Spanish populist MP Iván Espinosa, a member of VOX, has claimed that social media companies are censoring his party, while the mainstream media often fail to report on far-left violence against VOX party members.
Mr Espinosa told Breitbart London the current undercurrent of tech censorship that conservatives are seeing in the United States and elsewhere was happening in Spain on a “much larger scale”, and said the party already faced near unilateral opposition from the mainstream media.
“Our frontman in the south of Spain, who is an expert on illegal trafficking, who was showing us video footage on a daily basis of how people smugglers are bringing in illegal immigrants from Africa has seen his [Twitter] account suspended for five days,” Espinosa claimed.
Spain: Populists Make Massive Gains, Salvini Predicts 'Racist' Smears by Media https://t.co/4FmPNqPaOn
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 10, 2019
The populist member of parliament went on to add that some members of the party often received warnings or suspensions on Facebook-owned Instagram, sometimes over personal pictures. “I’ve uploaded pictures of my kids or my family and it gets tagged as sensitive content,” he said.
“It’s pretty bad considering that social media is the only way we actually do get to express our views and opinions,” he said and claimed the party is rarely invited on national television programmes or given newspaper interviews, despite being the third-largest party in the Spanish parliament.
“Everything is considered potentially offensive,” he said and added that it was considered “racist” to suggest that African migrants should not attempt to cross the Mediterranean, noting that some migrants end up drowning while trying to cross to Spain illegally.
“Spain has traditionally been a sort of training lab for the extreme left,” he said and claimed far-left extremists have been trying out different policies first in Spain since the Spanish civil war during the 1930s.
Exclusive: Populist Spanish VOX Leader Abascal Says Party Will Ban Separatist Parties https://t.co/pXmB463sTZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 17, 2019
“When it works here, and it sticks, they export it to South America, Europe, and even North America. Everything we see in North America we have seen here first, from bringing down statues to re-writing history,” he said.
According to Espinosa, the media have also largely censored the numerous far-left extremist attacks against members of his party.
Espinosa showed Breitbart London a list of attacks dating back to September 2018 that included vandalism, attacks on party members and officials, and many death threats against party leaders such as leader Santiago Abascal.
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VOX claims there have been more than a hundred death threats against party members, 42 physical attacks on VOX party offices across Spain, and 93 complaints by members for abuse and aggression.
Espinola added that the party had suffered a lot of physical violence in the last regional election in the Basque Region earlier this year. “We had people throwing stones at us. One of our members of congress, a young lady, was hit in the head by a stone. She was bleeding quite extensively.”
Despite the attack being recorded on video, Espinola claimed that many on Spain’s left accused her of lying, stating that the blood was actually red makeup. He said the left and the media downplay any sort of violence against VOX members.
The assaults against VOX echo similar attacks by far-left militants on populist parties in other European countries, such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has seen hundreds of attacks, including an attempted assassination last year. In Italy, Matteo Salvini’s League saw an office being bombed in 2018.