->'''Sam Tyler:''' This place is like Guantanamo Bay.\\
'''Gene Hunt:''' Give over, it's nothing like Spain.
-->-- ''Series/{{Life on Mars|2006}}''

Spain under the rule of UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco, from 1939 to 1975, following the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar.

An era of cultural restrictions, human rights violations and for a time, international isolation ([[WorldWarII/TheNeutralNations Spain was neutral]] in UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, but was pro-Axis for much of it). To his supporters, however, he was seen as a strongman and "Defender of Christendom," if only because he fought against Communists during the Spanish Civil War. Most historians generally regard his regime and ideology as an ultraconservative authoritarianism more common with the dictatorships/juntas of South America than the Fascists and Nazis.

Towards the end of his rule, Franco sought to restore the Spanish royal family, then in exile. The rightful king, the Infante Juan, was too liberal to be trusted and Franco instead picked Juan's son Juan Carlos who was still young enough to be groomed into a Francoist mentality.

Unhappily for Franco (but happily for everyone else), Juan Carlos was not the [[ObfuscatingStupidity dutiful puppet]] the dictator supposed; the prince was secretly in contact with democrats and foreign political leaders. When Franco finally died and Juan Carlos took the throne, the new king swept away the old regime and instituted the modern, democratic Spain, though not before having to publicly stand up to a putsch attempt by some hard-lined Francoists: King Juan Carlos went public reminding everyone he was the King, he wanted a proper constitutional monarchy beholden to the people and have the fascists crushed. He got those things in short order and by the end, even the head of the national Communist party was cheering, "God save the King!"

[[RunningGag This just in]]: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalissimo_Francisco_Franco_is_still_dead Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead]].

Although the transition to democracy was successful, the regime left deep scars in the Spanish society that can still be felt up to this day. Especially since most of the people in power today were raised during Franco's rule.

!!''In fiction''
* ''Film/PansLabyrinth''
* ''FIlm/TheSpiritOfTheBeehive''