SPAIN: the Venezuela of Europe? (I): What is happening in Spain?

César Vidal

By: César Vidal - 09/05/2024

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In general terms, Spain does not usually deserve special attention in the international media. There are no shortage of reasons for this circumstance. Although part of NATO and the European Union, Spain is not one of the most important or prominent members. It could maintain a greater projection in Latin America, but, in general terms, that presence has not been enhanced by governments, both left and right, more attentive to not disturbing the Colossus of the north and supporting the operations, not always exemplary, of Spanish businessmen. . To tell the truth, Spain usually makes the news either in relation to football or in connection with some cultural event or the life of the royal family. Precisely because of this lack of impact, the way in which it has been placed under the spotlight in recent weeks and not precisely in a positive light is striking. In this article, I will try to explain the intermediate reasons for this attention and also point out how the political system is experiencing a mutation that increasingly resembles – and unfortunately – the Chavista system. In successive installments, I hope to show the way in which this development is already affecting freedom of expression and the press, the independence of the administration of justice, and international drug trafficking. But let's start with the background of the current situation.

A few days ago, the president of the Spanish government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, caused an international surprise by announcing that he was withdrawing for five days to decide whether or not to remain at the head of the executive. The measure was unusual because it is common for someone to resign or not, but it is not common for someone to retire for five days to meditate to make a decision. Some of us – like the author of these pages – announced that Sánchez would not leave and we based our affirmation, among other things, on the precedent of Felipe González that I will briefly recall.

The year was 1979, and more specifically the month of March, when general elections were held in Spain. The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) was the second most voted political force, with almost five and a half million votes. In addition, it was the second most represented force and the first left-wing force in parliament, with a total of 121 seats. Such a result bordered on the prodigious because the PSOE had been almost non-existent during the Franco regime – unlike, for example, the PCE – and had been formed almost from nothing upon Franco's death. Just two months later, in May, the PSOE held its XXVIII congress. The person who was then general secretary of the party, Felipe González, was determined to redirect the progress of the PSOE in the direction that power centers such as the Rockefeller foundation, Freemasonry and the Socialist International were pointing out from abroad. This is how he insisted on abandoning the historical line of the PSOE and adapting to another similar to that of the German SPD. When the party congress – still very Marxist – refused to align with Felipe González, he resigned and went to his house. The next morning, very early, around thirty leaders of the PSOE and the General Union of Workers (UGT), the socialist union, were called to a meeting from which an alternative executive commission to Felipe González was to emerge. At that meeting, after Felipe González, who had returned to the PSOE congress, appeared, Professor Enrique Tierno Galván, honorary president of the PSOE, reported a telephone call from the United States embassy in Spain that had informed of the danger of a military coup d'état if a left-leaning executive headed by him emerged from Congress. Revealingly, at the meeting of the socialist leaders were present the labor attachés from the embassies of the United States and Germany, as well as the director of the Ebert Foundation, who did not deny what was reported by Tierno Galván. Between that XXVIII congress and the extraordinary congress of September 22 of the same year, Felipe González unleashed a campaign aimed at completely controlling the party. Thus, the representation system was radically changed, eliminating the right to vote for local groups and replacing it with a single vote that represented a single delegation per province. Internal democracy disappeared from the PSOE while organized tendencies that disagreed with the leadership and currents of opinion were persecuted. To make matters worse, during the summer nearly fifty thousand “recovered” militants appeared without anyone knowing from where. That work was carried out by a manager made up of five members, three of whom – José Federico de Carvajal, Carmen García Bloise and José Prat – belonged to the Freemasonry that supported the change of course. In a very revealing way,The extraordinary congress began with 421 delegates, that is, 599 fewer delegates than the previous congress. Also revealingly, the percentages of the delegates changed. Salaried workers went from 16 to 7.5 percent. Students from 5.4 to 1.9. Office employees from 14.3 to 7.4. However, civil servants went from 13 to 22.6 percent and professionals and technicians from 24 to 31 percent. Far from coming from the party's bases, the delegates arrived within provincial or regional representations subject to discipline and with a spokesperson in charge with voice and vote. As expected, Felipe González was elected general secretary of the PSOE with 100 percent of the votes and with him a totally pro-Felipista executive. The honorary presidency held by Tierno Galván was abolished, Alfonso Guerra was appointed deputy general secretary who would be in charge of controlling the party with iron discipline and a new executive of 25 members was formed which included, for example, José Ángel Fernández Villa who had been a mole for Franco's secret services within the PSOE. The historical socialists disappeared. Luis Gómez Llorente abandoned political activity. Pablo Castellano, one of the few socialists of the Franco era, fell into silence and other socialists, such as Luis Alonso Novo, the most active member of the PSOE and former confidant of Felipe González, were expelled or left. Felipe González, after his resignation, had become the absolute master of the PSOE and would remain so until the mid-90s. Everything had happened according to plan, but, as now with Sánchez, the starting point was boss's threat to march. How had he gotten to that point?Luis Gómez Llorente abandoned political activity. Pablo Castellano, one of the few socialists of the Franco era, fell into silence and other socialists, such as Luis Alonso Novo, the most active member of the PSOE and former confidant of Felipe González, were expelled or left. Felipe González, after his resignation, had become the absolute master of the PSOE and would remain so until the mid-90s. Everything had happened according to plan, but, as now with Sánchez, the starting point was boss's threat to march. How had he gotten to that point?Luis Gómez Llorente abandoned political activity. Pablo Castellano, one of the few socialists of the Franco era, fell into silence and other socialists, such as Luis Alonso Novo, the most active member of the PSOE and former confidant of Felipe González, were expelled or left. Felipe González, after his resignation, had become the absolute master of the PSOE and would remain so until the mid-90s. Everything had happened according to plan, but, as now with Sánchez, the starting point was boss's threat to march. How had he gotten to that point?

