MIAMI, Feb 22 (IPS) – Forty years in the past, on February 23, 1981 (later often called 23-F), in the course of the afternoon in a chilly Madrid ambiance, essentially the most severe assault towards the reborn Spanish democracy befell. An armed contingent of greater than 200 Civil Guard brokers invaded the Congress of Deputies and threatened the dissolution of the federal government and the institution of a dictatorship.
Beneath 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 direction of the roof of the constructing, whereas the parliamentarians have been ordered to lie on the bottom beneath their seats. Solely three deputies stood upright: President Suárez, Communist chief Santiago Carrillo, and the outgoing vice chairman of the federal government and Minister of Protection, Normal Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado.
Suárez, who had been the architect of the restoration of democracy in 1978 with the approval of the brand new Structure 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 within the political atmosphere by way of assaults towards police, civilians and navy.
The intense occasion was resolved after intense hours of motion when King Juan Carlos issued an announcement on tv during 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 alerts that have been confirmed. Among the many particulars that led the King to make the drastic determination, 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.
Within the first place, essentially the most distant antecedent was the error made by Juan Carlos’ personal grandfather, Alfonso XIII, when within the twenties of the earlier century, he was pressured by the navy and ended up accepting the position of Normal Primo de Rivera in 1923.
Just a few 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 within the vital cities within the municipal elections of 1931. The Second Spanish Republic survived till the coup Normal Franco’s navy power that unleashed the Civil Struggle of 1936-39, and the next institution of the Franco dictatorship till 1975.
Juan Carlos additionally had the latent affect 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 navy, to whom he handed over the initiative to energy in 1967. Later this determination meant the top 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. Subsequently, avoiding the jerky selections of the previous prevented the repetition of historic tragedies.
As we speak’s circumstances, given the obvious survival of sure social and political instability, within the midst of an economic-pandemic disaster, advise an evaluation of the feasibility of a severe and drastic decision of political discrepancies. It’s handy, subsequently, to meditate on makes an attempt of indiscipline in sure navy sectors, as they’ve been expressed in manifestos issued by sectors of navy 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 within the final a long time in peace missions, growth assist, and even help within the struggle towards the pandemic, are claimed. However that doesn’t completely remove the latent menace of discontent, accompanied by the poor efficiency of political events when confronted with new risks.
With some concern, subsequently, one should observe the deterioration within the train of the as soon as vital place of the In style Social gathering, whose benefit on the nationwide stage has been notably eroded. Along with the truth that the PP has virtually disappeared from the Catalan scene, the failure of the centrist events (UCD was one of the best instance of the transition) that might act as hinges within the method 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, needs 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, laborious or comfortable, 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 removing 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 Heart on the College of Miami
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