The Green March: a set-up between Hassan II and Juan Carlos

Morocco, Western Sahara, Juan Carlos de Borbón, Green March, Hassan II, declassified CIA documents, Ambassador Wells Stabler, Polisario Front, Algeria,

Addressing the crowd in his speech of 5 November 1975 ordering the departure of the Green March, the late King Hassan II said: « If you meet a Spaniard, civilian or military, exchange greetings with him and invite him to the tent to share your meal. « We have no enmity towards the Spaniards, nor do we feel any resentment towards them, for if we had wanted to wage war against Spain, we would not have sent unarmed civilians but rather an army (…) « And if it should happen, dear people, that aggressors other than Spaniards should attack your march, know that your valiant army is ready to protect you ».

Today, documents declassified by the CIA explain the meaning of these words. A report on a meeting between the then Spanish Crown Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón and US Ambassador to Spain Wells Stabler reveals how Morocco and Spain had reached an agreement to ensure that the Green March would proceed without damage. The Spaniards had even indicated the areas that were risky for the marchers because of the mines. This explains the conciliatory discourse with the Spaniards.

The full text of a report that explodes the myth of the Green March, described by Moroccans as the epic of the century, the fruit of the alleged genius of King Hassan II, when everything was previously arranged by the Americans.

Spanish Sahara

Spain and Morocco have reached an understanding designed to reduce the threat of a major clash during the march on unarmed Moroccan volunteers into Spansi Sahara, which King Hassan announced will begin today. Even so, some violence is likely.

Prince Juan Carlos told Ambassador Stabler that Madrid and Rabat have agreed the marchers will come only a few miles into Spanish Sahara and stay only a short time in the border area, from which Spanish troops have been withdrawn. The Prince added that a token delegation of about 50 Moroccans will be allowed to go on to the territorial capital of El Aaiun.

The area beyond which the marchers are not supposed to go is delineated by clearly marked minefields, according to another Spanish official. Juan Carlos said Spanish forces will use every means at their disposal to prevent the Moroccans from moving beyond the agreed area.

King Hassan made no mention of the agreement with Madrid his short speech yesterday announcing that his green march would proceed today. At the same time, he gave no indication of how far into the territory the marchers would proceed, suggesting that he may intend to honor the agreemen.

Hassan stressed the need for order and discipline during the march and told the Moroccan volunteers to be « hospitable3 to any Spaniards they encounter. Hassan did not threaten to use force if the Spanish put up armed resistance, but he assured the marchers that if « anyone else » fires on them the Moroccan army will defend them. He was obviously referring to Algeria and the Polisario front, a pro-independence group oof Saharans backed by Algeria.

Once the marchers cross the border; the situation could easily get out of control (…)

The Polisario Front will almost certainly try to attack the marchers. Somemembers of the group are already in the area which Spanish troops have been withdrawn and may be in the coastal area where the Moroccans are to cross the border.

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