Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zapatero al rescate!  Preserving the Castro-Chavez-Evo Axis


Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

Zapatero Comes to the Rescue of Chavez and Castro

On Saturday Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero came to the rescue of Hugo Chavez, not only saving the Venezuelan president from being called to answer for his regime's collaboration with the Basque terrorist ETA and the Colombian FARC, but also pulling the rug out from underneath his country's own Audiencia Nacional (National Court), which issued an indictment for six ETA and seven FARC members earlier this week.  What did he do?  Well, in the ultimate act of spin control, he qualified the recent indictment as a mere "hypothesis" of Venezuela's relationship with the ETA and the FARC and, after changing the demand for an "explanation" to a simple request for "information," the Spanish government joined with that of Chavez to issue a joint statement "reaffirming their fight against the ETA," effectively setting the matter aside for Chavez.  It is an absolutely perfidious development which, had we paid closer attention, should have been expected all along, as there were definitely signs of Zapatero's moral degradation and insensitivity to democratic and human rights long before this ultimate act of policy pursued on behalf of tyranny, not to mention the abject betrayal of his country's own legal system.

In addition to his rallying to the aid of Chavez, there is also the matter of Zapatero's current role within the activism of the European Left, who have successfully protected the Castro regime against European Union sanction for overt human rights violations, which the recent death of Cuban dissident and political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo has brought to the forefront of discussion.  Zapatero is now playing an absolutely sinister role in European and world politics, that of Defender of the Socialist Faithful, regardless of the tragic consequences for democratic and human rights abroad, as well as the undermining of both the legal institutions of his own country and the safety of the Spanish people from ETA terrorism.

Zapatero's Political Profile:  A Deceitful Ideologue Bent on Cultural Warfare

Regardless of one's opinion of Zapatero, and I will make clear that I hold him in very low esteem, his personal history is a cloudy one which, when told, always excites reaction from either his supporters or opponents, as the case may be, who insist that their alternative is the proper version.  But I think it would be accurate to say that throughout his political career, he has appeared much more ideologically oriented as an activist among Spanish and European Socialists than when presenting himself politically to the Spanish people.  He has even been accused by the opposing Partido Popular (Spanish People's Party or PP) of stealing some of their ideas, such as the Anti-Terrorist Freedom Pact of December, 2000, which was largely aimed at isolating Basque terrorists.  By supporting it as one of the earliest initiatives of his tenure as leader of Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE), Zapatero cast himself before the Spanish public as a moderate; a man who wished to develop a less confrontational and threatening profile for Spanish Socialists.  He even referred to his personal style as Oposición Tranquila (Calm Opposition), which gave him a public image that placed him within what most would consider the political mainstream.

Zapatero's opponents in the PP never viewed him as a mainstream politician, but as the issues around which they contested his policy initiatives during his tenure as Prime Minister demonstrate, their focus was clearly directed more to confrontations on cultural values than upon economic, fiscal, and foreign policy issues; which did not serve the PP well because Zapatero's fiscal and economic policies have been a disaster for Spain.  Currently the country faces double digit unemployment, a budget deficit of 11.4% of GDP, and has been ordered by the EU to implement an austerity plan that must bring its deficit down to 3% of GDP by 2013.  Zapatero remarkably claims that these targets will be met even though social spending, research and development funding, sustainable economy funds, and development aid all will remain unaffected by impending budget cuts.

When one considers that Spain is only one notch above Greece in the EU's mandated austerity program, it becomes difficult to understand how Zapatero and the PSOE have remained in power these past six years.  The answer is that the PP and other opposition groups in Spain spent their collective effort at resisting Zapatero and the PSOE on cultural issues.  During Zapatero's Prime Ministry the left successfully passed initiatives recognizing same sex marriage, expanded adoption rights for gay couples, legal recognition of transsexual identity, and expanded access to abortion services; all of which angered the traditional Catholic right within Spain and provoked no small amount of outrage within their political activism.  And at the same time, Spain has emerged as the center for the cultural left within Europe, which only aggravated Zapatero's opponents further.  But a coherent and cohesive critique of his fiscal and economic policies has never emerged within Spanish politics, much to the discredit of the PP.

