••• The International Writers Magazine - 21 Years on-line - Politics in Spain
Spain drifts towards Venezuelan Rules
The Forty-Year Political Cycle * Updated 20/11/20
My first attempt at writing anything was back in 1998. It was an anthology titled ‘My book on short stories and other dribble’, published by the now defunct Minerva Press. I had no idea of what ‘real’ writing knowledge was all about, let alone the intricate structure of anything that goes to print. My wife, who is a real bookworm and has an expert knowledge of the English language pointed out that the word ‘dribble’ referred to soccer and was wrong. It should have been spelled ‘drivel’. In was, in other words, ‘rubbish’. Three years later I decided, now in my early sixties, to go back to college and was accepted as a student at Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall in a post-graduate course of ‘Professional Writing’.
Back to my first book. One of the short stories that I wrote was titled ‘Time and Fear’ in which two university professors, one a psychologist and the other a philosopher analysed the human brain. They concluded that it was only useful for 50% of the average eighty-year life span. Using a computer as an example, the first twenty were spent programming, the next forty as a supplier and/or analyser of information and the remaining twenty retired to the saturation department as new computers - human brains - would now take over.
It may sound crazy, but is this not a fact of life? Doesn’t the human race go through forty-year cycles and adhere to the most common of phrases. ‘Humans are the only animal that trip over the same stone twice, thrice or even dozens of times!’ So what, you may ask, has this to do with the title of this essay? Almost all events in history have followed, more a less, a forty-year pattern.
Take this country Spain, as an example.
During the 1930’s King Alfonso XII was exiled, the monarchy disappeared, the second Republic was born and after five years the Spanish Civil War began. After three years it ended in 1939 and a dictatorship under Generalissimo Francisco Franco took over for the next forty years. One of the reasons that caused the war was the European fascist movement that was fighting Communism. When Franco died, a transitional government took over, the monarchy was re-instated under King Juan Carlos and a new constitution introduced. Democracy was born and, wait for it, continued for another forty years. We now have a new generation that never experienced the dictatorship, let alone the transition, and although benefited by living in a free society has now turned the country on its head and is facing, after forty years, a return to Communism, this time based on a Venezuelan style revolutionary regime, hence the title of this essay.
|But first, a word about Venezuela.
This country was a full-blown democracy until the mid-1990’s when, Hugo Chavez, an army colonel founded a socialist party that eventually won the elections. For the next twenty-five years his government worked on transforming the country into what it is today under the leadership of Nicolas Maduro; a Communist dictatorship. It has been declared as such by the European Union and the Organization of Latin American States. Similar countries in the area are joining the new movement such as Bolivia, Nicaragua and now Chile. It is this latter situation that goes back to my forty-year theory.
During the 1970’s of the last century, the Southern cone of South America was in a bitter struggle against a Cuban style Communism that resulted in the infamous ‘Dirty War’ between the military governments of Argentina, Chile – under the famous General Pinochet – Uruguay and Paraguay. The situation ended with the Falkland’s War (1983) and democracy was restored, at least in Argentina.
Although General Pinochet is no longer in power, he had introduced a capitalist style government that carried out umpteen conservative style reforms, the country’s new government is about to re-write the Constitution. The first move is to go back to a being a socialist regime. Again, forty years later.
Current state of Venezuela serves as a warning:
Inflation rate 1,813% forecast to rise to 2,600% by December
Parlimentary Elections in December will be boycotted due to concerns of corruption and fairness.
Maduro is the illegal President supported by the Army. The economy is set to contract by 24% in 2021 for the seventh year in a row, despite the country having one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
Current State of Spain:
The unemployment rate is 16.3%
Industrial Production declined 5.7% in 2020
PMI Index: 44.3 September 2020 - source: FocusEconomics.com
To summarize the situation, and referring to last month’s essay, Spain is continuing its path towards a full blown ‘new’ Communist state with the introduction of heavy taxation that will virtually destroy the remaining middle class that was created, ironically, forty years ago. Certain countries in Latin America are doing likewise.
However, there is a caveat. The Spanish Prime Minister, Sr. Pedro Sanchez has just returned from a visit to the Vatican where he held a meeting with Pope Francisco. In a beautiful letter handed to the PM, the Pope told him, in a diplomatic way that Christianity was a symbol of kindness and love. A reminder that the new government is not only Communist but also atheist. Churches throughout the country are being vandalized and public crosses are being destroyed. No different to the 1930’s, eighty years ago.
Because of the present COVID-19 situation, Spain, like the rest of the world, especially Europe, is struggling to survive the pandemic onslaught as well as the horrific economic downturn. The European Union has agreed to a recovery program that involves a subsidy of 140billion Euros for Spain. It obviously comes with certain obligations. The Spanish government has recently approved a budget that still has to be agreed by the European Union before the funds are released. The Commission’s idea is to promote the creation of new private enterprises including green energy, agriculture and obviously reduce the unemployment rate by increasing jobs.
Whether or not Brussels will realise that Spain’s intention is to invest in public and social ventures, in other words, the opposite direction is yet to be seen.
A communist (Venezuela style) government is now more or less consolidated thanks to the following laws:
1. One cannot write about Franco (OK for some)...wait for it...or criticize the government's actions. This latter item is the hidden bastard.
2. New education law - yesterday - that removes all subsidies to the semi-private schools that include all the Catholic ones. There is more to it than just the funding. This has never occurred in the history of the present democracy. It means that the intention is to convert them all into public schools controlled by the state. It's a complicated move but this means they will literally abolish private education, hence parental choice. Massive rallies going on around the country. Millions of parents up in arms.
3. Have now done away with Spanish (Castilian) as being obligatory. This refers to the autonomous regions that have a second language. Bang goes Spain as a country. Again more to this because it includes attacks
against the monarchy by the republicans. Adds fuel to the independence movement, especially Catalonia.
4. The budgets have been approved by the European Union. However, they have had to pact with Bildu (ETA) and this has kicked off more demonstrations. Big, big mistake. It also means that all the 140000 million Euro, that is meant to promote private, repeat private enterprise and new private jobs is whisked away into Podemos (repeat Pablo Iglesias is running the country) program literally hitting at the middle class. How? Not only income tax but VAT. Carte Blanche.
All this has so many ramifications but the bottom line is a final blow to anything democratic in Spain.
*Don't forget Podemos controls both the CNI (equivalent to CIA and MI6) as well as the whole of Spain's media.
© James Skinner November 20th 2020
jamesskinner at mundo-r.com
* Spain Virus figures at time of writing: 1.2 million Covid Cases - 35,466 Deaths
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