Washington / Morocco Board News--The coverage by the Spanish press of the kidnapping of three aid workers, including two Spanish citizens, in Algeria confirms the anti-Morocco sentiment and biases harbored by large segments of the Spanish press against the Moroccan people. Unlike the front-page stories portraying Morocco as an aggressor and a bully published whenever there is trouble in the Western Sahara, the news of the abduction of Spaniards by the Polisario has received little coverage in major news outlet in Spain. El-Mundo, which once extensively and on its front page reported on a Spanish pro-Polisario activist hiding in Morocco, published little about a terror attack targeting Spanish citizens.
In the few stories printed in El-Mundo about this abduction in Algeria, the Right wing daily uses official civilian titles of the self-proclaimed Saharan Republic instead of their “military title” within the Polisario. In an attempt to offend and insult Morocco, El-Mundo deliberately treats the So-called Saharan Republic as an internationally recognized entity. El-Mundo, with other Spanish extreme right groups and communist and Marxist organizations, is the only “major European” news outlet that adopts such editorial line.
The recent terrorist act perpetrated by rogue members of the Polisario guerilla with the aid of a branch of Al Qaeda shows negligence and collapse by a separatist movement that is supported by a segment of the Spanish society and by major Spanish media outlets. In spite of its Marxist background, recent indications of an Al Qaeda connection among its members and the lack of freedoms in the Sahrawi refugee camps, the Western Saharan Polisario movement enjoy a non-negligible margin of support among Spaniard for its quest to form an independent state in Southern Morocco.
The Spanish press is always delighted to publish with enthusiasm and satisfaction news of social and political trouble in Morocco Saharan provinces, albeit without verifications and journalistic investigations. Major Spanish newspapers and magazines including El-Pais, ABC, El-Mundo and La Razon have published false, falsified and “racist” article defaming Morocco and Moroccans. Be it fake pictures of Sahrawi babies “slaughtered” by Moroccan police or unsubstantiated political demonstrations in Saharan cities under Morocco’s control, Spanish media has shown a level of unprofessionalism, biases and political opportunism unseen anywhere else in Europe.
The right wing newspaper El-Mundo is by the far the loudest mouthpiece for the anti-Morocco crusade. The inflammatory language used in reporting on the Saharan conflict including uncorroborated stories published in the front page of this neo-Franco daily is disturbing in a country that considers itself “European” and “advanced”. The right wing El-Mundo does not mind sleeping with the Marxists of the Frente Polisario for the sake of vilifying Morocco.
The Spanish press prejudiced coverage of Morocco and the Western Sahara conflict continues to raise eyebrows as once again demonstrated by a lack of an investigative angle to the story of the recent kidnapping in Algeria. El-Mundo and El-Pais continue to shy away from investigating Al Qaeda presence in the Tindouf camps, allegations of misappropriation of Humanitarian aid- mostly Spanish- by the leaders of the Polisario and the lack of press freedom in the refugee camps. For now, the Spanish press coverage of Morocco will remain average and marginal in the eyes of the international press.