Finally; it must be mentioned that Zapatero also negotiated--you can forget any political spin which suggests otherwise--with the Basque ETA terrorist organization, which early into his administration appeared to some to suggest the promise of peace.  In March, 2006 the ETA supposedly declared a ceasefire that was rendered meaningless the following year with a bomb attack at Madrid's main airport.  Zapatero's ETA policy is boldly two-faced.  He consistently presents a public front of pursuing a hard line against the Basque terrorists, while again and again news surfaces of direct contacts with the organization maintained between his government, the PSOE, and other supporters.  It has been one of the most dangerous policy initiatives of his administration, because it does have the potential to unite the Spanish people against him.  Yet somehow Zapatero has always managed to defuse the critique of his ETA associations by appearing credible in his public pronouncements of getting tough with the organization, however much at odds with his policies this stance has been in fact.

In short, Zapatero is a successful politician who understands how to say publicly what people want to hear while pursuing policy initiatives that produce the opposite of what he promises.  He nonetheless succeeds politically by uniting his supporters around an agenda that is ideologically oriented towards advancing cultural conflict within Spain on values issues, which also gives him credibility and additional support from within the international left, while simultaneously rendering his opposition ineffective as they exhaust themselves in cultural warfare, always failing to hold him accountable for his mismanagement of the country's economy and government.  Saying one thing, doing another, and avoiding the consequences through his manipulation of his opponents and his obeisance to the ideological whims of his supporters, that is the Zapatero style.  You know--a liar.

Zapatero and the Latin American Left

As Prime Minister Zapatero has a record of supporting Latin American leftist regimes.  His attitudes towards their repeated violations of human rights and democratic freedoms do not match well with those of most of the developed world in either the western hemisphere or within the European Union.  But again, he has managed to mute criticism of his policies by effectively paying lip service to ideals which he either does not espouse or defines in terms quite differently than others.

Since first entering office in 2004 Zapatero has worked consistently to foster a leadership role for Spain among the Spanish and Portugese speaking nations of "Ibero-America."  Remaining true to his Socialist political affiliation, he has especially sought to make himself into a bridge assisting the integration of Castroite Cuba and other marginalized left-leaning governments, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, into the international community.  The principal foreign policy framework he has utilized to manage these associations has been the Ibero-American Summit.  Traditionally this has been a largely cultural and economic gathering of Latin American nations with Spain and Portugal that never amounted to much.  But it has given Zapatero an organizational mechanism for economic outreach to the left in Latin America through its proposals for debt forgiveness and restructuring via the Ibero-American Inter-Development Bank, always a friend to economically-challenged leftist regimes.  In their own turn, they have returned the favors in kind through the negotiation of commercial arrangements with Spanish business enterprise.

Rehabilitating the image of Castroite Cuba--as opposed to effecting real change within the country--was one of the first goals of Zapatero's Latin American policy.  He was unsuccessful in his attempt to arrange Fidel Castro's attendance at the 2005 Ibero-American Summit, perhaps because the gathering spent a great deal of its effort on promoting the right of free migration, which is not a topic that would appeal to Fidel.  But in 2008 Zapatero was successful in lobbying the European Union to repeal the 2003 sanctions it imposed on Cuba following one of Castro's many crackdowns on dissidents.  And he followed up that success just this week when, using his influence as temporary President of the EU parliament, he prevented the imposition of new sanctions as a response to the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo in a Cuban jail, limiting the action to a near useless declaration of indignation.

