Thursday, December 9

The government downplays attacks on its foreign policy in the US Senate.




The government of Pedro Sanchez tries to sell normality after the attacks that Spain received by several members of the US Senate last Wednesday, during the confirmation hearing of Julissa Reynoso as ambassador in Madrid.

And is that normality, sometimes, even in political communication, is also the result of luck. This happened on Wednesday, when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Albares, met with the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blink, in Paris, during the OECD Ministerial.

The meeting took place hours before the president of the Foreign Affairs Commission, the influential Democratic senator Bob Menéndez, accused Pedro Sánchez

to position Spain “against democracy” by supporting regimes such as Venezuela and Cuba.

From the PP, Citizens and Vox, they put their hands to their heads. “This is how Democrats, both the Biden Administration and the Senate, view the Sánchez government: out of democracy and friend of dictatorships. Every time Sánchez cheats less, ”published the popular deputy Pablo Hispán, deputy spokesman in the Congress of Deputies. His partner, Valentina Martinez, secretary of International of the PP and foreign spokesman in Congress, also echoed the news.

“Sanchez’s compadreo”

Speaking to ABC, Citizens MEP José Ramón Bauzá said that “the compadreo of Sánchez and his partners of Podemos with the Latin American dictatorships is a direct threat to the economic and security interests of Spain.” He appreciated that Spain “needs to maintain good relations with the United States, especially to contain Morocco, over which Washington has great influence.”

Bauzá affirmed that Menéndez “has a direct line with the White House”: “His criticisms, shared by Republicans, could have very serious consequences for Spain if the Sánchez government continues to support the dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.”

“The statements of Bob Menéndez, Democratic leader -party that should be the natural partner of the PSOE-, and president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate, highlight what Vox has been denouncing for months: radicalization of President Sánchez’s Executive ”, Víctor González Coello, spokesman for the Vox Foreign Commission, told ABC. In addition to asking Albares for an explanation for Menéndez’s statements, he added: “Spain, through its Government, is increasingly moving away from our natural partners, historical due to their international policies. Menéndez, what he has come to say is that Spain does not defend democracy or human rights in the Iberian sphere, in Latin America. Very significantly in nations like Cuba and Venezuela.

He is not just any deputy

Returning to that of the strokes of luck to minimize attacks on politics. Upon leaving his meeting with Blinken, which lasted one hour, Minister Albares posted on Twitter that they had “held a fruitful and affectionate meeting to continue strengthening ties between the US and Spain.” He assured that they could count on each other in matters related to Afghanistan, NATO and Latin America.

From the White House, in a press release, they were more explicit: the central topic of the conversation was Afghanistan. They did not delve into Latin America and Venezuela because, had they done so, as it turned out later in the Senate, Albares and Blinken would not have reached any understanding. “The Secretary expressed the deep appreciation of the US for the continued support of Spain to the relocation and transit of people from Afghanistan,” the note said. They spoke about humanitarian assistance plans for the future of Afghanistan and, in the end, they commented on the challenges faced by Spain and the United States in addressing “issues of democracy and human rights” in Latin America. “Including ongoing efforts to support the Venezuelan people in their work to restore democracy in their country,” they said.

Yesterday, from the Foreign Ministry, they downplayed the Menéndez attack. They affirmed that their statements in the Senate respond to “the opinion of a deputy, not of the Biden Executive, who yesterday [por el miércoles] The Secretary of State, Blinken, expressed in his meeting with Albares, quite the opposite: “Blinken was interested in our opinion on Latin American affairs and they both agreed to be able to deepen our partnership and joint work in the region.” The Ministry concluded that “ultimately, Blinken expresses the opinion of the Government and Menéndez, his own.” What they did not say, as the opposition to ABC did, is that Menendez is not just any senator.

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