Corruption has been one of the most serious problems in Spanish politics and economy for decades. Practically absent during the first years of the Transition, it began to make its entrance after the first municipal elections in which the coalition of socialists and communists placed the majority of the town councils in the hands of the left. The interventionist policy of the city councils and the possibility of spending without control led not without difficulty to extensive and, practically, generalized corruption.

The period of Felipe González's government – ​​almost a decade and a half – was characterized by immense corruption with even worse replicas in the Catalan nationalism led then by Jordi Pujol. The period of José María Aznar's government meant a certain containment – ​​not the disappearance – of the corruption that emerged with enormous vigor during the mandates of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which would also establish a very significant connection with the Chaves regime in Venezuela. The situation did not improve – in fact, it worsened – with Mariano Rajoy who was forced to resign involved in a corruption plot, corruption that would receive a new boost with the arrival of Pedro Sánchez's government to the presidency.

It would be too long to detail all the corruption cases related to Sánchez, but at least a brief review of some is essential to understand the situation in Spain.

To the non-imprisonment of the convicted socialists for the EREs process - the largest case of corruption in the history of the Spanish constitutional system and which includes two presidents of Andalusia among those most responsible - other scandalous cases have been added, such as those of Tito Berni, who celebrated corruption agreements with drugs and prostitutes, of Ábalos – a former minister who testified before a Senate commission a few hours ago – or of Koldo García who made juicy fortunes thanks to medical material related to the covid crisis .

This ocean of growing revelations that have been accumulating in recent months seemed to reach a peak when information was published about alleged continued corruption that affected Begoña Gómez, wife of the president of the government. While it is still up in the air whether Begoña Gómez will be prosecuted or not, the truth is that it is undeniable that the presidency of the Government and the Economic Office of Moncloa with Pedro Sánchez himself at the head, thirteen Ministries and eleven public companies have promoted the race. and businesses of Begoña Gómez since 2018. The wife of the president of the government has also received this institutional support from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a UN agency based in Madrid with which the Spanish Government collaborates, and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). To this we must add the intervention of public companies from the SEPI in events promoting women of the President of the Government, a public Treasury entity that supported the direct promoters of Begoña Gómez. In addition, she was provided with professional contact with public law corporations such as the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and public multilateral banks in which Spain is a shareholder, such as the IDB. The cases are, therefore, very numerous.

On March 15, 2023, for example, Begoña Gómez, director of the Extraordinary Chair of Competitive Social Transformation of the UCM, presided over a Government event and received an association of executives, Woman Action Sustainability (WAS), from the that she herself is a partner and in which she had a position, responsible for the Social Transformation Group.

