Friday, November 26

“I like the Army and boo Sánchez. It’s a two for one”

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in the parade on October 12.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in the parade on October 12.

Pedro Sánchez threw the rest on Tuesday to minimize his exposure to beeps, insults and boos in the military parade of the National Holiday, an occasion that whenever the tenant of Moncloa militates in the PSOE becomes a scape valve to show the discontent of a part of the right with the Government. Very few like to be called “Traitor”, “sold”, “trilero”, “murderer” and other words that do not appear here because they do not contribute much and are easy to imagine. Not to Sánchez. The chief executive avoided arriving until the last moment to Madrid’s Plaza de Lima, next to the Santiago Bernabeu, and when the presenter announced his presence over the loudspeaker a wave of whistles spread through the surroundings.

One of the most active was Pablo Cuenca. A 20-year-old Business Studies student, he had been insulting the Prime Minister for an hour and a half before. In one of his most mythical phrases, Mariano Rajoy defined this call in 2008, without knowing that it was being recorded, as “the pain of the parade”. But for Cuenca it is not. On October 12, with the exhibition of the Armed Forces and the opportunity to unleash their contempt for the Government, Cuenca represents the fusion of two of his hobbies. “I like the Army and booing Sánchez. It’s a two for one, ”he said, completely serious. But between one thing and another, Cuenca opted above all for the latter. Otherwise, it would not have been placed as close as possible to the authorities’ rostrum, but in an area less crowded, from where you could more easily see the passage of the military, but not intuit the presence of the chief executive.

A return with desire

After a year in which there was no parade due to the pandemic, in which the call was reduced to a static act in the Royal Palace, there was a desire to return to the Paseo de la Castellana, where the presence of young people was large. The celebration also coincided this time with a moment in which it is being questioned more than ever what this party means, whose date coincides with that of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America. While the Pope Francisco asks for “forgiveness” for the “sins” of the Conquest, the PP and Vox say that not a step back. Last Tuesday, Pablo Casado argued that “Hispanidad is the most important event in History after Romanization”, because Spain, upon discovering the American continent, “respected those who were there, created universities, prosperity, and built entire cities ”. A large part of those attending the parade, who applauded the King but even more to Isabel Diaz Ayuso, the president of Madrid, agree with this vision.

It is simple, and somewhat tempting, reduce the call to an almost exclusive ceremony of the more aggressive right wing. It has enough of that, but it is also other things. It is, for example, a lady named Pilar Baena, arrival in Madrid from Albacete with his two children, ages 8 and 11, because they both “love military models” and the appointment is a good opportunity to see tanks, planes and uniforms in reality. “He’s being a bit tiring, but the kids are enjoying it,” he said.

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The best images of the celebration of October 12

And he is also a retired language teacher who came to do just the opposite than the most belligerent sector of the public: defending the Executive. After one of the many boos to Sánchez, the majority when he had not even reached the platform, the man, who did not want to give his name because he was here as “Anonymous citizen”, he shouted: “Long live the Prime Minister, elected at the polls!”

“The Armed Forces belong to all Spaniards,” he explained later. Am Fed up that the Government is called, and I want those who boo to see that there are also other voices. They are not my enemies. I would never come here to call a right-wing government. ”

After the “long live the Prime Minister!”, A vacuum formed around Sánchez’s defender. But nobody rebuked him, except for another elderly man who told him “Long live your cousin, clown!” The rest of the congregation laughed with discomfort, as if everything was a joke and there was a hidden camera recording them. Later, they returned to settle in the insult to the president.

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