On the day of the rightist military assault on the house of parliament last year in February, Felipe Gonzalez, general secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE), was taken out of the chamber at gunpoint and brought to an anteroom, where he was to spend 15 hours. Observers believed his removal signified a death sentence; he thought so too.
Many months later, in his party headquarters, the memory of that awful day was still fresh. Security was tight. I entered the seven-story building through one-way mirrored doors that were buzzed open by a guard.
Gonzalez greeted me cordially—a handsome man, casually dressed, with dark, longish, wavy hair, 40 years old. More than most of Spain’s present politica...
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