KelsieGleason's Travel Journals

KelsieGleason Kelsie Gleason

  • 27 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Barcelona, Spain

Visions and Revisions: Discovering the Culture of Barcelona

This journal will serve as a collection of my experiences, observations, and reflections over the next four months of cultural immersion in Barcelona.

23-F

Spain Barcelona, Spain  |  Feb 23, 2011
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Today was the 30th anniversary of an attempted coup d'état in Spain that lasted 18 hours. Antonio Tejero led the failed coup by bursting into the Spanish Congress of Deputies with 200 armed soldiers from the Guardia Civil while they were electing Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo to be the country's new Prime Minister. After several hours of silence, King Juan Carlos I addressed the nation on television, denouncing the coup and demanding that the rebels respect the law and the constitution and allow the country to continue with the democratic government. The coup failed after 18 hours during which the Parliament and the cabinet were held hostage, and when Tejero surrendered in the morning no one had been harmed.

To celebrate the anniversary of the failed coup d'état and the maintenance of democracy in Spain, I went to see a movie that was just released today, chronicling the events of February 23, 1981. The movie, called “23-F,” was not so much a documentary, but more a film portrayal of the coup d'état. It opened with scenes that gave a historical context for the film, including the bombing of Luis Carrero Blanco’s car by ETA (a nationalistic Basque terrorist group) and Franco’s funeral, but aside from the first few minutes the rest of the film revolved around the 18 hours of the coup d'état. The opening scenes were actual footage from the historical events, and there were a few other scenes interspersed that included actual footage of Tejero bursting into the parliament building, the public listening to Juan Carlos’s address, and Tejero’s surrender and release of the hostages. It was cool to see the portrayal of such an important historical event, to see scenes of what really happened on that day, and especially to be in Spain for the 30th anniversary of the coup d'état.

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