Veteran Spanish communist leader Santiago Carrillo has died at the age of 97.
Although he lived in exile for decades, Carrillo was a central figure in Spanish politics throughout his life. He was also Spain’s last surviving public figure to have taken an active part in the civil war.
Gaspar Llamazares of the United Left party Said:“I think he was more than just a left-wing personality. A little piece of our History goes with him, I think that one of the best pieces of our History, with all of its greatness and mistakes.”
When Franco took power in 1939, Carrillo went into exile from where he helped organise resistance.
In 1960 he became general secretary of the Spanish Communist party (PCE), a position he held until 1982.
When Franco died in 1975 Carrillo returned to Spain and was a founding member of the Eurocommunst movement. In 1977 he became an MP in the country’s first democratic elections since 1936.
His famous smoking habit did not harm his longevity which he put down to his ongoing active participation in Spanish political life well into his 90s.