Sid Hamdi Yahdih , writer from Western Sahara
The PSOE party reached the political power in Spain in one of the best lessons of democracy in the world. The Spaniards refused the policy of the PP which neglected the international law and inclined to the USA wrong way.
But, what could PSOE do for the Sahara affair? Is it time for the new Spain to conceliate with itself and with all its neighbours?
Spain's cowardice withdrawal from Western Sahara in 1975 was a mistake, and Spanish popular opinion still urges all its governments to conceliate with the Sahrawis and with the history by correcting that mistake.
We know very well that the PSOE was the first Spanish party who claimed the Sahrawis' right to self-determination when his ex-leader, Felippe Gonzales, visited the Sahrawi refugee camps in november 1976. He was welcomed by a big popular rally, and met the POLISARIO leader. They discussed enough, and the Spanish leader promised the Sahrawi side, that if his Party( the furture PSOE) will reach the power he will help the Sahrawis in their struggle. The socialist party reached the power in 1982 but, as it has happened, its political help to the Sahara affair was, officially, an electoral slogan. The fourteen years of PSOE in power (82-96) have passed without any sensible progress of the official position of Spain towards the Sahara affair. Contrarily, the PSOE refused to play any honorable role towards the right of the citizen of the ex-spanich colony.
During the PP rule no big change happened on the political position towards the Sahara affair letalon the position in the UN when Spain rejected the Moroccan arguments, and claimed a big role for the security council.
Now, there is a new PSOE in the power with precedent electoral slogans in foreign policy: 1) a big role to be played by the UN in all the international affairs, 2) a great change will happen on the Spanish foreign policy.
In addition, the Spanish popular / political opinion, including many political parties, helped the PSOE to reach the MONCLOA in accordance with such slogans.
The Sahara affair is decisive now in the program of PSOE if his leadership wants to do a real/ historic progress in the foreign policy aspect. The mentioned party will take in consideration the mistake done by the precedent government who acted againts the popular will, and from now on every going-on politic must respect the popular opinion which wants Spain to act quickly to correct the moral and historical mistake againts the Sahrawis. Since thirty years the official Spain is still prisoner of its own mistake in its ex-colony in north Africa, and till now still guilty in the eyes of the Sahrawis, the Spaniards, and the international law. The UN still consider the role that Spain could play to participate in a just, stable solution for the affair.
In the intern level, the Spaniards have a humantarian sympathy to the Sahrawis. They receive their children every summer and from time to time they send food and clothes.
On the other hand, the PSOE is exposed now to an offensive of praise and thanks from the Monarch of Morocco. The official level in the Monarchy welcomed the arrival of the PSOE to the MONCLOA, and the king called Zapatero many times. The king praised the courage of the leader of PSOE, and he recalled his visit to Rabat in 2001 when Morocco had problems with the PP party. Morocco wants to profit from the arrival of the new government timely to end up the problems which happened during the PP period, and to change the position of Spain towards Western Sahara in UN.
Between the pressure of Morocco on Spain to change the position towards the Sahara affair, and the principals of the new Spain of the PSOE ( UN role, respect of popular opinion) the new government in Spain will find itself obliged to take a clear position towards the Sahara affair, despite that the Spaniards think that it is time to correct the mistake of Spain.