Spain's shift is important. At the last European Union meeting on Syria,
Spain's was one of the governments that blocked a UK-French proposal to lift
the arms embargo it imposed on Syria in favor of the opposition groups. (Of
course, this did not prevent the UK-France from arming the opposition
through covert channels, as well as through intermediaries such as Saudi
Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.
In an article published on this list and at LINKS
>] Green Left activist Michael Karadjis
argued that the US, Britain, and France were largely, if not entirely,
refusing to arm the opposition because a mass democratic revolution is
taking place in Syria. I think the term used here --"heterogeneous
opposition" -- is a more accurate.
I think that not only the Syrian government's fight for survival but the
ongoing imperialist intervention have deeply disrupted and even corrupted
the possibilities of a mass democratic movement that seemed to exist after
the first protests against the suppression of demonstrations. I think that
the fight against the US and allied interference is not only a fight for the
independence and sovereignty of Syria, but a fight for the possibility for
democratic change there, slim though that may be at present.
The opposition criticisms have been aimed not at the supposed refusal of the
US and allied regimes to provide any arms, but their hesitation to provide
heavy weapons, which would escalate the civil war and sharply increase the
elements of international war that have existed from the beginning of the
The arms and other aid that the US and other powers are providing Free Syria
Army and the Syria Opposition Coalition is aimed against the possibilities
of a democratic revolution, including the right of nations to sovereignty
Spain to Support Shipment of Arms for Syrian Opposition
Madrid, May 21 (Prensa Latina) Spain announced today to partners in the
European Union (EU) that it will support sending weapons to the Syrian
opposition, a position which is shared by other countries in the bloc.
In a press conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josï¿½ Manuel
Garcï¿½a-Margallo, confirmed that he will defend the proposal during a meeting
held EU foreign ministers next Monday in Brussels.
After meeting in this capital with Moaz al-Jatib, one of the most prominent
Syrian opposition leaders, the Foreign Minister admitted that the position
of the Conservative administration of Mariano Rajoy is changing "according
to circumstances on the ground."
According to the Spanish foreign minister, this view is shared by other
nations of the so-called Old Continent, as well as France and the UK, have
been in favor of arming anti-government forces in Damascus for months.
Diplomatic sources quoted by the Madrid press explained that this support
would include lethal material as antiaircraft artillery, a possibility
rejected so far by Spain with other bloc states' such as Germany.
During Monday and Tuesday, the city hosted a meeting of members of the
Syrian heterogeneous opposition, with the aim of analyzing the situation in
the country and the prospects of a possible peace conference in Geneva, in
which Russia and the United States are working now.
Foreign ministers of the EU will decide on Monday whether to lift or not the
arms embargo hanging over Syria, which expires on June 1.