Spanish Archives - Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

Person - Esplá, Carlos (1895-1971)

Esplá, Carlos (1895-1971)




Preferred form:

Esplá, Carlos (1895-1971)Alternative forms (other languages) Other forms

Fechas de existencia:

Alicante (España)  1895-06-23 - Ciudad de México (México)  1971-07-06


Spanish journalist and politician from Alicante, born in the neighborhood of Benalúa on 23 June 1895, in the heart of a republican middle‑class family. He was the son of Julio Esplá Rizo (1865 - 11 July 1909), the agent of the insurance company La Alianza, and of the teacher Josefa Rizo Alberola (1871 - 17 July 1918). The married couple had four children: Carlos (1892) who died as a child, Mª Asunción (1893), Carlos (1895), and Manuel (1897). His father died when Carlos was fourteen and he was forced to abandon his studies to start working. The year 1909, which coincides with the execution of Francisco Ferrer Guardia (Alella, 1859 - Barcelona, 1909), meant a point of inflection in which his social conscience was awakened. During that year he was also strongly involved in the political activism of the moment. From a very young age he fought in favor of republican ideals by publishing his first article in the newspaper El Liberal when he was 15 years old. He was a member of the Concentración Republicana Autónoma (Autonomous Republican Concentration) with Lorenzo Carbonell (Alicante, 1883 - 1968), Álvaro Pascual-Leone Forner (Vinaroz, 1896 - Mexico, 1955), Alonso Mallol (Alicante, 1894 - 1967) or the brothers Juan and Álvaro Botella Perez. This formation was directed by the doctor Antonio Rico Cabot (Alicante, 1866 - 1927), who was president of the Republican Union until 1905, and congregated the majority of the republicanism of Alicante. Together with the brothers Botella Pérez and his teachers, Dr. Antonio Rico Cabot and the poet Salvador Sellés (Alicante, 1848 ‑ 1938), he founded El Luchador in 1912, a left-wing newspaper where he used the pseudonym Valentín Carrasco to publish his articles. He was part of the Centro Antiflamenquista Cultural of Alicante, related to the ideology of Eugenio Noel (Madrid, 1885 - Barcelona, 1936) against bullfighting and flamenco. He also joined the Juventud Republicana, the youth section of the Autonomous Republican Party, where he defended a modern republicanism, away from the current of Lerroux and closer to the ideas of Manuel Azaña Díaz (Alcalá de Henares, 1880 - Montauban, France, 1940) or Luis de Zulueta and Escolano (Barcelona, 1878 - New York, 1964). In 1915 he was prosecuted and imprisoned for denouncing frauds committed in the Alicante Town Council and repeatedly accusing José Francos Rodríguez (Madrid, 1862 - 1931) and Melquiades Álvarez González-Posada (Gijón, 1864 - Madrid, 1936). Despite the fact that the hearing absolved him on 11 July 1916, he was sentenced to four years of exile. Because of this, he left Valencia, where he worked as editor in the newspaper El Pueblo, directed by Félix Azzati (Cádiz, 1864 - Valencia, 1929) and founded by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (Valencia, 1867 - Menton, France, 1928). There, he continued writing in favor of the Republic, against clericalism, and he criticized the neutrality that Spain held during the World War. During his stay in Valencia he was in contact with personalities such as Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente Llorens, and Marcelino Domingo and he quickly stood out in Valencian blaschism, both as a journalist and as a politician committed to the Republic. In 1922 he entered the Masonic lodge Federación Valentina, where he adopted the name of Gorky. He was correspondent of Las Provincias and on 12 March 1923 he moved to Paris, where he continued his work defending the republican ideals. Despite the disagreements between them, he was a friend and nexus between Blasco Ibáñez, of whom he was secretary, and Miguel de Unamuno (Bilbao, 1864 - Salamanca, 1936). They coordinated to attack the monarchical regime in an organized manner. During his stay in Paris he founded, in 1925, the weekly newspaper España con honra together with Eduardo Ortega y Gasset (Madrid, 1882 - Venezuela, 1964) and Juan Durá. This publication lasted until 1926 and a large part of the Spanish exiles wrote on it. From 1925 he began to collaborate in several newspapers spread across Spain, for instance, he collaborated with the Catalan press in La Vanguardia and with the Valencian press by publishing in El Pueblo. He also collaborated in some newspapers of his hometown, such as El Luchador, Diario de Alicante, or El Día, and in other Madrilenian newspapers like Heraldo de Madrid, El Liberal, El Sol, La Voz, or Crisol (which was continued by Luz), which housed some of his articles. He also left his mark on the newspaper opposing the dictatorship Hojas Libres. He also collaborated with the French international press in Le Quotidien, L'Humanité, and L'Oeuvre, and Italian press in Il Corriere degli italiani. In June 1926 he married Rosa Farga from Alicante, with whom he had no offspring. Through various manifestos and protests he participated in numerous