So what are we to think of Zapatero's support for Castro and his Cuban regime?  Well, it certainly is not economically motivated.  Though exact figures are not easily available, Spain agreed to forgive a good portion of Cuba's multi-hundred million dollar debt in 2008 and Cuba has not been a productive trading partner with Spain, or anyone else for that matter

The Relationship with Venezuela:  Selling the Spanish Soul

Though it is difficult to qualify and rank Zapatero's recent outrages, his rescue of Hugo Chavez from the indictment of the Spanish National Court would appear to be the most serious, given his obligations as Prime Minister to uphold Spanish law and support the country's institutions, not to mention Spain's stature within the international community, which can only have been damaged by the conflicting signals now being sent abroad.  The most important immediate consequence of the new "cooperative" (this sticks in my throat) approach to dealing with the ETA and the FARC that has been jointly announced in Caracas and Madrid is that there will be no arrests, nor any prosecution of the individuals named in Judge Velasco's auto.  There are obviously domestic political consequences within Spanish politics, but these may not be so negative as one might at first assume, since Zapatero has proven himself quite deft at angering the PP and then letting them become their own worst enemies as they splinter into fragments and fail to coalesce around a unified opposition stance.  All we are really left to ask ourselves is whether Zapatero's primary motivation for saving Chavez was ideological and political, as is clearly the case with Cuba, or economic, which is a new factor to consider with respect to Spain's relationship with Venezuela.

The economic ties Zapatero has helped forge with Venezuela are particularly important to Spain and especially so over the past couple of years.  Spanish investment in Venezuela has been huge, counting such enterprises as Telefónica Venezuela (over $2 Billion U.S.), Spanish oil developer Repsol YPF's stake in developing the Orinoco oil fields in Carabobo, which give the company proven reserves of 75 billion barrels of heavy crude, the Banco Bibao Vizcaya Argentario of Madrid's 55% share in Venezuela's Banco Provincial, and Spanish energy conglomerates Iberdrola and Elecnor's $2 Billion (U.S.) contract to build combined cycle electrical power plants in Venezuela's Sucre state.  There have also been weapons sales to Venezuela and more preceding these recent arrangements.

It can be argued that economics trumps politics and ideology, but in this instance the point is moot.  From Zapatero's perspective there is no conflict, all the aforementioned factors influence his actions in the same direction; saving Chavez and protecting Spanish investments and jobs all go hand in hand.

One might suggest that there is a moral conflict for Zapatero, in that undermining his country's system of justice and even placing the Spanish people at greater risk from Basque terrorism would mitigate against his pro-Chavez policy in this instance, but I would counter that this moral conflict does not exist. 

Moral conflicts are only for virtuous men.  That excludes José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.



Update:  March 18, 2010, 4:10 p.m.  I have removed a quote and a paragraph from my original entry regarding a "letter" published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on April 10, 2007, supposedly sent from Zapatero to Fidel Castro.  While I cannot present any information which says that the letter is not genuine, nor has any been presented to me, and even though the author of the article in which it was published, Luis Maria Anson, has never stated that it was anything but genuine, I am taking the advice of Tea and Politics blogger Claudia Al, that I should not treat the letter as an historical document.  Whether the letter is genuine or not, I am certain that Claudia would not act to deceive me, much less protect Zapatero.  StJ


Gustavo said...

A superb piece of research that clarifies the real extent of what can only be called a confabulation of unethical leaders to support obsolete, authoritarian ideologies in Latin America. The reference to the Ibero American Summit deserves further examination, as the secretary general of this organization, Mr. Enrique V. Iglesias, not to be confused with the singer, has recently come out in enthusiastic andorsement of Jose miguel Insulza, calling him the "best" candidate for the job and the "only possible one". The network of ethical invertebrates seems much larger than previously thought.

Roy said...


While I do not doubt the political leanings of PM Zapatero, I do not believe that the letter to Castro is genuine. Refer to the following blog in Spanish and the commentary that follows:

If this were genuine, it would have set off a massive backlash that would have made news for several day and left its marks on internet. It also would have been a major story in Venezuela and I would have remembered it. As it is, Google produces only three hits to this subject.

This leads me to conclude that the letter is a fabrication and a hoax.

