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Adolfo Suárez y González (born 25 September, 1932) was a Spanish conservative politician, nationalist and pro-democratic activist, known for his lengthy prison sentence of 16 years in Spain (1969-1985) and his legacy as a key figure in the transition to democracy, serving as the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic from 1986 until 1996. Suárez, as Prime Minister of Spain, normalized relations with Portugal and the United States, liberalised the Spanish economy while guaranteeing the survival of a cradle-to-grave national health, education and welfare state, and rehabilitated most political prisoners and exiles of the Communist regime while electing to only pursue punitive measures against a handful of Communist officials. He retired in 1996 shortly after leading his Democratic Union to its third straight electoral victory, and is well-remembered and regarded in Spain for his contributions to the transition to democracy.