Is Spain the Next Venezuela?
On both sides of the Atlantic, the question is the same: will Spain become the Venezuela of Europe?
Spanish – By Antonio Moreno Ruiz
With every passing day, freedoms in Spain are restricted; there are aggressions against liberty. The country is important because of its geopolitical circumstance since it is at the union of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as the meeting point (or discord point) of Europe and Africa, and the obligatory passage for America, a continent with which it shares history, blood, and culture from the United States to Patagonia.
There are many people who, from the other side of the Atlantic, wonder how likely it is that Spain will end up like Venezuela. A priori, there would be certain counterweights that would prevent Spain from drifting into such a Castro-Chávez regime just like that. But is it really so?
Would the European Union allow Spain to become a dictatorship? In principle, the answer would be no. But, for example, has Belgium, a member of the European Union, worked with Spain to bring the separatist coup leader Puigdemont to justice? Is the attitude of France in seizing masks that intended for Spain very encouraging? Or the attitude of the Netherlands, saying that Spain and Italy are to blame because they allow the hospitalization of the elderly and that collapses the health system, is that reliable? And the attitude of Germany, which does not remember how a large part of the Western world forgave it its debt after reunification and wants to direct the migration policy of the whole of Europe without regard to the respective national sovereignties?
What’s more, isn’t Castro-Chavismo already favored by the European left?
The European Union is going to find itself in a very difficult situation after confronting this pandemic. Many of its weaknesses, differences, and interests are coming out more blatantly than ever. In this situation, we cannot believe that Spain will find too many guarantees, especially its own state isn’t respecting it.
Spain is not Venezuela
Right, just like Venezuela wasn’t Cuba. It is also true that there are certain counterweights in Spain – for example, the parliamentary monarchy or the euro – that Venezuela did not have.
In the context of the European crisis, unlike countries like Greece, Spain moves a lot of capital, especially across the Atlantic, which made the 2008 crisis (the same one that President Zapatero, the champion of Evo Morales and Nicolás Maduro, insisted on denying) somewhat more bearable. In fact, many Spanish entrepreneurs have no choice but to expand, especially in the Americas, since the Spanish bureaucracy and tax system are as inefficient as they are abusive. In any case, those counterweights/guarantees are disappearing. Because in Spain, judicial independence is threatened, since both the PSOE and the PP have taken it upon themselves to politicize the justice system. Furthermore, the vice-president, Pablo Iglesias, has openly pointed fingers at the judges.
The crisis of the coronavirus (Spain has already recorded more than 20,000 deaths) has accelerated the social-communist agenda after the government ignored the warnings of the World Health Organization and waited until March 8 when the feminist-neo-Marxist demonstration was organized. Since March 9, there has been a move from a “state of alert” to a covert state of emergency in which the population is confined to house arrest. Healthcare is nationalized, and freedom of expression on social media is restricted. The company Newtral (owned by leftist journalist Ana Pastor) is acting as a “filter” for WhatsApp and Facebook. The government has injected fifteen million euros into the duopoly formed by Mediaset and Atresmedia, controlling the programming/information. They are avoiding the crude images of the victims, but when the victims are from other countries, there is no prerequisite censorship. Only Spaniards suffer censorship with news from Spain.
And as if that were not enough, there is the idea of the arrival of Cuban “doctors,” which, the government currently denies, just as Pedro Sánchez once denied that he could make a pact with Pablo Iglesias, just as he denied everything about the coronavirus until March 8.
This being the case, it would be better for many Spaniards to wake up from the “European dream” and see the reality that is right under their noses, because Spain is getting closer and closer to Venezuela, but not to the Venezuela of yesteryear, where, about half a million Spaniards arrived in search of opportunities, but to the Chavista Venezuela.
Antonio Moreno Ruiz is a historian specializing in America from the University of Seville. He is a Portuguese professor and translator, editor of the newspaper “Españoles de Cuba.”