Traditionally leftists in Spain have had a constant love por Polisario and the Sahararuis, the reason being that, in the late years of Franco's dictatorship, the Green March from Moroccan women, boys and old people, invaded the Spanish Saharan colony totally illegally -with some international support, they even waive US flag...-.
The Moroccan occupation of the Spanish Sahara has produced grave abuses against Human Rights with people tortured in the prisons, demonstrators beaten and so on. Morocco considers that it is a part of their territory and doesn't want to even consider the possibility of a referendum. They have even given concessions to prospect the oil that exists in that territory, even when the UN has declared them illegal as Morocco does not own that territory. Happily today all of the firms have leaved those prospections. Anyway, Morocco, just in case, had been sending coloners there to try to cast a vote in the referendum to modify the will of the great majority of the Saharan people for years. Even if the coloners would not be Saharauis...
So, being against Morocco was, in a sense, being against Franco AND people from center-right tendencies. There were normally demonstrations by Socialists and Communists, blaming Morocco for that abuses and asking the alauí monarchy "to step out of the Sahara".
Zapatero, being a supporter so brave of all independentists, and a "convinced red", looked like at first as the marvellous solution for Polisario.
Zapatero has maintained a marvellous relationship with the King Mohammed VIth, in whom a lot of hopes where put about converting Morocco into a democracy but who had been so proud to show he would never do that. It's so good to be a dictator. Zapatero even did not mind that the French President Chirac, and the French PM De Villepin insisted in consider M;ohammed as a key ally, when what they were asking for, was that Sahara had to be a part of Morocco.
Result? Zapatero, in the International Year of Friendship with the Saharaui people, has stated that he would recognise a Sahara inside Morocco with a special statute of autonomy (a special study about this state of autonomy here in English pdf, un estudio sobre el nuevo estatuto de autonomía que pretende imponer Marruecos, lo teneis aquí) . Isn't it wonderful? He is kissing the ass of all the independentists -he is allied in the Government with the far-left independentists of Catalan Republican Left and he is in talks with Batasuna since 2002, neither of whom had been independent since the Middle Ages-, but he won't recognise the independence of another people living in a COLONY. I mean this is rather absurd...
Like praising Morocco for the "compromise" on Human Rights...
The Polisario has answered that they have their right to autodetermination recognised by international people.
And what about the Communists? Hazte Oir.org has issued a warning to all people to send a letter to the General Coordinator of United Left, Gaspar Llamazares, to ask him if he was going to break with Zapatero -he is the 2nd ally of PSOE in Government-. He has answered that no (not surprinsingly) and that he is going to "show the Government his worry about the life conditions of the saharaui refugees [a lot of them live in refugee camps] and his lack of agreement with his policy of supporting Morocco in their campaign to substitute the referendum ordered by UN by an unknown process of autonomy that is, in reality an anexation plan". Bla, bla, bla. Facts not words, God wants of you. No, facts, no than they are sooooo costly. ;D
Of course, Spanish FM, Moratinos -I do not have words strong enough for this individual entity...- has tried to support the critics to the new position of Spain on "the hot climate of Spanish policy" (here the complete article in Spanish).
Is Algeria in Spain? Well, according to this statement we could think that. Because Algeria and Morocco do not get very well with each other. So Aznar began a campaign to protect Sahara by making Algeria an ally. He revoked the contract with Morocco about natural gas (not oil) imports and began a new one with Algeria.
The new Spanish position has made the Algerian Government reposition itself ... and Algerian gas prices: Algeria announces a raise in gas prices of a 20% when Spanish King and Queen are beginning an oficial visit to the country. Considering that Algeria is now the most important exporter of gas to Spain with a total amount of 451 million of € in 2006, you can try and see the problem by yourself... The total modification of Algerian gas prices would amount to 150 million €.
[There is another interesting news regarding Medgaz the firm which is going to build the megapipeline to unite Algeria and Spain: Gas Natural is going to enter the firm with a total share of 12%, the same amount as Endesa, the firm which Gas Natural want to buy with all the support from Spanish Government. Is this a way to pay Gas Natural the failure of Endesa's public acquisition offer?]
Barcepundit considers the political opposition should do something in this matter. Yes, I also think so...
If you understand Spanish you can read: the tragedy of the Western Sahara, where they describe the wall built by Morocco to isolate it from the rest. I honestly did not know there was a wall... Morocco has put mines in their land and have bombed them with US bombs in Moroccan French Mirages...
On May, 25th 2005, the President of the Polisario Front Mohammed Abdelaziz declared, after Spain did not vote in UN Security Council and the vote was favorable to Morocco, that "Spain should do more, much more" and added that the Saharauis "were not going to wait for Morocco" and menaced with a new war. Since 1991, there is a truce between Morocco and Polisario.
But, there could be a much important danger now. Saharauis have not been Jihadis or Islamic radicals, but that does not mean that they have not been tempted. Western countries such as France and US have been traditional allies of Morocco. Spain, which traditionally was neutral -something wrong from my point of view, we should have supported Sahararuis- now also backs Morocco. If they consider that the problem is the support of the Western countries to an undemocratic and abusive state, the triumph of the Islamist-Jihadi will be complete. All of these things (and mainly the abuses to Human Rights) should be considered by Spain, now after Al-Qaeda is openly targeting us again.
But Spanish position is even more stupid in this case, as we have been selling weapons to Morocco, specially since Zapatero was elected. A very curious thing to do, considering he defined himself as a pacifist... More about the weapons that recently Spain has sold Morocco here.
La Coctelera also has written about the Algerian decision.
Forum Libertas asks what are our objectives in foreign policy if we have made fun of Bush, insulted Merkel and now abandon the Polisario. Hmm, it's a rather difficult question... I could not wonder.
Other related news:
- Another five men were prepared to commit suicide in Morocco, with the one who hurt 4 people while killing himself in Casablanca. "Morocco is fearing that violence spreads from neighbouring Algeria after the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat changed his name to Organization of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magheb".
- Galizian Nationalist Group -with which PSOE governs Galician Autonomous Community- has asked the Government to speak about the reasons of the Spanish position about Morocco. But no more... so just the same as Llamazares.
- Spanish King Juan Carlos urges a solution for Western Sahara which cannot be achieved without the "free determination of their people". He has added that that was "what my Government has underlined recently". You can guess who has writen that ...
- Morocco rejects to consider as a terrorist attack the explosion in the cybercafe. It's curious this statement by the Moroccan Police when the 23 years-olf suicide bomber, Abdelfettah Raydi, had been condemned on charges of terrorism, back in 2003, and released afterwards by a royal pardon. The reason for the bombing? The owner of the café did not let him see webpages from Islamist terrorists.
- The Moroccan Francophone newspaper Assahifa suspends its publication for accusing the Moroccan King of having accepted a comission from US firm Skidmore. Amount of the commission? $13 million. [Jan 30th 2007].
You can also read Western Sahara, to see what the Saharuis think today of Spanish Government & Co.
[Hmmm, I wonder, what has Mohammed, apart from personal allure to convince our Government to do this? I do not like to wonder farther than facts, but this is a very curious position. And I cannot feel uneasiness.... Yes, it is only MY personal considerations. I do not have facts, do not have proofs.... ]