There is a digital footprint of several WAS Women Action Sustainability events in which Begoña Gómez has participated together with different companies and ministries, in which business lines related to the textile sector, food and the rural world have been promoted, and that have had support from public companies. At the beginning of the year, another one on the tourism sector was being prepared. WAS, with which EFE collaborates, also carries out consulting work for the companies that Begoña Gómez has presented.

In addition, on September 18, 2021, Begoña Gómez participated in a round table held "within the framework of MOMAD, the commercial showcase for the presentation of new collections, new brand and retail concepts", which took place at Ifema. She is the "director of the Extraordinary Chair of Competitive Social Transformation at the UCM and head of the Social Transformation Group at Women Action Sustainability (WAS)." Correos sponsored the event, in which it rubbed shoulders with several companies.

On May 17, 2022, Gómez was interviewed at the Food 4 Future World Summit held in Bilbao again promoted to WAS. Food 4 Future is a lobby of the Spanish food sector sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, ICEX and the Basque Government. The wife of the President of the Government also participated in the 2023 event on May 16.

On January 26, 2024, Begoña Gómez announced that WAS and KPMG "we are doing a third report on the tourism sector."

The wife of the president of the government has participated in more events that have had the presence of Pedro Sánchez and the highest institutions of the State. Thus, on July 1, 2021, Sánchez inaugurated the IV CEAPI Congress in Madrid, which was closed by the King, and in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, the fourth vice president, Teresa Ribera, and the president of the Congress participated, Meritxell Batet, presidents of multinationals, the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Josep Lluís Bonet. Also supporting the event were Alberto Durán, first vice president of the ONCE Social Group; Teresa López, president of the Federation of Rural Women's Associations (Fademur), Juan Manuel Serrano, president of Correos, Cofides and Red Eléctrica. The wife of the President of the Government intervened as "director of the extraordinary Chair of Competitive Social Transformation of the UCM" in a round table and in a talk with Pablo Isla, then president of Inditex.

The next edition of the CEAPI Congress took place in the Dominican Republic, a nation to which Spanish politicians travel widely and where figures such as Felipe González or José Bono have obtained nationality. Begoña Gómez traveled to the beautiful country between May 31 and June 4, 2022, and in addition to multinationals, she was supported by the then president of Hispasat and now Minister of Industry Jordi Hereu.

Even more scandalously, the public company Enisa sponsored an event by Carlos Barrabés, who designed the UCM Chair co-directed by Begoña Gómez in 2020, in which Pedro Sánchez's wife participated. Enisa sponsored the sessions Tomorrow starts today by Carlos Barrabés at Ifema in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

On June 12, 2019, Begoña Gómez inaugurated them "as a sector expert" in social innovation and sustainability. The event took place on June 12, 13 and 14 and Enisa's contract with Barrabés amounted to 80,000 euros, which brings the amount of this public sponsorship to 200,000 euros in these three years. On August 8, 2018, IE had hired Begoña Gómez, wife of the president of the government, to direct the Africa Center created ad hoc.

Especially favored by his closeness to the wife of the president of the government, in 2020 the aforementioned Barrabés designed the Chair at the UCM - until then a Master's degree - that Begoña Gómez co-directs and that year he received a public contract from, an entity attached to the Ministry of Economy, of seven million euros after a joint venture of which it was part participated in a tender held between 2020 and 2021 with a letter of recommendation from Pedro Sánchez's wife.

In total, in parallel to its relations with Begoña Gómez, the Barrabés group has received 18 million euros in awards and four million in ICO credits between 2020 and 2023, when before 2018 its relationship with the Public Sector was practically non-existent.

On January 22, 2021, in this same line of proximity, Pedro Sánchez praised Barrabés and his companies in a presentation of the Recovery Plan in Zaragoza broadcast and transcribed by the Secretary of State for Communication. Barrabés' dealings with the Ministries of Industry, Economy and Education have been common since 2019 and he has received a contract from the Ministry of Labor.

