Radio España Independiente, La Pirenaica, was a clandestine radio station founded by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) in Moscow in the summer of 1941 (at the time when German troops attacked the city) that remained on the air until 1977. In these 36 years a total of 108,360 radio broadcasts. Until 1955 the station was in Russia. In that year he moved to Bucharest, Romania. It stayed there until the end of the radio station in July 1977. The place of broadcast was never made public. This secrecy has always been a a very important feature of the radio station.
Nickname of Pirenaica, by which she was popularly known, was created by Dolores Ibárruri, Pasionaria, with the intention of eliminating the feeling of remoteness and influencing the mood of the Spanish people. Pasionaria became a myth for the anti-Francoists and her voice was used, from the beginning, as a weapon against fascism, in general, and Francoism, in particular. In addition, the radio station served as a source of propaganda for the Communist Party in its fight against the Spanish political regime and, in general, against the United States and capitalism in the context of the Cold War.
Spanish state tried to boycott radio broadcasts in different ways. The first was through repression and fear. Thus, the accusation of being a listener of La Pirenaica could imply prison and even death, as in the case of Alfonso Martínez Peña, executed in Cartagena in 1945. Later, in the early 1960s, he opted to interfere in La Pirenaica broadcasts thanks to the acquisition of technology with the help of the United States. A Radiated Inference Service (SIR) was created in the Ministry of the Presidency with the objective that the radio station's signal will arrive in the worst conditions. For this purpose, antennas were installed in the main cities. In this way, the voices of the announcers almost never came through clearly, surrounded by beeps and buzzes. The last way to counteract the radio station was through the counter-programming of the external services of Radio Nacional de España, on the one hand, and the support of broadcasts in Spanish from stations financed by the United States, such as Radio Liberty or La Voz de América.
Communist propaganda characterized the station forever. However, from the sixties (the golden age of the station according to specialists) its informative character increased (many times, using listeners to act as correspondents) trying to resemble, more and more, a conventional radio station with information and programs of all kinds but with criticism of the government and using truthful information to transmit what was happening in the country. They also opted for the incorporation of journalists and speakess from Spain to the staff (like María José Capellín and Manuel Vallejo) with a more realistic vision of the country's situation than that of those who had left it fleeing from Franco after the Civil War. All this achieved an increase in the number of listeners. La Pirenaica helped to ensure that the Spanish people were informed along with other broadcasts that came from abroad such as the well-known Spanish broadcasts of Radiodifusión Televisión Française (Radio Paris) or those of the BBC. This information that came from abroad allowed Spanish listeners to compare the information offered by the Spanish media, all of them subject to censorship. As Armand Balsebre and Rosario Fontova say in their book, "the intention was to go from being the information and propaganda organ of the Communist Party of Spain to become a mass communication mediums".
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca