Retired Spanish military officers urge army to oust Pedro Sanchez
Prime minister’s deal to grant amnesty to Catalan separatists provokes outrage among Spain's far-right
Dozens of retired Spanish military officers have signed a manifesto urging Spain’s armed forces to oust the country’s newly reelected prime minister, Pedro Sanchez.
On Friday, Spanish daily El Pais reported that many of the 56 signatories to the letter, ranging from ex-generals to colonels and captains, have been embroiled in other scandals related to their fascist stances.
The manifesto expressed concern about the state of Spain, suggesting that all branches of government and the judiciary have been corrupted and that Spanish officials disrespect the armed forces, fail to defend Spain’s borders from immigrants, and have been illegitimately manipulating the law to pardon Catalan separatist criminals.
Citing Article 8.1 of the Spanish Constitution, which says the armed forces must defend the constitutional order, which the retired officials said is in “grave danger,” they urged “those responsible” to remove Sanchez from his post and trigger fresh general elections.
The manifesto was published on the Spanish Military Association’s website. The signatories were not made public, but El Pais reports that some were members of a chat group that called to “shoot down 26 million Spaniards” (in a country of some 47 million) and who also tried to justify the military uprising of 1936 and the government of Francisco Franco.
While the retired soldiers cannot face disciplinary action, two members of the Spanish Civil Guard were suspended last week after penning a similar statement in which they emphasized their willingness to “spill every last drop of their blood” defending Spain.
Many far-right elements in Spain are furious over Sanchez’s deal with Catalan separatists to grant them amnesty in exchange for the political support needed to form a government.
On Friday, Sanchez was sworn in as Spain’s prime minister in front of King Felipe VI after winning the backing of a majority of lawmakers in Spain’s fractured parliament the day before.
For the last several nights, concerned members of the public and extremists alike have protested and rioted in front of the Socialist Party headquarters.
But these voices are in the minority. On Friday, major police unions blasted Vox politician Javier Ortega Smith for trying to coerce and tell the police how to behave during Thursday night’s protest.
Rafael Davila, an important voice in military circles, also slammed the Military Association’s manifesto. “Don’t use the military as a way to defend your interests in the face of the obvious failure of your politics,” he posted on his blog.