Spain: The Franquista Coup That Failed

A young king saves a frail democracy

In many ways it might have recalled the stark menace of a Goya tableau. The Deputies in Spain's 350-seat lower house were halfway through their vote on a new government when the heavy rococo doors of the Cortes, the country's parliament in the center of Madrid, burst open. In rushed a dozen armed attackers, most of them wearing olive drab parkas and blue jeans. In the marble corridors outside the chamber, some 200 uniformed men nervously fingered their weapons as they sealed off the exits. The invaders fired their submachine guns at the ceiling...

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