Foreign Policy in the Post-Franco Period
Spain's political system underwent dramatic transformations after the death of Franco, but there was nevertheless some degree of continuity in Spanish foreign policy. The return of Gibraltar to Spanish sovereignty continued to be a foreign policy goal, as did greater integration of Spain into Western Europe. In spite of frequent ongoing negotiations, neither of these goals had been accomplished by the time Gonzalez came to power in 1982. Foreign policy makers also endeavored to maintain an influential role for Spain in its relations with Latin American nations.
Spanish opinion was more ambivalent with regard to membership in NATO and relations with the United States, although defense agreements, allowing the United States to continue using its naval and air bases in Spain, were signed periodically. When Spain joined NATO in May 1982, under Calvo Sotelo's government, the PSOE leadership strongly opposed such a commitment and called for withdrawal from the Alliance. One of Gonzalez's campaign promises was a national referendum on Spain's NATO membership. In 1982 the role the new Socialist government envisioned for Spain in the West's economic, political, and security arrangements remained to be seen.
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