Man on Spanish tank threatens Puigdemont
Spanish Defense ministry brands viral video as “vandalism”
A video of an unknown man in a Spanish army uniform has gone viral on social media. In the video, the man appears atop an army tank and threatens the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, deposed by Madrid. “Let’s give Puigdemont a surprise,” the man says. “70 tons of pure love and democracy,” he adds. The man in the video also says that he is “looking for solutions to Spain’s problems” and he says he has found them while showing the tank.
The message also includes a threat to the leader of left-wing Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias. “Coletas (a derogatory way to say ‘man with a ponytail’), you're next, asshole.” The video ends with the man saying Arriba España, (equivalent to ‘Long live Spain’), which was commonly used by authorities and enthusiasts of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.
Although he is in uniform, the man is not a soldier, a Spanish Defense ministry source told the Catalan News Agency. The same source explained that a soldier let two civilian friends enter military facilities and he “negliglently” let them climb up onto the tank. The ministry used the term “vandalism” to describe the events.
Pablo Iglesias responded by saying that “Spain’s double standards are a shame”. He added that in Spain, “puppeteers and Twitter users go to prison, while fascists go unpunished,” referring to several controversial cases. For instance, two puppeteers were provisionally sent to prison for several days for glorifying ETA Basque terrorism after a performance in which a puppet portrayed a police agent planting evidence on an unsuspecting victim in the form of a poster with a complicated play on words that contained the letters ETA. Additionally, a Twitter user was sentenced to a year in jail for “humiliating” one of Francisco Franco’s last prime ministers, Carrero Blanco by making a joke about his assassination, which took place in 1973.