Many years ago, when I was beginning to make quite regular weekly trips to Madrid, a Spanish political leader who would later be part of several government cabinets defined the relationship with Morocco as follows: "You can get angry but you must never forget that they are in the driver's seat. The more you upset them, the more money it will cost you to return to how things were previously, because if they want to make border crossing easier it costs them nothing, and you have a major humanitarian problem."
In fact, this anecdote is useful to explain relationships that are not about friendship, or anything near it, but rather about the interests of neighbours who are often at loggerheads with each other. The Spanish government acted corrrectly in facilitating the hospitalization of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali in Logroño, but political consequences must be considered and, if it is in relation to Morocco, even more carefully. A migratory and diplomatic conflict is, right now, the worst thing that could happen to the Spanish executive in the foreign relations area. And if the protagonist is the so-called most progressive government in history, seen rapidly deporting thousands of people who have crossed the border, be they men, women or even children, it is certainly a bleak picture.
Luckily, this has been carried out by the PSOE-Podemos tandem, because any other Spanish government would not be able to control the protests that would be taking place in many capitals in the face of some of the powerful images we have seen and that, once again, do not leave Spain looking good - not to mention the so-called "hot returns" of minors to Morocco, sent back without any judicial record being made and in violation of the law on foreigners in an action which, as well as illegal, is inhumane and violates international law.
Militarizing Ceuta and expelling thousands of migrants is putting a patch on the problem; it does not solve it. Spain's disastrous political diplomacy is not just about controlling and impeding the internationalization of the Catalan process. This is the part we feel most in Catalonia, as there are exiles, political prisoners and about 3,000 people facing retaliation for various legal reasons. But it extends to every corner where there are interests: the European Union, Russia, the United States, and South America are four examples which could each fill more than one article.
In the end, there is a price you pay for having, at the head of the Spanish government, a politician like Sánchez: unable to position himself relative to any problem for longer than the validity of an opinion poll or a five-minute arrangement. That is really the problem. Incompetence.