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Former Ku Klux Klan leader sends message of congratulations to Vox

David Duke, a well-known white supremacist who was involved in the racist incidents in Charlottesville last year, touted “the end of the socialist regime” on Twitter

David Duke
David Duke in Charlottesville in 2017. AP

VOX triumphs in Andalusia! 12 seats and the end of the socialist regime 🇪🇸 #EspañaViva makes it history and shows that change is possible. The Reconquista begins in the Andalusian lands and will be extended in the rest of Spain 📣 #AndalucíaPorEspaña.” This is the message sent out on Twitter by David Duke, 69, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.

A Nazi sympathizer since the age of 14, founder of a branch of the Klan in 1974, congressman in Louisiana between 1989 and 1992, jailed for 15 months in 2002 for tax fraud, and a failed pretender to a role as governor, senator and US president, Duke is now an online agitator for the far right.

The Anti-Defamation League has described him as “perhaps America's most well-known racist and anti-Semite.” “He’s the most recognizable figure of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader and now international spokesman for Holocaust denial,” adds the Southern Poverty Law Center, which specializes in the study of extremism.

The message from the former Grand Wizard of the white supremacist group in support of Vox was posted on Monday, and had garnered 410 likes and 259 retweets by Tuesday afternoon, turning the phrase “Ku Klux Klan” into a trending topic in Spain.

In other messages on the social network, the racist, anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier once congratulated US President Donald Trump for his “honesty and courage,” while he also blamed “both sides” for the incidents in Charlottesville, where the biggest white supremacist march seen in years in the United States ended up with confrontations between counter-marchers and the death of a 32-year-old woman, as well as 34 people injured.

David Duke
David Duke in a Ku Klux Klan uniform in London in 1978. He managed to visit the country despite being banned.

“Bolsonaro sounds like us,” he said recently after the victory of the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro at elections in Brazil.

Duke took an active role in events in Charlottesville, as he did 45 years before in other racist incidents. At the march he promised to fulfill the slogan of Donald Trump to “take back” the country.

As well as the message from Duke, a number of European far-right figures have also congratulated Vox on its strong performance at the Andalusian elections on Sunday. Geert Wilders from The Netherlands and Marine Le Pen from France were the first to celebrate the rise of the party led by Santiago Abascal. Le Pen sent her message before even the official results were known, calling Vox a “young and dynamic” movement.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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