StJacques said...


I think I'm going to have to disagree with Orlando Suarez's claim that the letter is not authentic for several reasons: one, Suarez and a couple of others I have read who contest its validity offer nothing as proof other than their opinions; two, there was in fact a backlash which erupted, but never got going fully when Zapatero and the PSOE refused to comment. Remember, this was published in El Mundo, a major Spanish newspaper and circulated by numerous other credible news media organs as you can see from the search returns at Google Spain just linked; three, the fact that El Mundo did not retract it even though challenged by some Zapatero supporters--but again, not by Zapatero and the PSOE--lends credence to its authenticity; four, Agencia EFE, for whom Anson works, did not detract it, nor even disclaim it, which is the biggest endorsement of its validity from a reputable news source; and five, but most importantly, Zapatero and the PSOE not only did not challenge its authenticity, they also did not make use of Spanish law which protects public officials from defamation (read this Spanish blogger on the issue). Their legal code is much more strict than ours in fact.

I believe the letter is genuine for all the above reasons, but especially because so many authoritative news media sources have treated it as genuine while none have offered any credible evidence suggesting it is not nor did Zapatero and the PSOE challenge it either publicly or legally, which they are permitted to do under Spanish law.



Roy said...


OK, I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject. I simply found it strange that I had not heard of it before now and that it didn't make much of an impression in the press over here.

How embarrassing for the Spanish. I would have thought such a revelation would torpedo any administration.

StJacques said...


It is strange from our perspective, certainly I find it to be as such, but that is in part a comment on Zapatero's handling of the opposition, the PP. They only get really riled up when it's a cultural issue and had this been a letter that dealt with any of those items on the list of cultural topics up in the article it would still be going on. Zapatero knows that if he doesn't engage them, they go away.

Just watch how quickly the PP lets go of Zapatero's rescue of Chavez. In my opinion, that is the type of issue that should never die down. But the PP will let it do exactly that. Just watch.



firepigette said...

St Jacques,

Thank you for a much needed and comprehensive explanation of what lies behind the Zapatero-Chavez show.

You can't get closely involved with a corrupt dictatorial foreign government without the contamination spreading to your own country.

It may start in a relatively benign way with routine transgressions like commissions paid here and there and then eventually everywhere.Now it has gotten to the point of the Spanish executive de-authorizing a Spanish judge thus endangering its own judicial process.That's what Zapatero's friend Chavez started doing years ago til reaching the present stage of complete control over the other branches of government.

I am not saying that this is necessarily the direction Spain is going, but it is a first step down the slippery slope and has to be exposed and corrected.

From the left's point of view, it may all be easily justified by their mantra " trying to help the poor" which justifies breaking some eggs to make the socialist omelet.

Now the ball is in the court of the Spanish voters who will have to show, in a clear way, that they are not willing to look the other way.

Spain might be located in Western Europe with its advanced democracies,but its own democratic credentials are relatively recent.This is a chance for Spain to prove it is a democracy out of conviction and not just out of convenience.

Roy said...


Well said, and I concur completely.

Let us hope the Spanish get it right at the ballot box.

Roy said...


When I think of Spain, I tend to equate it with "Europe" and assume that they will tend to exhibit more political maturity. I guess I need to remind myself of Spain's historical proclivities. Still, I would hope that their participation in the EU would tend to attenuate some of their more radical tendencies.

StJacques said...

Thank you firepigette. Along with Roy, I also hope the Spanish get it right at the ballot box next chance they get.

Gustavo Coronel's comment also raises an issue from the perspective of the western hemisphere which I intend to address at greater length in the near future; exactly what is represented in "the network of ethical invertebrates" that exercises such a dominant influence on international affairs in Latin America.