In June and July 2020, Begoña Gómez also met with Javier Hidalgo, then CEO of Globalia. At that time, Víctor de Aldama, commission agent of the Koldo scheme in the pay of Globalia, was negotiating at the Ministry of Transport the rescue of Air Europa by SEPI, according to the plot summary. Both businessmen asked Begoña Gómez for help to unblock the veto of the Spanish Medicines Agency, dependent on the Ministry of Health, which demanded the closure of the company in 2019 for offering illegal services in Spain.

The wife of the President of the Government has also maintained a close relationship with the Ministry of Ecological Transition, which approved aid of 96,397 euros to the G-100 Platform that Hueco Labs SL received, the company that controls it. Tellingly, Begoña Gómez is still part of the G-100 Platform and the presentation of her Community Learning project was organized by the CSIC, dependent on the Ministry of Science, on April 20, 2023 at the Botanical Garden of Madrid.

On February 20, 2020, Gómez participated in the second State Meeting of Ruraltivity Entrepreneurs, organized by the Federation of Rural Women's Associations (Fademur), in Caixafórum. On January 24, 2023, Fademur joined the Begoña Gómez Chair at the Complutense University of Madrid. In May 2023, the Secretary of State for Social Rights granted it a subsidy of 253,956 euros.

In addition, the Ministry of Culture recommends on its website, in the links of interest section, the Spanish Fundraising Association (AEFR), of which Begoña Gómez is a member.

Finally, last November, Begoña Gómez created a company with a name and corporate purpose similar to the Chair she directs at the Complutense University of Madrid, according to the Commercial Registry. It is called Transforma TSC and wants to "promote and promote the strategy of competitive social transformation by integrating sustainable development objectives in organizations, to promote a fairer society and a sustainable planet." The company has Begoña Gómez as partner and sole administrator.

To summarize this tangled list of episodes, it can be said that Begoña Gómez met with people and companies that had not previously received a cent from the state administration and, after those meetings, sometimes received a letter of recommendation signed by Befoña. Gómez, people and companies received rivers of public money and Begoña Gómez received notable economic contributions. It may be coincidental, of course, but the situation is so repetitive that it cannot be ignored nor can the administration of justice avoid a rigorous investigation.

The publication of these and more data by media outlets such as The Objetive, El Debate or Voz populi ended up causing a complaint from the Hands Cleans union to investigate Begoña Gómez, among other reasons, for influence peddling.

As expected, the prosecutor – who reports to the state attorney general appointed by the government itself – opposed the investigation of Begoña Gómez and a few hours later Pedro Sánchez addressed an open letter to citizens accusing the media and judges of harassing him. him and his wife from right-wing and far-right perspectives. Pedro Sánchez also announced that he was taking five days to reflect on whether or not he continued to lead the government.

While different media outlets claimed that Sánchez had reached the end of his political career and that even the state of Israel could be behind it – a totally fictional statement – ​​both the radio program La Voz and and the person now writing these lines pointed out that Pedro Sánchez was not going to resign and that everything came down to a political move to strengthen himself in power and further harass the judges and the media.

In parallel to Pedro Sánchez's five days of reflection, the PSOE mobilized its transmission belts, carrying out a poorly attended demonstration in front of the PSOE headquarters in Madrid, the signing of a manifesto by journalists supporting Sánchez and even a letter by filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar in his favor.

On Thursday and Friday of Sánchez's reflection, the presenter of La Hora de la 1 broadcast by RTVE, Silvia Intxaurrondo – who enjoys a contract of more than half a million euros a year – went so far as to assure that "digital media publish hoaxes like cathedrals and fake news" about Begoña Gómez.

On Thursday, the program's collaborator Laura Arroyo, journalist for Canal Red and training coordinator for Unidas Podemos, had asked to take over the General Council of the Judiciary and intervene in the media, stating that "They are sewers."

Finally, as some of us announced from the beginning, on Monday when the five days ended, Pedro Sánchez read a message without allowing questions in which he announced that he was staying. The message with a plaintive tone even appealed to feminism and undeniably suggested that it would continue to execute the program of the Globalist Agenda and it was also obvious from the content of the message that it was going to use all the resources at its disposal to persecute the dissidents by appealing to a supposed defense of democracy and supposed progress. Sánchez's speech was the starting signal to persecute undomesticated journalists, to finish controlling the administration of justice and to move towards a Chavista system. But we will talk about all that in future installments.


«The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author».