Monday, November 29, 2010

From One Colonel To Another

Whilst we wait for the drip feed of revelations from the latest Wikileaks document release, we do have access to one of the cables sent from the US Embassy in Madrid. A curious story it is too, as it refers to the expulsion of a Libyan diplomat from Spain in 1986. The expulsion was apparently a reprisal for an attempt by a Spanish army colonel to obtain funds from the Libyan leader (and colonel) Muammar al-Gaddafi.

This being the 1980's there were still quite a few Spanish army officers around who saw their patriotic duty as consisting of the overthrow of any democratically elected government. The colonel in question, Carlos Meer de Ribera, was said to have had a meeting in Tripoli with the Libyan leader in an attempt to raise money for the far-right cause. Meer de Ribera, who appears to be the author of this blog, was the last civil governor of the Balearic Islands in Francoist times and was allegedly removed for being too right wing a couple of months after Franco's death. He also acted as defender of one of those officers accused of participating in the attempted coup of 23-F. Whilst exercising this latter role he was of course promoted.

The cable from the US embassy obviously doesn't regard financing of right wing extremism as being that serious an offence, why would they given that it was a fundamental part of US policy for so long? Even so, the expulsion of the diplomat took place at a time when trying to bomb Gaddafi's homes was a fashionable thing to be doing. Meer de Ribera was imprisoned and charged but I haven't been able to find anything that tells us the outcome of the process. The poor colonel in that story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez who waits for a pension that will never come was obviously just born in the wrong country.

No comments: