Spain: Seeking to Appease the Generals

"Perhaps the real transition to democracy begins now"

The menace has crystallized in a single, indelible video-tape image replayed again and again on countless TV sets throughout Spain: Guardia Civil Lieut. Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina standing in the Cortes last Feb. 23, holding the Spanish government, and the nation, at gunpoint. Tejero and his fellow military conspirators in the coup attempt were soon arrested, and Spain's young democracy survived its gravest challenge.

But now many Spaniards are beginning to wonder just who won that fateful encounter. Far from being totally discredited after the coup, the country's ultra-conservative armed forces—unchanged and...

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