Right now, I am pulling my thoughts together for an upcoming post on this issue, but I think I am going to begin with a look at the recent Cumbre de Rio in Cancun, Mexico and present what I think is a valid case that Lula, Chavez, Morales, et al. are looking ahead to the impending vote for the Secretary General's post at the OAS and they are guessing that Insulza will not be re-elected. You will note that Gustavo addresses the endorsement of Insulza by Enrique V. Iglesias, Secretary General of the Ibero-American Summit.

I believe that the impending defeat of Insulza, who has done so much to enable Chavez and company, is viewed as threatening by the Latin American Left because it will likely be a forerunner of a push for the adoption of the proposed Inter-American Charter on Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms, which will address electoral fraud in particular, but which will also have relevance to freedom of the press. This could undo everything the Bolivarian Left has achieved in Latin America.

During the Cumbre, I noted in several articles posted at the web site of El Universal (Mexico City, not Caracas) that Lula and Morales were talking about "moving beyond the OAS" when asked about what was being discussed at the gathering. I think they fear the development of an international regulatory body that can actually protect democracy in the western hemisphere and that there is more going on than meets the eye there. Everything the Sao Paulo Forum has achieved is at risk.

And this is also a comment on my part on the absolutely perfidious tenure of Jose Miguel Insulza as Secretary General of the OAS.

I am interested in any comments about the geopolitical situation that either of you may have, firepigette and Roy. This is a complex topic and I'm gathering my ideas.



StJacques said...


By way of reply to your comment about Spain's participation in the EU reigning in some of their excesses, I must admit that I am a bit puzzled by it all.

One of the things I know contributes to the mix is that the delegates to the EU parliament do not come representing just their respective nations, but include some of the minority political interests as well. By way of example, just as soon as Zapatero finished his opening address as President of the EU parliament, a Spanish delegate moved for action against Cuba and was critical of Zapatero for omitting reference to it in his speech.



Roy said...


I am not current on the state EU politics, so my opinions in that arena don't count for much.

In Latin America, however, the whole Leftist/Socialist/Marxist ideology has about run its course. This is not to say that it won't be reinvented in some other place and time, because it seems that this idea never really dies. There is always somewhere, some militant ideologues and a disenfranchised population willing to give it a shot.

Here and now, the Bolivarian Revolution is limping its way to its logical final conclusion. The end will come with a rather spectacular meltdown of the economy of Venezuela, followed by the fall of the Chavez Government. The triggers are in place for this to occur sometime this year. The economic meltdown is inevitable, and the fall of Chavez, while not certain, is close to it. The only way for him to survive would be to completely militarize the country and rule it at the point of gun. I don't think the Venezuelan population will allow that.

After Venezuela implodes, all Chavez's client states will back away from socialist ideology, with the possible exception of Bolivia and Nicaragua. It may take a revolution to blast Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega out of their offices. But that will happen too if necessary. Even more importantly, this will signal the end of the Castros in Cuba, since Cuba cannot survive without Chavez's economic support.

And so, the pendulum will swing the other way again and in ten to fifteen more years, we can be blogging about the excesses of the right in Latin America.

StJacques said...

I have a followup to my own comment on the authenticity of the Zapatero to Castro letter, with some new information I found which I believe pretty much clinches it as authentic.

This is from the website of the Spanish "National Association [of] Independent People" (Agrupación Nacional Pueblo Independiente) which contains more information than the forum link I posted earlier, and I have in fact reset that web link for the letter to this new link.

The first thing I want to point out about this new presentation of the letter is its categorization, in May, 2009, over two years after its publication in El Mundo, as within "Political Scandals" (Escándalos Políticos), which shows that this was not something that was treated as a sideshow or ignored in Spain; which I already gathered from the numerous links to the article I found on the search returns at Google Spain. And let me also say that we are not well-served by the apparently common practice among Spanish newspaper web sites of making their archived content only accessible by paid subscriber logins, which makes it a little difficult to track this controversy. Most of the links I tracked were to forums, blogs, and personal web sites (I even used a forum post for the letter's text), which are not as authoritative as the media links, which I found closed. But the point is that the letter was taken seriously, and not dismissed.

