributors of Italy’s conscript armies, establishing little secret cells of communists and distributing anti-fascist newspapers. In December 1942 he even controlled to prepare and deal with a convention of best Communist Birthday celebration officers. 5 months later, in early Would possibly 1943, Tunisia was once liberated by way of British and American forces, whilst many surviving contributors of the Italian military disappeared or turned into prisoners of struggle. In Rome some ten weeks later, the king after all ordered the arrest of Mussiolini. In Tunisia it was once not vital to are living in hiding. On 16 October 1942 Velio Spano arrived by way of airplane in Naples. Two and a part weeks previous, with American forces drawing near from the south and prime profile fascisrt leaders escaping in opposition to the north, town had successfully liberated itself. Nadia joined him in March 1944, whilst their two (nonetheless very small) daughters remained in Tunisia with their grandmother until December 1945.[4][18]

Italian liberation[edit]

On the time of Spano’s go back to Italy all through the second one part of 1943 the rustic was once being gradually liberated from the south by way of U.S. and Enlish armies from out of the country and by way of Italian partisan brigades partisan brigades from inside. English-language historiography has a tendency to downplay the Italian contribution to the rustic’s liberation from fascism whilst an reverse tendency is obvious in lots of Italian-language assets. To the disappointment of the partisans the whole thing floor to a halt all through the wintry weather of 1943/44 because of the reluctance of the international invaders to have interaction in mountain conflict mountains in the course of the wintry weather, so Rome was once liberated most effective in June 1944, in which time the Germans, having “rescued” Mussolini in September 1943, had put in him because the nominal chief of the so-called “Italian Social Republic”. The Italian Civil Conflict fought out by contrast background is most often thought to be to have endured from September 1943 until Would possibly 1945. In Naples, Spano joined up with Eugenio Reale, Marcello Marroni and Clemente Maglietta to take at the management of the Communist Birthday celebration which, primarily based in Naples, they had been ready to reinstate within the liberated south of Italy.[20] (Palmiro Togliatti, the birthday celebration’s longstanding chief between, by way of some standards, 1927 and 1964, would now not go back from Moscow until 1944, however contacts had been maintained between Spano and Togliatti via French Communist Birthday celebration channels.[20]) A duration of full of life paintings on birthday celebration organisation ensued, with a focal point at the want to created a unified birthday celebration base soundly rooted in wholesome patriotic values, ready to house militants and pragmatists throughout all the liberated south. In December 1943 Spano took rate of a southern version of l’Unità, the birthday celebration’s day-to-day newspaper, although it was once most effective in March 1944 after seventeen years of clandestine small-scale e-newsletter, that the Neapolitan version of l’Unità turned into “felony”.[21][22] In January 1944 he participated at Bari within the congress of the “Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale” (Nationwide Liberation Comittee / CLN) at which, at the side of Reale, he aligned the Communist Birthday celebration with the socialists and the ”actionists” in refusing to take part in any provisional govt except and till the king abdicated. Others provide took a but extra radical place, insisting now not simply that the king must abdicate, however that the monarchy must be abolished. So far as the Communist Birthday celebration was once involved, the call for in reinforce of fast abdication was once softened rapidly with the arriving in Naples of Palmiro Togliatti on 27 March 1944.[4][20][23]

In April 1944 Spano participated prominently in Sicily on the first post-liberation birthday celebration congress, intervening forcefully to confront separatist currents throughout the birthday celebration. He was once in a similar way uncompromising in confronting separatism within the birthday celebration in Sardinia and in Calabria.[24][25]

After the liberation[edit]

In July 1944 Spano turned into a part of the provisional directorate established for the so-called birthday celebration “operativa” in anticipation of a liberated Italy It was once additionally in July 1944, following the liberation of Rome the former month, the Spano authorised the directorship of the newspaper l’Unità, accountable now for the Rome version for the following two years.[4] In Would possibly 1945 he attended the birthday celebration’s 2nd regional congress in Sardinia on behalf of the nationwide directorate and repeated his urgings now not to concentrate on the “autonomy” time table to the exclusion of the urgent want for social reforms. In 8 August 1945 he participated as a member on the inaugural assembly of the provisional management staff for the “Consulta nazionale” (‘’loosely, “nationwide council”’’) arrange at the foundation of a royal decree dated 5 April 1945 (‘’” Decreto legislativo luogotenenziale 5 aprile 1945, n. 146”’’) [26] at the foundation of an initiative from post-fascist political management teams that had emerged in Rome and Milan. Following the abolition of the monarchy in June/July 1946, Velio Spano served as an under-secretary on the Agriculture Ministry within the short-lived first govt of the Italian Republic. In the meantime in December 1945, on the 5th nationwide congress of the Communist Birthday celebration, Spano was once elected to club of the Birthday celebration Central Committee and, inside it, to the birthday celebration directorate, last in publish until the 9th nationwide congress.[1][3][4]

For greater than a decade Spano’s political occupation straddled each Sardinian politics and nationwide politics, primarily based in Rome. His own residence base remained in Sardinia until 1953, when he relocated his circle of relatives to Rome. He served as a member of the Constituent Meeting in Sardinia between 1947 and 1957 and was once birthday celebration secretary for the Sardinian birthday celebration department. He was once prominently concerned within the turbulent social and political trends all through the later Nineteen Forties at the island, particularly in appreciate of farm employee uprisings and land occupations. He was once additionally concerned within the sour 72 day miners’ strike towards the Carbosarda organisation at Carbonia in 1948. Staff’ Council had been subjected to a succession of police arrests. Spano himself was once arrested in September 1948, however because of his parliamentary immunity he needed to be launched. He due to this fact took a lead within the negotiations whilst different strike leaders remained in the back of bars, and remained carefully engaged at the innovative aspect of the arguments within the socio-political battles which, if now not absolutely resolved, started to be softened all through the Nineteen Fifties within the context of a outstanding – if conspicuously asymmetric – development within the financial situation of all the nation. [3][4][27]

