Spain today witnessed an unusual event at a particularly delicate moment for the security of Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The director of the CNI, dismissed for political blackmail to the government
This morning, the Spanish government announced the dismissal of the director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Paz Esteban López, an official with 40 years of experience and service to Spain in its intelligence service. During the press conference, the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, praised Paz and was unable to explain the reasons for her dismissal.
The obvious cause of the dismissal of the director of the CNI, although the government does not want to admit it, is the scandal organized a few weeks ago by the Catalan separatists around the alleged espionage of some of their leaders through a virus known as Pegasus. A case in which the separatists have been unable to provide a single piece of evidence that the CNI committed any illegality. Despite the lack of evidence, the separatists have blackmailed the Spanish government, threatening to withdraw its parliamentary support and make it fall if the director of the CNI and the Minister of Defense were not dismissed. In addition, Pedro Sánchez's far-left associates have used this setup to enter the Official Secrets Commission of Congress, giving rise to the paradox that the CNI has to be accountable to the enemies of the state.
The role of the "pro-Russian party" Podemos in this montage against the CNI
That this scandal has happened now is no coincidence. One of the parties that has stirred up this scandal the most is Podemos, the communist government partner of the Pedro Sánchez government and which was described as a "pro-Russian party" by the Russian pro-government newspaper Pravda in 2014, due to its opposition to European sanctions against Russia for the annexation of Crimea in 2014. For years, the Kremlin propaganda media supported Podemos just as they did with other European far-left parties.
Precisely, Podemos has opposed the sending of military aid to Ukraine and has also rejected the increase in defense spending in Spain. The former president of the party, Pablo Iglesias, who continues to have great influence in the organization, has been supporting a defeatist speech towards Ukraine to get it to give in to Russia.
A montage orchestrated by separatists to whom Russia offered military aid
Another of the architects of this montage against the CNI is Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), a separatist party that on February 24, as soon as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, asked the Sánchez government not to join "any action military" in response to that aggression. A few days later, ERC refused to send weapons to Ukraine.
ERC's links with Russia go back years. The newspaper El Mundo published in October 2020 that according to an investigation by the Civil Guard, businessmen linked to ERC and another separatist party, Junts, contacted Russia in the face of the separatist coup they organized in 2017, an attempt to suspend the validity of the Spanish Constitution in Catalonia and to break the unity of Spain by which several separatist leaders, including the president of ERC, Oriol Jungueras, have been convicted of crimes of sedition and embezzlement of public funds. Some sentences that were suspended due to some scandalous pardons granted by the government of Pedro Sánchez, which depends on the support of those separatists to govern.
According to that Civil Guard investigation, the separatists boasted that the Russian government offered them 10,000 soldiers and to pay the Catalan debt. Coincidentally, last Sunday an investigation was published on this Russian interference in Catalonia. The investigation, supported by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), has brought to light the contacts between the Catalan separatists and an emissary of Vladimir Putin the day before the start of the 2017 separatist coup, confirming that he offered the support of 10,000 Russian soldiers to support that coup. Carles Puigdemont, top leader of that coup and fled to Belgium to evade the Spanish Justice, admitted yesterday that meeting with Putin's emissary.
Instead of investigating Russian interference in Spain, Sánchez beheads the CNI
Thus, the information published last Sunday confirms that Russia tried to destabilize Spain by offering economic and even military support to the Catalan separatists, two years after the Kremlin also offered military support to the separatists in the Donbass region, in the east of Ukraine. Curiously, instead of ordering the CNI to thoroughly investigate this Russian interference in Spain, what Pedro Sánchez does is behead the CNI to satisfy the separatists, that is, the same ones who established contacts with Russia in an attempt to destabilize Spain. It is amazing to see how Sánchez sacrifices national security and the interests of Spain for the sake of his personal interests, which consist of buying the support of his separatist and far-left partners at any price in order to remain in power.
How will NATO react to the dangerous drift of the Spanish government?
The question now is how this dangerous drift by the Spanish government will influence Spain's role in NATO, especially with a view to the Alliance summit to be held in Madrid at the end of June. Can NATO trust a government that beheads its intelligence service and sacrifices its national security to please Putin's puppets in Spain? What allied intelligence service will dare to share information with the Spanish government, when the latter has used a montage by the separatists so that the Spanish intelligence service is forced to render accounts to those who tried to break the constitutional legality after receiving an emissary of Putin?
Whatever the reaction of our allies to this nonsense, what would be desirable is for Pedro Sánchez to end up being held accountable before the Spanish Justice for his actions. In Spain there can be no impunity towards irresponsible politicians who favor the interests of the enemies of the Nation, at the cost of undermining national security and in order to obtain a personal benefit. This is something worse than corruption: it is an act of treason.
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