Podemos has turned to its founder, Pablo Iglesias, to boost the party in Madrid and Valencia in the final stretch of the campaign. The former secretary general has participated this Thursday in a rally in the capital to promote the options of Alejandra Jacinto and Roberto Sotomayor and has done so with a speech full of the party’s usual claims about their courage and with a strong opposition to the other options of the left. “We are not a comfortable left”, he has defended. “We are not the PSOE, we do not want to look like the PSOE, we have a different country project,” he launched.
“The Government is not a field for spreading smiles, but rather a field of combat against a party with which we have deep ideological differences,” said the former general secretary of the party to send a veiled message to Yolanda Díaz, in a speech in which He has reproached Manuela Carmena for dispensing with Podemos four years ago and in which he has revealed himself against the “comfortable left”.
Until now, Iglesias had not gotten fully involved in the campaign of the municipal and regional elections next Sunday, the first major campaign he has faced since his departure from the Government and politics. The former leader of Podemos had participated in the first week in an act in the Canary Islands and was in another a few days ago in the Balearic Islands. But for the last two days before the day of reflection, Iglesias is going to be a fundamental piece of the caravan of events, first with the one this Thursday in Madrid and on Friday to participate in the closing of Unides Podem in Valencia, where he will support the candidate for the Generalitat, Héctor Illueca, and the candidate for mayor, Pilar Lima.
In these two days, Podemos, in a coalition in these territories with Izquierda Unida and Alianza Verde, needs to gather enough support to be above 5%, the threshold that gives them representation in those places, where they are also key to the options for the left. If Illueca maintains his seats in Les Corts, the possibilities of a reissue of the Botànic pact; If Jacinto retains representation in the Madrid Assembly, Isabel Díaz Ayuso will have an absolute majority more difficult; if Sotomayor enters the City Council, the left could unseat José Luis Martínez-Almeida de Cibeles.
The expectation generated by the participation of Iglesias in an act with Jacinto and Sotomayor in Lavapiés had mobilized the militancy, which finally had problems entering the Rastro space in the neighborhood, where the organization moved the event due to the forecast of rain. Faced with the impossibility of getting everyone who had approached the cultural center, Iglesias has accompanied the candidates to the street, has grabbed a loudspeaker and has harangued the people from there.
“At the crucial moments that decided the change, the courage of Podemos was a condition of possibility to change things, to defend health, housing, the defense of racialized people,” he said. “The history of Madrid says that changes only come when people are brave and I think that this force has shown who puts up the courage to take the gangsters to jail,” he continued.
Pablo Iglesias, already inside the building, has proposed a television series script to the creator of The Wire, David Simon. A series with two initial scenes of this campaign, that of Alejandra Jacinto, the candidate of Podemos-Izquierda Unida-Alianza Verde for the Community of Madrid, showing Isabel Díaz Ayuso her brother’s face printed on a T-shirt and Pablo’s phrase Married on the commissions he charged for business with the Community of Madrid during the pandemic. And a second starting scene with the slap that the businessman Florentino Pérez gave the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, just a few days ago. “Almeida is a Florentino wimp,” Iglesias said at one point in his speech.
“I’m going to tell you a secret,” Iglesias has advanced. “Do you know that the PP called Podemos? Do not talk about Tomás Díaz Ayuso and we will not talk about your candidates. You can see the answer on a banner in the Salamanca neighborhood”, said the founder of Podemos.
Iglesias has dedicated several minutes from there to defending the relevance of Podemos in the space of the left. “Many tell me: you can’t be so brave, what’s the point? To stay in the corner of the board? Many say, being brave only serves to get crushed, so as not to appear on La Sexta and without that you cannot have good results”, he said about the reflections that occurred in Podemos during his leadership and that continue to occur, following that analysis, currently on the left. “Maybe being brave is useless. It may serve to screw up your life. But the question is: what has been the use of being a coward in Madrid? ”, He said.
This reflection has served the former general secretary to criticize some of the decisions of Manuela Carmena during her time in the Madrid City Council. “When there was a ‘Motor Podemos’, Manuela Carmena was mayoress of Madrid”, she has argued. But, as she has continued, when the former mayor was convinced by Florentino Pérez to authorize the Chamartín operation, the urban macro-project that will transform the north of the city, things began to change. “When Florentino Pérez told her to introduce yourself, the right regained power in the Madrid City Council,” she added to talk about the moment in which Carmena together with Íñigo Errejón decided to go out and found Más Madrid.
Then, he has sent several veiled messages to Yolanda Díaz and her political spirit when it comes to building Sumar’s political project. “The Government is not a field to distribute smiles but a field of combat against a party with which we have deep ideological differences”, she said. “The Government is not here to spread hugs with those who understand that the citizen security law is fine, with those who betray the Saharawi people. In the Government, things are being done in favor of the people with all the cordiality, good manners, but we are not the PSOE, we do not want to look like the PSOE, we have a project for the country that is different from that of the Socialist Party”, he insisted.
“We are a piece that is not self-sufficient, but essential,” he reasoned. “Would Manuela Carmena, Ada Coalu or Kichi have been possible without Podemos? I think not and that the people who govern in those places know it ”, he later launched to defend the importance of being in governments and defending the entry of the left into governments. “From Parliament nothing is changed. Would Yolanda Díaz’s job exist if she were a parliamentarian? The equality laws, the housing law if we were saying very left-wing things in the Government? Of course not. That is what they fear from Podemos, that it is not a comfortable left ”, she has closed.