*4. [Here it is necessary to think about Negrin's motives in publishing this at the beginning of May 1938, the stubborn obstacles he faced, and how quickly the fortunes of war could change.] The Thirteen Points can be interpreted as a manifesto for a post-war Spanish Republic or, if the chance came, the basis for a negotiated peace with the Nationalists. Already, during April 1938, Prieto had been probing for peace. Indeed, when the Thirteen Points were issued, it seemed as though Negrin might have some negotiating cards up his sleeve: the Republican army in the east had been reorganized, and by the end of April it had ground down the Nationalists' offensive southwards from Teruel; also, from March the Republic had been receiving new equipment across the French frontier. However, this matériel was almost exclusively Russian, and, since Prieto's departure from the Defence Ministry at the beginning of April, Communist influence in Negrin's government had effectively increased. Read in this light, the Thirteen Points can be seen as a cleverly worded counter-offensive against this 'red wedge', an attempt to convince the West that the Republic was not in Moscow's pocket. Source F's moderate tone represented a plea for a broader-based aid programme involving the West. It also hinted at common ground with the Nationalists. Thus the Thirteen Points evoked the spirit of patriotism (e.g. Point 1), the race (Points 1 and 10), and strong government (Point 3). At times, the language and tone echo those of the Nationalists' own Labour Charter.
Only unconditional Republican surrender, however, would satisfy Franco; a compromise peace would not 'finish the reds'. He had no use for a non-political army (Point 11). In any case, Franco could well afford to reject Negrin's proposals, as by May 1938 his ultimate victory was assured.
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