The second thing I want to point out about the presentation at this new link is the comment from Luis Maria Anson (more on him in a moment) which precedes the text of the letter. I'll put it up in translation:

"I organized the EFE Agency in Havana in the 80's. Since that time I have kept good friends there. One of those has leaked to me the letter Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has sent to Fidel Castro. I reproduce it below without removing nor adding a comma."

Okay, that takes us a step further, Anson has identified his source as a contact in Havana he met when he was with the EFE. This puts Anson's own credibility as a distinguished journalist on the line in identifying his source. It does not prove its authenticity, but it leaves us to assess his credibility.

Now on to Anson's biography. It's really quite distinguished. He opposed Franco as a young man in the journalistic profession, he was briefly jailed in fact, and it is reported that Franco once wrote in his diary that "Luis Maria Anson is the biggest enemy of the regime." Anson literally "made" the reputation of the magazine "Blanco y Negro" in the 1970's, he was a director of the EFE News Agency in the early 80's, he served as President of the Madrid Press Association, he founded the daily newspaper La Razón in 1998, he has had both radio and television news shows, he has received honorary doctorates from the University of Mexico and the University of Lisbon, and he was selected for the Royal Spanish Academy in 1996, a position he still holds today.

I think this biography holds him up as a credible individual.

One final comment I want to make here. If the letter was not authentic, you can bet that the largest newspaper in Spain, El Pais, which supports Zapatero, would have been all over it. Instead, they went dead silent, which I think speaks volumes about what they knew. They have even removed a forum thread that tried to argue it was not authentic, though I do not know why, but it is gone.

Just some additional things to add here.



StJacques said...


Reply to your last comment, which I did not see until I just posted my own.

I think your take looks pretty accurate to me as to the "internal contradictions" (I'm almost laughing at myself here) of the Bolivarian regimes. Chavez appears to be closest to going under, as you have stated.

But I am also wondering about the international context here. That's a lot to chew on, so if anything else comes to your mind, don't hesitate to say what you think. It's all just speculation for me until I write, so there is no reason for you or anyone else to fear speculating right along with me.



Roy said...


When making predictions about the future, it is wise to be cautious. However, when we have the equivalent of two trains speeding on the same track towards each other with sufficient velocity that they cannot stop before impact, predicting an imminent train wreck becomes a no-brainer. In Venezuela, Chavez has maneuvered himself into such a position. He is pretty much damned no matter what he does at this point.

On a broader scale, I tend to see history and politics as something that ebbs and flows. Individual leaders may ride the waves and the currents, or may even fight the current and create their own little eddies, but no one individual directs the currents of human history. In spite of the cyclical reverses, the overall direction of human history is toward the creation of ever larger and ever more complex social structures. Note the parallel to biological evolution.

In Latin America, Chavez is swimming against the tide. In spite of the bad actors making the news, we are currently heading in the right direction. Perhaps, after the struggle to consolidate the EU, Europe is due for some reversal to the trend towards greater integration. I actually kind of hope so, as that will give the Americas a little breathing room to create our own mega-political/economic entity.

Claudia AI said...

Hello, StJacques.

Ansón wrote that letter mocking Zapatero's policies as an article for a newspaper (I think it was La Razón, I have it bookmarked somewhere but I haven't found it). It's not original but it's so well written that it looks like it is. Even if Zapatero really believes all that crap, he will never put it in writing, because that will give too much ammunition to the opposition, or, at least, to people who are against him.

On the other hand, the post is admirable. I'm going to recommend you searching for a new book: "El Maquiavelo de León". It's written by a journalist traditionally allied with PSOE more centered individuals and it portraits the man in its real shape. To sum it up, Zapatero is just someone interested in remaining power, whatever the means he have to employ to achieve that goal.


StJacques said...


I have done the research and it appears quite authentic. See my comments: No. 3 @ 11:38 a.m. (Roy, I think I'm going to have to disagree ...); and especially No. 12 @ 4:02 p.m. (I have a followup to my own comment ...)

