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Coup in Spain, Yesterday and Today

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero, moments after breaking into the Chamber of Deputies, on the afternoon of February 23, 1981, which started a coup in Spain, with the seizure of Parliament and armed uprisings in a number of cities. Its failure ended up consolidating the lately restored democracy. Credit: RTVE.
  • Opinion by Joaquin Roy (miami)
  • Inter Press Service

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero, wielding a regulation pistol, the invaders interrupted the voting course of for the brand new President of the Council of Ministers, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, who was to succeed Adolfo Suárez, who had resigned just a few days earlier. Tejero claimed that his motion was endorsed by King Juan Carlos I.

The dramatic incident had been inaugurated by the firing of machine-gun bursts by the invaders in the direction of the roof of the constructing, whereas the parliamentarians have been ordered to lie on the bottom beneath their seats. Only three deputies stood upright: President Suárez, Communist chief Santiago Carrillo, and the outgoing vice chairman of the federal government and Minister of Defense, General Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado.

Suárez, who had been the architect of the restoration of democracy in 1978 with the approval of the brand new Constitution along with King Juan Carlos, had ended up exhausted in an atmosphere stuffed with confrontations brought on primarily by the harassment that the terrorist group ETA had been imposing in the political atmosphere via assaults towards police, civilians and army.

The critical occasion was resolved after intense hours of motion when King Juan Carlos issued an announcement on tv in which, in clear phrases, he remembered the coup plotters and their potential collaborators as Head of State about their obligations.

The earlier context of the intense occasions was stuffed with hazard indicators that have been confirmed. Among the main points that led the King to make the drastic resolution, the atmosphere of his household stands out, it was overpopulated with historic errors that have been paid dearly. That panorama prolonged as a lot in time as in house.

In the primary place, probably the most distant antecedent was the error made by Juan Carlos’ personal grandfather, Alfonso XIII, when in the twenties of the earlier century, he was pressured by the army and ended up accepting the function of General Primo de Rivera in 1923.

A couple of years till 1930 have been sufficient for his affect to be exhausted and the evolution of nationwide politics to testify to the triumph of the left in the necessary cities in the municipal elections of 1931. The Second Spanish Republic survived till the coup General Franco’s army power that unleashed the Civil War of 1936-39, and the following institution of the Franco dictatorship till 1975.

Juan Carlos additionally had the latent influence of such a political error on his spouse’s family, Queen Sofía. Her brother, King Constantine of Greece, couldn’t resist the stress of the army, to whom he handed over the initiative to energy in 1967. Later this resolution meant the tip of the Greek monarchy and the institution of a republican regime in 1973.

The ambiance that presided over Madrid that deadly 23 February insisted on the reminiscence of the monarchical errors of the previous. Therefore, avoiding the jerky choices of the previous prevented the repetition of historic tragedies.

Today’s circumstances, given the obvious survival of sure social and political instability, in the midst of an economic-pandemic disaster, advise an evaluation of the feasibility of a critical and drastic decision of political discrepancies. It is handy, due to this fact, to meditate on makes an attempt of indiscipline in sure army sectors, as they’ve been expressed in manifestos issued by sectors of army leaders beneath the retirement statute.

A serene evaluation of those incidents generates deserves an analysis as they think about themselves restricted to these sectors led by a nostalgic minority. In distinction, the professionalism of the sectors which have served in the final many years in peace missions, growth support, and even help in the combat towards the pandemic, are claimed. But that doesn’t completely get rid of the latent risk of discontent, accompanied by the poor efficiency of political events when confronted with new risks.

With some concern, due to this fact, one should observe the deterioration in the train of the as soon as necessary place of the Popular Party, whose benefit on the nationwide stage has been notably eroded. In addition to the truth that the PP has virtually disappeared from the Catalan scene, the failure of the centrist events (UCD was the perfect instance of the transition) that would act as hinges in the way of liberal-centrist formations in some European nations, like UK and Germany.

The knockout given to Ciudadanos (which aspired to be a supermodern UCD), coupled with the stratospheric rise of extremely right-wing VOX, ought to be positioned into the middle of the meditation on the instability of the political material.

It should additionally occupy a primary place in hypothesis about the specter of a coup, onerous or smooth, or just expendable concern. The 23-F anniversary is an effective event to detect the latent presence of Tejero on the congressional flooring or think about that the elimination of Franco’s physique from the Valley of the Fallen means one thing everlasting.

Joaquín Roy is Jean Monnet Professor and Director of the European Union Center on the University of Miami

© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal supply: Inter Press Service

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