Inconsolable cries, hugs, rain, Rafaella Carrá, Bizarrap, Pedro Sánchez in his house and thousands of people in front of the headquarters. It is difficult to know if this April 2024 is already the most extravagant Federal Committee in the recent history of the PSOE, in direct competition with that of 2016 that also revolved around Sánchez’s future. Then, the party kicked him out against his will. This time, what he wants is for him not to leave.

Yes, it was in all probability the largest of those held to date. More than 12,000 militants and sympathizers from all corners of the country, according to data from the Government Delegation, followed live from the screens installed in the middle of Ferraz Street a conclave that was an explicit demonstration of the closing of ranks with the leader of the PSOE. Also an express request that he not resign. Although it was, in reality, many more things.

It served, at times, as collective therapy for socialism. No one is able to hide that the party has been enveloped in immense confusion since on Wednesday Pedro Sánchez said that he does not know if it is worth staying and gave way to five days of reflection that have left the Government and the PSOE as if in suspense.

Because no one or almost no one has been able to speak with their general secretary for four days. So no one, or almost no one, knows if he has already concluded his reflection and if he has at this point made a decision. There are only opinions, hunches, sensations. And no one during the Federal Committee was optimistic about the president remaining in office, despite the hope that this Saturday’s message will end up getting through between now and Monday.

The uncertainty, in any case, leaves a huge political gap. The one who tried to fill this Saturday’s interventions with continuous allusions to the “pride” of socialist history. “Here is the PSOE. We are the transformative left, the one that is not satisfied with dreaming of a better world but rather does so with the Official State Gazette,” claimed María Jesús Montero, the person with the most organic and institutional power in the absence of the president.

This thread of appealing to self-esteem in the face of the “pack campaign” was followed in their interventions by the rest of the leaders. One of the most applauded was the leader of the Basque socialists, Eneko Andueza, who even referred to the victims of Franco’s regime or those of ETA’s terrorism in his address to Sánchez’s feelings. “Many people have come to mind: Rubalcaba, Chacón, Txiki Benegas, the socialists who perished in the ditches and those of us who had to look under the car. Think of all those socialists, Pedro.”

Óscar Puente, one of the people closest to the President of the Government, also went back in time. The minister directly alluded to Sánchez for his reflection on whether or not he is worth moving forward after the investigation opened against his partner in a Madrid court for a complaint that the socialists consider false and part of a “hunt.” policy.

“I ask myself that question and I answer it with the story of my grandfather Antonio,” he said. “In ’39 they arrested him to kill him but a friend took him out of the truck and he spent three years in Valladolid prison with daily beatings and hoses with cold water. And when I think about my suffering, I think about him and I believe that mine is much lighter. You cannot give up, you cannot give the right the head that it seeks, that of the general secretary of the PSOE. You can’t allow it, Pedro,” Puente cried.

Even the leader of the socialists in Castilla-La Mancha, the regional president Emiliano García-Page, personally participated in that conspiracy that the Federal Committee ended up becoming. Page also showed his support for the Secretary General, with whom he has been very estranged personally and politically for years and with whom he empathized after reminding him, of course, that not only he faces complications due to his political activity.

“Everyone talks about what they suffer and we lived four years with Cospedal, Villarejo’s friend. I have always reacted with the determination not to leave a single slander unanswered. And to respond to this campaign you are going to count on all of our support, mine in particular. Because you cannot consent,” she said in reference to her personal support for Sánchez, whom she stopped short of explicitly asking to stay.

“We are not going to allow Spain to regress”

The call also served for the socialists to send a warning to the right about the political future of the country, even beyond the president’s decision. “They can’t get away with it,” said María Jesús Montero, who did not make explicit references to the hypothesis of what will happen the hypothetical day after without Sánchez, but she did want to illuminate a future of continuity of progressive policies to distance the hypothesis of certain elections that could favor a shift to the right.

“We cannot allow Spain to go backwards. What’s more: we are not going to allow Spain to retreat. Democracies regress when people think that true power does not depend on their vote, when politics becomes a quagmire and when the results of the polls are delegitimized,” Montero said to dispel the hope of the right and the extreme right of a turnaround. political based on the possible resignation of the president.

With still a dozen of the planned interventions to go, the Secretary of Organization took the floor to unexpectedly bring forward the end of the Federal Committee and ask the leaders to come down to join the mobilization along with the militancy that was waiting in the rain. “I think it is time for us to go out into the streets with those thousands of colleagues to embrace each other and shout to our secretary general that it is worth it,” ordered Santos Cerdán.

In the street, leaders and ministers such as Félix Bolaños, Óscar Puente and Teresa Ribera could not contain their tears. The people gathered there received the leadership of their party with applause and shouts of support for Pedro Sánchez. A playlist then played on the speakers with songs like ‘Quédate’, by Quevedo and Bizarrap, ‘Pedro’, by Rafaella Carrá or ‘Papá cuéntame otra vez’ by Ismael Serrano. And at that point, no one knew very well if he was at a party or a funeral, if he was attending an attempt to encourage Pedro Sánchez or a farewell tribute.

Minutes later, the party’s communications directorate uploaded a video to its social networks with images of that moment and a song by the group Supersubmarina, whose lyrics implore: “So send a signal, something that serves as a light.” The signal will finally arrive on Monday. Another thing will be the light.


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