There have been several who questioned the letter's authenticity, but they have never offered any evidence, other than their opinions. And Anson never uses that style by the way.

In the April 24, 2007 edition of El Mundo (Spain), they print a letter to the editor from a reader who contests the Zapatero letter's authenticity, but there is no retraction, which they would have given to protect themselves under Spain's anti-defamation law.

And I repeat, if the letter was not genuine two things would have happened; El Pais would have been all over it and Zapatero would have used the anti-defamation law against El Mundo and Anson, which would have required his denial of its authenticity. Neither has happened.



Claudia AI said...

if the letter was not genuine two things would have happened; El Pais would have been all over it and Zapatero would have used the anti-defamation law against El Mundo and Anson, which would have required his denial of its authenticity. Neither has happened.

That would have happened if the letter wouldn't have been actually something written to mock Zapatero. That's the way everyone understood it back when it was written (yes, you're right, it was El Mundo). Ansón was impersonating Zapatero, mocking his foreign policy.

I doubt the authenticity specially because there is no proof this was actually written by Zapatero. You say that there was "a lot of fuss" in Spain. I live here, and I really didn't hear much of it.

I think that if Zapatero would have employed those means it would have given much more publicity to the mockery, something that, precisely because it's written as it is, would have granted credibility. It is a literary joke of Anson, published in the opinion section of the newspaper. If this would have been true, it would have been published in the "foreign policy" section of the newspaper.

And, yes, I had read your comments before posting mine, thanks for the recommendation.

But hey, everyone is free, isn't it? You can still believe it's authentic, and me that it isn't. And believe me, it would be of great service that this would be indeed Zapatero's doing. Perhaps PP would not do anything, but I know some groups that would spring to this immediately... if it was indeed true.

StJacques said...


Though I have still not been presented any information which suggests the letter was not authentic, I nonetheless have too high an opinion of your work as a blogger supporting the causes of freedom to ignore or dismiss your comments.

I have edited the above article to remove the paragraph which presents the Castro letter, as well as a couple of sentences from the preceding paragraph which introduced it, along with the opening quote.

I thank you for showing up to give your own take on the matter. I value the accuracy of my own presentation very much.

You will see that I have posted an "Update" note at the bottom of the article referring to your input as the reason for the change.



Claudia AI said...

StJacques, I was not asking you to remove it. I am not certain that this is Zapatero's doing. But I also know that if you add things that are not fully based on reality, your honest and entirely true critic can be considered as deceitful and exaggerated. Something similar has happened to me some days ago, though in that case what I wrote was in the end true.

You're right, if I know this to be true, I would never tell you the contrary. In fact, I have even been called unpatriotic for critizising Zapatero in English from the socialist bench and nearly a traitor from some far-right activists, because it is just an insult -for them- that someone does not uses Spanish to write. But I think that what is happening here is very important not to write about it, and I don't think it's good to "wash dirty clothes in private" as the most important thing for Zapatero is publicity. Specially, international publicity.

Of course, if this in the end is true, just write me an email at teaandpolitics at gmail dot com. I will do the same if I get some news on the subject.

StJacques said...


It was not necessary to ask me to remove the references to the letter. It is my own obligation to maintain a very strict accuracy.

I had read other bloggers who contested the authenticity of the letter, but when I examined their lack of authoritative evidence or even their intentions made evident elsewhere in their blogs, I was not impressed.

With you it is a different story. You live in Spain, you obviously pay attention to events as they unfold, and most importantly from my perspective, you have shown an honest dedication to the causes of freedom to my view. I have read your blog at greater length than my infrequent comments suggest. I know you are "for real" and I take view your critique as "authoritative."

You get what you earn as a blogger Claudia. And I think you have earned the benefit of a doubt, which I give you.

And I encourage you to continue your very fine work on behalf of the causes of freedom, democracy, and human rights. You are the "real deal" Claudia.