Since becoming Unidas Podemos leader last April, Spanish labor minister Yolanda Díaz has broken the populist party out of its rut. She’s won concrete gains for organized labor through her government post — showing how the Left can reconnect with the working class.
Eoghan Gilmartin is a writer, translator and Jacobin contributor based in Madrid.
Podemos MP Alberto Rodríguez has been stripped of his seat in Congress following an unjustified assault conviction. His removal shows how a Supreme Court packed with right-wing judges is undermining Spain’s basic democratic standards.
Over two thousand people have died trying to cross from Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands so far this year. While the European Union boasts of its humanitarian migrant policy, it has made these islands into a rampart of a murderous border regime.
Yolanda Díaz, labor minister in Spain’s first left-wing coalition since the 1930s, writes on why The Communist Manifesto is still today the sharpest critique of capitalist society.
Spain’s new “memory law” attempts to grapple with military dictator’s Francisco Franco crimes. But without acknowledging the continuity between his regime and the current system, there can be no real justice.
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez wasn’t just a key player in the botched European Super League attempt — he’s also vicious capitalist who has profited from outsourcing and privatization at the expense of the Spanish public.
This day in 2011, the Indignados protesters occupied Madrid’s Puerta del Sol to denounce Spain’s dominant parties and their austerity agenda. Ten years later, the Spanish left no longer has that insurgent dynamism — but it’s had an enduring success in breaking a previously monolithic neoliberal consensus.
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias has announced his retirement. Over the last decade, he brought the radical left to the heart of Spanish politics — but its challenge to the establishment ultimately fell short.
On Thursday night, the Murcia regional HQ of Spain’s Podemos party was set ablaze with a petrol bomb. The incident was the latest in a string of terrorist attacks against the Left — showing how the growth of the parliamentary far right is combining with the rise of a violent neofascist street movement.
On Monday, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias announced he is resigning as Spain’s deputy prime minister to run for election in the Madrid region. Iglesias’s move to regional politics is aimed at blocking the formation of another far-right government in the capital — but it also highlights his own party’s need to go beyond relying on one brilliant communicator.
One of Donald Trump’s last decisions in office was a squalid diplomatic deal with Morocco, granting US recognition of its occupation of Western Sahara in exchange for Moroccan recognition of Israel. Since the move, the Saharawi population has faced intense military repression — yet the Biden administration refuses to say whether it will reverse Trump’s colonial handover of the territory.
The Trump-brokered deal between Morocco and Israel normalizes relations between the two states. But the outgoing president bought Morocco’s agreement by endorsing its ownership of Western Sahara — making the US the only major state to rubber-stamp an occupation regime condemned by international law.
A year into Spain’s coalition government, today’s budget offers major public health care investment and a commitment to expand the Guaranteed Minimum Income plan. These promises show how Unidas Podemos has changed the political agenda — and yet centrist ministers are still stonewalling on measures that risk upsetting business.
Spanish deputy prime minister and Unidas Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias talks to Jacobin about the experience of Spain’s left in government, the current historical moment, and Podemos’s trajectory over the last six years.
Even after Spain’s late 1970s transition to democracy, its political establishment maintained a tactful silence over the record of Franco’s dictatorship. But a bill advanced by the left-wing government insists on the need to acknowledge the dictator’s crimes — and identify the estimated 112,000 people lying in unmarked graves across Spain.
Spain’s First Communist Minister Since the 1930s: “The Right Can’t Accept a Party Like Ours in Government”
This January, a pact between the Socialists and Unidas Podemos gave Spain its first ruling left-wing coalition since the Civil War. One of two communist ministers, Alberto Garzón, spoke to Jacobin about the government’s survival in these times of crisis — and why the militant right still refuses to accept its legitimacy.
On Sunday night, Spain’s former king Juan Carlos fled the country in order to evade prosecution over mass-scale money laundering. Once hailed as a leader of the transition away from dictatorship, the monarch’s corrupt dealings show how Spain’s powerful business interests continue to stand above democratic scrutiny.
The anarchist bricklayer Lucio Urtubia made his name robbing banks in order to fund clandestine revolutionaries in Franco’s Spain. He insisted that there was nothing criminal about his expropriations of firms like Citibank — arguing that “he who robs a thief is a thousand times forgiven.”
Four decades since Spain’s transition to democracy, nostalgists for the Franco era are sharply resisting calls to topple its monuments and recognize its victims. Their fight to control historical memory isn’t just a “culture war” — it’s a bid to defend the power of businesses that profited from the fascist regime.
In one of Europe’s most unequal countries, Spain’s working class is particularly suffering during the pandemic. Unidas Podemos’s “COVID tax” on millionaires’ assets will help rebuild long-neglected public services — and end decades of bipartisan tax giveaways to the rich.