The Fall of Liberal Spain

Despite the majority of the Spanish population opposing George W. Bush's military involvement in Iraq, the conservative government of José María Aznar decided to cooperate with his crusade, sending Spanish troops to shed blood. Resentment against Spain grew in the Muslim world, and when in 2004 Madrid's trains were bombed, Aznar's government found itself unwilling to admit that the attacks were carried out by Al-Qaeda influenced individuals. 

The attacks came a few days before the general elections, and if they were seen to have been carried out by Basque separatists, it would have led to a surge in nationalist, conservative sentiment that promised to secure a PP victory. The people saw through the PP's lies, and instead handed an electoral victory to the liberal PSOE. Spaniards, having seen firsthand how their government was willing to lie to them about a terrorist attack and aware that W. Bush had lied about Iraq, began to suspect that they could have also been lied to concerning who truly carried out the attacks of September the 11th, the very attacks which led to a war which we are still fighting nearly 13 years later.

After the PSOE victory, the newly-elected José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero set Spain on a course of peace, immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq, and, two years later, signing a ceasefire with the Basque separatist group ETA. On the domestic front, LGBTQ rights improved, women's rights gained strength, and the War on Drugs was kicked down a notch.

The economic crisis battered Spain worse than it battered many other countries, thanks largely in part to deregulation of the global economy, and worsened by policies inherited from the PP. Spain was making social progress, but it came as no surprise when the PP won the Spanish elections in 2011, electing the very man who had been the face of deceit in the 2004 elections.

It is now 2014, and the PP has only made things worse for the average Spaniard. The economy has not improved in the past two years, and the laws are regressing to a strictness not seen since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. 

The PP has introduced legislation which makes abortion illegal in most cases, and it also seeks to ramp up the War on Drugs back to a more tyrannical level. Emboldened by attempts to pass laws that would make protesting an extremely risky proposition, the government has strengthened the power of the police forces. "Insulting a police officer" could now carry a fine of up to 30,000 euros, taking away the poor's voice.  

While Uruguay, the United States, and even Morocco currently debate the legalization of cannabis, the Spanish government is seeking to make any cultivation of the plant an offense punishable by up to a 30,000 euro fine. As the pro-cannabis legalization newspaper Soft Secrets recently highlighted, there's a feeling of "insecurity" among the citizens of Spain.

In Galicia, a couple was found to be harvesting one cannabis plant -- for personal consumption -- and were fined 9600 euros. Unable to pay the fine, the family was evicted from their home and cast into the streets while the banksters who plundered Caixa Galicia receive bonuses in the millions of euros.

Less than a decade ago, it seemed as if a liberal, progressive future awaited Spain, but it appears as if the only thing certain at this moment is that the people will continue suffering while the government in Madrid answers the calls of its banking elite, neglecting the wishes of the 99%.