The PSOE-UP government openly and officially sided with the Moroccan invader. For the second time in history Spain takes a stab at Western Sahara. The plan of the Moroccan kingdom makes its way among the powerful. They want to consummate the plunder and oppression by recomposing broken relations. The crisis of the capitalist economy and the war in Ukraine have direct consequences. Autonomy is a trap to bury self-determination. The revitalized demands of the Saharawi youth and people lead the way. The ISL will continue to politically support the oppressed Saharawi people. The struggle for freedom must pave the way to a fundamental solution for socialism.
By Rubén Tzanoff
A letter from Pedro Sanchez to Mohamed VI was disclosed. In the letter, the Spanish president announced to the Moroccan monarch his support for the autonomy plan for “his southern provinces”, as the Alawite kingdom calls the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). According to the Iberian government, the proposal of the invaders before the UN is “the most serious, realistic and credible basis” of the solutions provided. With this historic turn of events, Sanchez officially abandoned the position for the referendum of self-determination which, in fact, no government has ever defended. It is Spain’s second historical abandonment of Western Sahara.
The Moroccan autonomy plan
In 2007, Morocco submitted to the United Nations an autonomy plan to crush any attempt of independence of the former Spanish colony. The plan intends to consummate legally, with international acceptance, what Morocco does de facto. That is, the plundering of phosphate, fishing and natural resources belonging to the oppressed Saharawi people. This is what they cynically call “Morocco’s “commitment to a definitive political solution” in the territories it has illegally occupied since the departure of Spain in 1975.
Allies for common interests
France is a key power in Africa that supports Morocco. In February, it was Germany that made a recognition similar to that just formulated by Spain. And, this week, the United States reaffirmed the decision made by Donald Trump. The imperialist powers intend to re-establish order on the southern flank of the European Union. This is because, in the Maghreb, there is a large part of the energy that the European imperialist bloc needs to replace the gas coming from Russia, in question in the face of the war in Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares is carrying out two orders from Pedro Sanchez: to bring Spain back into line with the positions of Germany and the United States and to solve the diplomatic crisis with Morocco. The relationship between the Kingdoms of Spain and Morocco has deteriorated since a year ago, when the Polisario Front leader Brahim Gali was received in a hospital in Logroño to be treated for Covid-19. Now the relationship has been restored and, according to the minister, “a new stage of the relationship with Morocco based on mutual respect” in which “stability, sovereignty, territorial integrity and prosperity of our countries are guaranteed”.
To guarantee energy and prices
Minister Albares assured that this turnaround will not affect relations with Algeria. That is why he assured that “Algerian gas -from which the Peninsula is supplied- is guaranteed”. The value of energy is skyrocketing and is leading to an increase in all prices. Inflation has set in, depreciating wages. The EU governments are dealing with the consequences of the capitalist economic crisis and the war in Ukraine with the orientation that the workers and the oppressed peoples pay the costs.
To guarantee the gendarme of the south
Immigration control is another key issue on which Spain wants to rebuild relations with Morocco. The war in Ukraine could trigger a food crisis in the world’s poorest areas. This would increase migration from Africa. And Morocco plays a nefarious role as a gendarme on Spain’s borders, which mark one of the most important external borders of the EU.
No “progressive coalition” at all
Whichever way you look at it, the PSOE-UP government has nothing progressive about it. Much less left-wing. With each measure taken by Pedro Sanchez it is confirmed that it is a typical bourgeois government, at the service of capitalism and the oppressors. The support to Morocco against Western Sahara only reaffirms the reactionary character of a government that is protected by a retrograde regime, designed by Francoism.
The unlimited cynicism of Unidas Podemos
Yolanda Diaz expressed her “commitment to the defense of the Saharawi people and to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council”. Podemos always does the same thing: it is critical of this or that government policy, but continues to integrate it “proudly”, as the PSOE’s wagon.
Autonomy is not self-determination
The policy of autonomy is a trap. An “autonomous region” with certain powers in some secondary areas has nothing to do with self-determination. Rather, it is to bury it. The UN is complicit in this policy since MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara) and plays a role opposite to the one that gave it a reason for life, which was the holding of a referendum of self-determination. Only the Saharawi people have the right to decide their own destiny.
War and resurgent claims
For many years, expectations at the UN marked the Saharawi destiny. It was a path that proved unsuccessful to achieve self-determination. However, since the Moroccan provocations and attacks at the Guerguerat pass, the Polisario Front has resumed the war against the invaders. The Saharawi people resist heroically in their territories and in the camps. And the youth are at the head of the demands for self-determination. This is the path to follow and to deepen.
The seriousness of the Spanish government’s decision requires an immediate call for mobilization to condemn the government’s decision. Neither the trade unions, nor the parties, mainly of the left, should look the other way in the face of what is happening. They must speak out for the self-determination of Western Sahara and demand that the government reverse its decision. Communiqués are not enough, nor is it enough to ask for explanations in Congress. A concrete call for mobilization is needed, which should also be in solidarity with the Ukrainian people in the face of the Russian invasion.
The revolutionary socialists with the Saharawi people
From the International Socialist League we will continue to support the Saharawi people and their demands against Moroccan oppression, imperialist interference, the cynical role of the UN, the presence of the genocidal state of Israel in Africa, the violation of human rights and the existence of the wall of shame. We are for freedom and self-determination which, because of the interests at stake, must be intimately linked to the struggles of the workers of the world, in particular of the Maghreb, Africa and Europe. Facing the powerful enemies in common requires more and more unity. It also requires a fundamental solution, which cannot be other than socialism. In the face of this strategy, we build daily revolutionary socialist parties under the banners of the ISL.