Following the elections of 18 April 1948 Spano was once appointed to club of the senate, the higher space of the bicameral legislature of the brand new Italian Republic. He remained a senator, decided on for the “Guspini-Iglesias” electoral district in Sardinia and reconfirmed via successive elections, for the remainder of his existence.[28]

In August 1949 Spano authorised a birthday celebration request that he must discuss with the newly relaunched Folks’s Republic of China following greater than 20 years of intermittent civil struggle. He arrived in September and stayed within the nation until 1950, performing each as an ambassador, decided on for the duty by way of Palmiro Togliatti , the chief of the Italian Communist Birthday celebration and as a correspondent for the birthday celebration newspaper, l’Unità. Beginning in October 1949, he despatched again a sequence of news that have been accrued in combination on his go back and printed in one quantity in March 1950.[4][29][30]

The China travel presaged a extra everlasting building. In 1956 Spano was once given a number one position within the of the birthday celebration’s international affairs segment. [3] This was once the background to his appointment in 1958 as secretary to the “Italian Peace Motion” and thereby a vice-president on the International Peace Council .[4] Nonetheless, after Stalin died, and because the contents of so-called “secret speech” spilled throughout from Moscow, to be adopted by way of what optimists termed the Khrushchev Thaw in east-west members of the family, by way of 1961 Spano discovered himself in passionate and increasingly more open war of words with birthday celebration chief Palmiro Togliatti on their respective angle to the Soviet Union and at the extent to which Soviet-inspired communism might be thought to be suitable with Italian notions of parliamentary democracy. Those variations left Spano increasingly more sidelined when it got here to within the birthday celebration’s international coverage. The main exception involved the African continent, wherein Spano, inspired by way of his Tunisian-born spouse, had taken a selected pastime ever since his Tunisian exile all through the later Mussolini years. He took an in depth pastime within the decolonisation procedure which was once accelerating in quite a lot of portions of Africa all through the later Nineteen Fifties and early Sixties. His 1960 guide “Risorgimento africano” mirrored his shut consideration to those trends although his later years.[3]

Velio Spano died from most cancers at Rome on 7 October 1964.[4]

Output (variety)[edit]

  • Guadalajara. 8-23 marzo 1937, Parigi, Edizioni di coltura sociale, 1937.
  • I comunisti italiani e l’unità nazionale contro l’invasore, Napoli, Ed. Stalin (Soc. Tip. Anonima Libraria Italia Nuova), 1943.
  • Il partito della classe operaia, Edizioni del Partito Comunista Italiano, 1944.
  • Alla conquista di Cagliari. L. a. marcia dei comunisti cagliaritani dal 1921 al 1947, Cagliari, a cura delle sezioni comuniste di Cagliari, 1947.
  • Roma o Mosca? Riproduzione riassuntiva del contraddittorio fra Padre Lombardi e l’On. Sen. Velio Spano tenutosi in Cagliari il 4-12-1948 sul tema: cristianesimo o comunismo, Cagliari, Tip. Fadda, 1949.
  • Ciò che ho visto nella Cina popolare. Testo stenografico della conferenza tenuta il 26 febbraio 1950 al teatro Alfieri di Torino da V. S. di ritorno dal suo lungo viaggio nella Repubblica popolare cinese, Torino, Tip. Ti. Po, Tipografia Popolare, 1950.
  • Nella Cina di Mao Ze-Tun, Milano. Milano-Sera, 1950.
  • Il banditismo sardo e i problemi della rinascita, Roma, Editori riuniti, 1954.
  • Risorgimento africano, Roma, Editori riuniti, 1960.
  • In keeping with l’unità del popolo sardo, Cagliari, Edizioni della torre, 1978.


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  27. ^ Giampaolo Cirronis (1 December 2016). “Si è svolto sabato 26 novembre, a Carbonia, il convegno “In ricordo di Antonio Puggioni, dirigente politico e sindacale nelle istituzioni”. L. a. Provincia del Sulcis Iglesiente, Carbonia. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  28. ^ “Velio Spano: I Legislatura …. Dati anagrafici e incarichi”. I Legislatura Senato. Senato della Repubblica, Roma. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  29. ^ Laura De Giorgi; Guido Samarani; Carla Meneguzzi Rostagni; Sofia Graziani. “A Welcome Visitor? A Initial Overview of Velio Spano’s Adventure to Mao’s China 1949-1950” (PDF). Folks’s Republic of China, Western Europe and Italy Right through the Chilly Conflict Length (1949-1971). Edizioni Ca’ Foscari. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  30. ^ Velio Spano; П.А.Шибаев; Vijay Singh; Tahir Asghar (28 December 1949). “The Dialogue between Velio Spano and P.A. Shibayev at the Scenario within the Folks’s Republic of China”. Notes of the dialog between P.A. SHIBAYEV, the Fee d’Affaires of the USSR within the Folks’s Republic of China and Velio Spano, Member of the Communist Birthday celebration of Italy. The briefing, lasting roughly 3 hours, seems to were delivered by way of Spano in French. A Russian language model was once forwarded via Soviet diplomatic channels to Stalin and different contributors of the Soviet politburo in Moscow. The English language model cited here’s a translation from the Russian model. Innovative Democracy, New Delhi. Retrieved 7 July 2022.


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