conspiracies against the monarchy of Alfonso XIII and against the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. In January 1929 he led, along with José Sánchez Guerra (Córdoba, 1859 - Madrid, 1935), the revolutionary movement in Valencia, which was the first major offensive against the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. On 24 May 1930 he returned to Alicante and in September of the same year he was elected vice‑president of the International Association of Journalists. At the beginning of 1931 he left the newspaper El Sol and in March of that year he decided to return definitively to Spain. When the Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, in Alicante he held the position of Civil Governor of the province. In June of that same year he was also Civil Governor of Barcelona, replacing Lluís Companys. But in August, once the Estatut de Catalunya or Núria was approved, editorial in which he had collaborated, he resigned from this position in order to run for the Cortes in Alicante. He was elected deputy and soon joined the Republican Action party. With the government of Azaña he was appointed Undersecretary of the Interior and he continued closely linked to the nationalist movement and to the resolution of labor conflicts through anarchist syndicalism. In December 1932 he chaired the Comisión de Transferencias (Transfers Committee) of the Statute of Catalonia. In 1933 he failed to renew his position as deputy and in January 1934 he was prosecuted for criticizing the civil governor of Alicante in the newspaper El Luchador. He was on probation and the bail imposed of 2,000 pesetas was paid by popular subscription with a single contribution of 25 cents. He collaborated in the creation of Republican Left and he directed the newspaper Política, which he founded together with Luis Bello (Alba de Tormes, 1872 - Madrid, 1935) in 1935 and which became the main means of expression of the Republican Left. José Giral (Santiago de Cuba, 1879 - Mexico, 1962) appointed him Undersecretary of the Presidency and he was part of the Junta Delegada (Delegate Board) of Levante, presided by Diego Martínez Barrio (Seville, 1883 - Paris, 1962). In 1936 he returned to be elected deputy for Alicante in the candidacy of the Republican Left to the Cortes. In May of that year he was appointed undersecretary of the presidency and in September, Secretary‑General of the Council of Ministers. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, in Valencia, he convinced General Martinez Monje (Granada, 1874 - Buenos Aires, 1963) to remain loyal to the government and to not rise up. With the government of Largo Caballero (Madrid, 1869 - Paris, 1946) he held the position of Minister for Propaganda until May 1937, when he became State Secretary. With the remodeling of the government of Negrín (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1892 - Paris, 1956), after the fall of Teruel, Carlos Esplá resigned from any public office except that of Vice‑President of the Republican Left in Barcelona, which he held since May 1938 and until the end of the Civil War. With the end of the Civil War he returned to Paris and continued with his journalistic activity as a correspondent for Noticias Gráficas of Buenos Aires, from 1939 to 1943, and helped the exiled republican refugees. In November 1940 he traveled with his wife on the 'Imperial' ship of the Compañía Sud‑Americana de Vapores from Valparaíso to Havana. Later he traveled to Argentina and from there he emigrated to Mexico, where he remained until 1950. He was summoned to Mexico by Indalecio Prieto (Oviedo, 1883 - Mexico City, 1962) and José Giral, president of the Republic in exile, for the purpose of managing the economic fund of the Junta de Auxilio a los Republicanos Españoles (Auxiliary Board for Spanish Republicans) and co-directing the Junta Española de Liberación (Spanish Liberation Board). There, he continued writing in various publications: La nostra revista, Senyera, España: órgano de la Junta Española de Liberación. Sección 'Valija indiscreta', España Nueva, Nosotros, or Izquierda Republicana. Moreover, he published several books and worked as a translator for various publishing houses. With the formation of the republican government in exile, Giral wanted him to be part of the regenerative project of the republic. He declined the offer to occupy again any remunerated position, because he thought that it was a mistake trying to reconstruct the constitutional republican organs in exile. For Carlos Esplá, the success of democracy in Spain had to start from internal actions and, of course, be supported internationally. Despite these convictions, since 1945 he helped Prieto achieve the unity of the exiles and fight against the Franco regime from exile. In 1950 he won a position in the body of translators of the United Nations, he moved to Switzerland and later to the United States. He returned to Mexico and from there he promoted the creation of Acción Republicana Democrática Española (ARDE). After a long depression, he died in Mexico on 6 July 1971. His mortal remains are to be found in the Spanish Pantheon in Mexico.

Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date of the event: 1936 - 1939



Date of the event: 1940-11-24

Location associated with the date: Veracruz (México)

República Española, 1931-1939

Description: Gobernador civil de Alicante, de marzo al 27 de abril de 1931 , después gobernador civil de Barcelona durante el verano de 1931. Nombrado por Azaña, Subsecretario de Gobernación y Presidente de la Comisión de Transferencias del Estatuto de Cataluña y diputado constituyente por Alicante. Así como comisionado en la Sociedad de Naciones. Subsecretario de Presidencia, noviembre de 1936, Ministerio de Propaganda, marzo de 1937 y Subsecretario de estado.



El Archivo de Carlos Esplá estuvo mientras éste vivió en su poder. Tras la guerra buena parte de sus papeles personales quedaron en España al cuidado de una familia amiga. Lo poco que pudo salvar más lo que acumuló después de 1939 constituye el actual fondo. Tras la muerte de Esplá, el Archivo pasó a su sobrino Manuel de Juan Farga, quién a su vez lo legó Concepción de Juan Gómez, ambos residentes en México D.F. Posteriormente, en 1997, tras unas largas negociaciones, pasó a ser propiedad de Pedro Luis Angosto Vélez y Encarna Fernández García. En el año 2001, el Ministerio de Cultura, adquiere a los últimos propietarios el archivo personal de Carlos Esplá y está custodiado en el Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica de Salamanca.


Diputados  Obs.:  constituyente por Alicante




Lugar de Residencia:

València (España) in 1916

París (Francia) between 1923 and 1931

Buenos Aires (Argentina) between 1939 and 1940

Alicante (España) in 1895-07-13

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Alicante (España) in 1895-06-23

Lugar de Defunción:

Ciudad de México (México) in 1971-07-06





Angosto, Pedro L.. Carlos Esplá: el periodismo como vocación y como compromiso. Pedro Luis Angosto Vélez. Madrid : Eneida, [2006].

Azaña, Manuel. Angosto, Pedro L.. Puig, Julia. Una lealtad entre ruinas : epistolario Azaña-Esplá, 1939-1940. Pedro L. Angosto, Julia Puig (eds.). [Valencia]: Universitat de València. 2003. 196 p.. ISBN: 84-370-5792-2.

Esplá, Carlos. Angosto, Pedro L.. Haro Tecglen, Eduardo. La insurrección contra la inteligencia : epístolas republicanas : Carlos Esplá-Amós Salvador-Ángel Ossorio y Gallardo. Pedro L. Angosto ; prólogo, Eduardo Haro Tecglen. Madrid: Centro de Investigación y Estudios Republicanos. 2007. 315 p.. ISBN: 978-84-611-6591-9.

Esplá, Carlos. Angosto, Pedro L.. Puig, Julia. Carles Esplà, un periodista republicà : cròniques, conferències i correspondència amb Tarradellas. Pedro L. Angosto, Julia Puig (eds.). [Valencià]: Publicacions de la Universitat de València. 2007. 249 p.. ISBN: 978-84-370-6706-3.

Related Authorities

Abeytúa, Isaac (1892-1973)

Associative relations :

Acción Republicana Democrática Española  ( Es fundador de )

Acción Republicana (España)  ( Es miembro de )

Alberola Costa, Carmelo (1904-?)

Alvajar López-Jean, Amparo (1916-1998)  ( Colabora con )

Asensio Gómez, Ambrosio (1888-?)  ( Es colega/ amigo de )

Asín Usieto, Santos (1901-aprox. 1962)  ( En su ficha del Registro nacional de extranjeros en México consta como persona de contacto en Ciudad de México de Carlos Esplá Rizo. )

Benavente, Carmen (1912-?)  ( Según la ficha del Servicio de Migración mexicano la persona de referencia es Carlos Esplá (domicilio, calle Nápoles, 17. México D.F.). )

Blasco-Ibáñez Blasco, Sigfrido (1902-1983)  ( Es aprendiz (de un oficio) de/ es alumno de/ trabaja con )

Centro Republicano Español de México  ( Es miembro de )

Domenech Llorens, Pedro (1902-?)  ( Es colega/ amigo de; Es la persona de referencia en su tajeta de inmigración, con domicilio en calle Nápoles ,17 Ciudad de México. )

Domingo, Marcelino (1884-1939)  ( Es colega/ amigo de; Con el que constituyen Juventud republicana. )

Estellés Salarich, Juan (1893-?)  ( La generación del "Alma joven" era un grupo de jóvenes republicanos valencianos en el que estaba integrado también Carlos Esplá )

Junta de Auxilio a los Republicanos Españoles  ( Es miembro de; Carlos Esplá fue secretario general de la JARE )

Marín Luna, Miquel Àngel (1906-2001)  ( Colabora con )

Meliá Bernabeu, Felipe (1898-1960)  ( Es colega/ amigo de )

Organización de las Naciones Unidas  ( Es empleado en/trabaja en; Trabajó como traductor. )

Yubero Casado, Lucidio (1891-?)  ( Lucidio le envía una carta solicitando dinero para poder recuperarse de una operación que le ha dejado convaleciente. )

Family relationships :

Fargá Font, Rosa (1895-1962)  - Marriage (Esta casado/a con)

Esplá, Óscar (1886-1976)  - Collateral (Es primo/a de)

Farga Font, José (1903-?)  - Collateral (Es cuñado/a de)

Navarro Esplá, Carlos  - Collateral (Es tio/a de)


Producer of:

  • Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica  (38)

Related documents:

  • Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica  (102)
  • Archivo Histórico Nacional  (148)