By Red Roja
This is the Aug. 5 statement by the Red Roja (Red Network) organization regarding the escape of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I on Aug. 3 from Spanish territory where he faces charges of corruption. Translation and explanatory notes by Workers World Managing Editor John Catalinotto.
The rotten abscess exploded and the Bourbon king (i) — called emeritus to accentuate the disrespect he earned — escaped to secure the booty amassed over decades and to keep impunity for his crimes.
But the evidence of the monarchy’s corruption reveals the crimes of others. The victory of fascism [in the 1936-39 civil war], through one of the most terrible massacres in modern history, was also a massive pillage, an immense accumulation of stolen capital, which later guaranteed its continuity through the Bourbon monarchy. With the tens of thousands of murdered people still buried in mass graves — to the shame of “progressive” governments at all levels of the state — the gigantic pillage, on which the great capital accumulation of the Kingdom of Spain was founded and which continues to grow, is also to be kept buried.
The keystone on which the massive pillage of the public coffers has been based — in addition to capitalist exploitation — is the Bourbon monarchy. And the king, well aware of all this, demanded that he receive a 10% cut of the proceeds of big business.
With all his political complicity, which was also duly recompensed, the monarch established himself as the head of the network of corruption that has allowed the owners of big business to amass fortunes. The “3% bites” (ii) that came to light in Catalonia are only a small part of the cascade of commissions and bribes that have built the fortunes of the Bourbon and, below it, of the different levels of the administration and of the companies that make profits from political decisions. (ii) The official trips packed with businessmen, prominent politicians and high officials, with the king at their head, are the living image of the use of the state to serve the interests of the capitalists.
It is this chain of complicity and crime, which infects all political and economic power structures, that has maintained the king’s impunity as head of the gang of thieves.
Felipe VI sits on a throne drenched in blood and corruption. And he occupies it because he is the son of the king appointed by the most criminal dictator that the history of the peoples of the Spanish state has known and also heir on the mother’s side of the bloody and corrupt Greek monarchy, direct collaborator in the fascist dictatorship [in Greece, 1967-73].
The powers that be — capital and its state apparatus — with the complicity of the “progressive” government have forced the Bourbon to flee. Just as when they demanded his abdication, they pretend to change something so that nothing changes, and the “emeritus” is the scapegoat. In 2014 [when Juan Carlos abdicated], the trigger was the fear of a popular mobilization fueled by the consequences of the crisis and by the peoples’ belief that “We can” [Podemos] (iii) could change things through elections.
Today, in the face of the economic and social tsunami that is hitting the working class, there has been a sudden decision to try to shore up an increasingly weak monarchy. But now, to further derision, the government and the ruling-class media are trying to present the escape of the thieving father as a contribution to the stability of the son’s throne.
The collaboration of the PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers Party] — Podemos coalition government — in the coverup of the escaped thief once again reveals its real function of shoring up all the structures of the regime of 1978 (iv) and of big capital. And, of course, its lack of capacity to change by one iota the Francoist genetic code of the state apparatus.
While the prisons are full of political prisoners, when there are still hot judicial decisions that try to crush the freedom of expression of young rappers like Pablo Hasel to denounce the same monarchy or keep imprisoned the Catalan political leaders who organized a referendum, some naive people could ask: Will the high courts of the state put a search and arrest warrant on the Bourbon [Juan Carlos]? Will the Ministry of the Interior issue an international arrest warrant? Will they seize the ir family properties as a guarantee of the payment of the huge amounts stolen precisely for exercising the role of maximum head of state? Obviously not. And it is not a question of searching through the ballot box for another, more powerful Podemos.
Persecution of those who demand freedom will go on, dead people will continue to lie in ditches, and their murderers will continue to die unpunished and covered with medals, as long as the peoples of the Spanish state (v) do not send to the dustbin of history all power structures of the regime which established the Constitution of 1978.
At this time when popular indignation shines a spotlight on the relative weakness of the power structures — and the very flight of the Bourbon is a sign of it — the Red Network calls on the working class and the peoples of the Spanish state, as well as the organizations capable of representing their sovereignty and independence, to mobilize against the monarchy and to break with all the institutions inherited from the [Franco] Dictatorship.
A task on a longer road
But ending the monarchy and other institutions of the 1978 Regime is an uncompleted task on a longer road.
The crises — and the one we are living through now is of great proportions — are moments of opportunity to promote the historical task of a revolutionary organization: to contribute to destroy capitalism and build socialism. We also know that this objective requires designing the road that leads to the construction of the power of the people and the political leadership capable of carrying it out.
We understand that the advance of both processes is not the result of declarations of will or decisions of intent. It is possible only with the energies that the class struggle is capable of unleashing. It also includes the condition that we cannot permit those in power to absorb these energies and redirect them to their own ends.
In order to introduce elements of rupture within the present order in the people’s struggles for their vital needs, Red Network calls for a debate for the constitution of a Popular Salvation Front whose program complies with the central objective: to be understood as indispensable by the people and incapable of being granted by the authorities, which is only possible by confronting power without any possible conciliation.
Such elements are:
- Expropriation of the private banking system.
- Refusal to pay the so-called “public debt.”
- Rupture with the dictates of the European Union.
- Intervention in the large production and distribution companies.
- Implementing rational and democratic planning of the economy.
(tinyurl.com/y3lhddgt/. Popular Salvation Front program on redroja.net in Spanish.)
(i) Dictator Francisco Franco turned full power over to Juan Carlos just weeks before his death in 1975 in his attempt to give continuity to the practices established under his rule. Later Juan Carlos was declared king of Spain. His family roots are from the House of Bourbon, a royal family in what is now France.
(ii) “3% bites” refers to bribes paid to leading Catalan politicians in order to win contracts.
(iii) Podemos, a word that in English means “we can,” is the name of the electoral party that grew out of the movement that occupied public squares in 2011. Despite its origins in popular activism, Podemos wound up joining governing coalitions that simply continued the rule of big capital, much as the social democratic PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers Party] did for four decades.
(iv) In 1978 the political parties reached an agreement on a new regime to follow the Franco period that continued the rule of big capital and allowed many of the collaborators in the fascist period to remain in the state apparatus. This agreement also allowed the state to hide its arms deals with authoritarian regimes, for example, the Saudi monarchy.
(v) Called the “Spanish state” because this expression clarifies that there are many peoples, such as Catalan, Galician and Basque, each with the right of self-determination, all now ruled by the central government in Madrid.