• theleftberlin

Clear plans for a coup in Spain

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

400 former army officers have signed a third manifesto against the government after plans for a coup against the "socialist-communist" coalition become public


by Carmela Negrete

The Spanish army has a longstanding fascism problem. General Franco accompanied by military leaders in 1950. Photo: Museo del Ejército, Ministerio de Defensa de España. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

More and more former officers of the Spanish army, currently over 400, have signed letters addressed to King Felipe VI of Borbon. The text warns the head of state about the threat to "national unity" and the consequences of the policies of the "socialist-communist" coalition government, supported by friends of the Basque underground organization ETA and the Independents. (1) Amongst the signatories are members of the Spanish secret service Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, who are likely to have worked against ETA during the years of the "dirty war".

The letter is explosive. It is the third letter sent to the King in recent weeks by former generals and other army officers. Furthermore, it is part of the strategy of some of these former officers to initiate a coup. The King is officially the head of the Spanish Army and their plan was to use the letters to force Felipe to act and show loyalty in the event of a coup.

A private chat of former army officers was discovered at the beginning of last week, thanks to the research of the online medium Infolibre. In a Whatsapp group, more than 70 ex-officials are said to have exchanged information and incited each other: "We have to kill the 26 million sons of a bitch". This is a reference to the voters of the social democratic party (PSOE) and the left-wing alliance, Unidas Podemos (UP). "Only the uprisings of Primo de Rivera and the “One and Only” (Franco) brought peace and prosperity to Spain," wrote another. For months the military used this tone in discussions. Apparently, members of this group pilloried their colleagues who are members of the progressive group "Foro Milicia y Democracia. Now the public prosecutor's office is investigating the army officers.

The royal family has stonewalled the subject. Margarita Robles, Minister of Defense of the Social Democratic Party (PSOE), has sharply criticized the letters and their authors. She does not see a generalized problem in the army. The pensioners have a very special sense of justice and while they demand mass murders and lead a discourse of hate, they wanted to convince the President of the European Parliament David-Maria Sassoli of their cause and also sent him a letter on November 10th. (2)

The leader of the People's Party (PP) in the Madrid region, Isabel Ayuso, showed "understanding" for the writers of the letters and trivialized their actions by assuring that "many Spaniards have concerns about what the government is doing. (3) The PP has never distanced itself from Francoism and even had former ministers of Franco in its ranks, but has had to moderate itself. However, the new Right is shifting its discourse to the right, so the party now seems to be allowing itself to question democracy again.

"Of course these are our people," declared the deputy from the ever more openly fascist party Vox, Macarena Olona. The head of Vox, Santiago Abascal, is also said to have appeared in the published chat, which is likely not the only one since there are reports that the military has now moved its discussion to Telegram. The discourse of Vox has been taken over by parts of the army. In this discourse, the alleged threats to Spain are overwhelmingly seen as being independence supporters and "mass migration", which the government wants to use to "destroy Spain". On Saturday, Abascal once again staged himself as a hardliner against the weakness of the municipality of Mogán on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria. Abascal called for the deployment of the Navy against refugees arriving there, instead of the Spanish rescue service Salvamento Marítimo, as is now the case.

The threat from the right has become increasingly public since Sánchez took office in coalition with UP. The private apartment of Spanish Vice President, Pablo Iglesias, has long been a target of the ultra-nationalists. The head of Podemos has been repeatedly threatened. For months a barrack of the paramilitary Guardia Civil has been posted in front of his villa. A mob regularly gathers there to insult him and the Minister of Equality Irene Montero, his partner, and to disturb their peace. Both had to break off their vacation in Asturias this summer, where they wanted to spend a few days in an apartment owned by the General Secretary of the Communist Party (PCE), Enrique Santiago. On social media, the news of their presence was made public, and several pieces of threatening graffiti invited them to prematurely return home in Madrid.

  1. “social-comunista, apoyado por filoetarras e independentistas” https://elpais.com/espana/2020-11-28/73-mandos-retirados-del-ejercito-firman-una-carta-al-rey-que-asume-el-discurso-de-vox.html

  2. https://www.vozpopuli.com/espana/cni-carta-militares-rey-felipe-vi_0_1415559659.html

  3. https://elpais.com/espana/2020-12-06/ayuso-justifica-las-cartas-de-militares-al-rey-hay-muchos-espanoles-preocupados.html


This article first appeared in German in junge Welt. Translation: Giorgio De Césare. Reproduced with the author's permission