He led the Nationalist side for most of the Spanish Civil war, against the Republican side, which comprised of Communists and Anarchists. Aided by forces sent by Hitler and Mussolini, and by the backstabbing Communists, The Nationalists won the war in April of 1975.
Franco's reign of terror was marked by oppression and routine disappearances. Political opponents were often executed, and the brutal Guardia Civil was omnipresent.
To this day, Franco is remembered as the destroyer of inherant proof that an Anarchist society is possible. (The Anarchists managed to organize most of North Eastern Spain into efficient worker-controlled collectives. With the end of the Civil war, authoritanarianism was established.)
Also: Darling of the hyper-right Catholic Traditionalist or Integrist set. Franco was a great patron of the Roman Catholic Church. Some extreme fundamentalist Catholics candy coat Franco's regime as a Catholic monarchical paradise on earth, when in fact it was just another example of a soul and life crushing totalitarian state.
Sane agnostic: (sarcasm) Yeah! A murderous secret police, extreme censorship, death camps, arbitrary imprisonment and execution, and a megalomaniacal despot! Yep, sure beats free speech, freedom of religious assembly, and due process any day!