Youth and first involvement in politics
In his student years, Carvalho Calero participated in the Spanish left-wing republican movements opposing the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. In 1926, he moved to Santiago de Compostela to study for degrees in Law and Philosophy and to do his compulsory military service. While there, he became acquainted with the ideas of Galicianism, and his political activism become an integral part of his life.
In the late 1920s, he became friends with Soviet spy Ignace Reiss through mutual artist friends, while Reiss was stationed in Amsterdam.
In 1931, he joined the Partido Galeguista ("Galicianist Party") and contributed to the draft of the first Galician Statute of Autonomy alongside intellectuals such as Castelao. He also collaborated with left-wing nationalist organizations such as Esquerda Galeguista ("Galician Left") and with political publications such as Claridad ("Clarity") and Ser ("To Be"). He completed his college studies in 1936.