Newsletter: Before the Russian tanks have crossed the border, the left-wing coalition government is already split on the matter. On the right, Vox's Abscal is denouncing a globalist plot against Spain.
The Ukraine crisis catches Spain in the run up to the regional elections in Castilla y León on February 13. This weekend, Western leaders seem to be taking the Russian invasion as a given, now imminent. More weapons are arriving in Ukraine or nearby countries. The US has ordered the evacuation of its Embassy in Kiev from Monday. The UK has told Brits not to travel around the country unless it's essential. Germany, on the other hand, is blocking the defence of Ukraine, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, by stopping Estonia sending arms to Kiev because the arms originally came from Germany.
This is the first international crisis of 2022 that requires a response and political positioning in Spain, like the crises with Morocco in the Spanish North African city of Ceuta in May or with the Western retreat from Afghanistan in August. The coalition government is already split: whilst the socialist half has ordered the deployment of Spanish warships, and perhaps fighters, to the area, the communist half is signing manifestos against the war and denouncing NATO.
"Europe does not have the slightest interest in a military confrontation on European soil with a state that has nuclear weapons", said Pablo Iglesias", now supposedly a "criticial journalist", at a Podemos event for those regional elections. Catalan separatists, who support the government in parliament, are also against participation. Would these first cracks in the coalition lead to its break up at some point, were the conflict and the ideological discrepancies to continue over time?
In the opposition, both the Popular Party and Ciudadanos have offered their support to the government, or to the socialist half of it, in line with the country's commitments to NATO and the EU. The lack of statements and positioning from Vox is remarkable. Abascal's party is focused on its regional election campaign and pretending the Ukraine crisis does not exist. But they mean to govern the whole country, not just Castilla, on behalf of all and there will always be international crises to deal with.
Abascal announced to an election rally in León that he had had a secret conversation with a powerful globalist who wanted to control the planet, "They are enemies of the people..!", he shouted. If Vox were to win power, it would not be the first time Spain has had a leader who believes in conspiracy theories in which globalists plot against Spain, but it would represent a reactionary involution of the democratic path the country has followed in the modern period since the Transition in the 1970s.
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