A key ring of Che Guevara and clippings from the newspaper were part of the small museum that Pompeyo González Pascual, a 74-year-old pensioner, had at his home in Miranda de Ebro (Burgos) and arrested this Wednesday for containing several letters with Explosives had been sent to authorities and official buildings in Spain late last year.
The mild-mannered González, a former city council officer in Vitoria (Basque Country), will go to jail without bail this Friday, charged with six counts of terrorist crimes and using flammable or explosive devices for terrorist purposes. His activities put the world on high alert when on November 30 at the Kiev diplomatic headquarters in Madrid, an envelope addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador exploded, slightly injuring the security guard checking the mail. The event was repeated at the US Air Force base in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid) and at a defense contractor in Zaragoza (Instalaza).
Then the Spanish authorities revealed that the Prime Minister in the person of Pedro Sánchez and the Ministry of Defense for his head Margarita Robles had also received letters containing homemade explosives in the previous days. The connection to the war in Ukraine seemed so obvious that US intelligence defended to Spain that an ultra-Russian group was behind the affair.
But this Wednesday, a surprise broke out in the tranquil town of Miranda de Ebro with around 30,000 inhabitants, when the police arrested the pensioner in the middle of the street, who left his small apartment and without any kind of accommodation, barely saying: “You have wrong”.
Records have revealed that the man, who is very active on social media, was nostalgic for the Soviet Union and had what the El País newspaper, which had access to the police report, called “a communist sanctuary” at his home. The Cuban holdings include several copies of the 1988 official newspaper of the Communist Party and the aforementioned keychain with a portrait of Che and the inscription “Hasta la victoria siempre”.
Also in her room was a poster of Dolores Ibarruri, known as La Pasionaria, exiled leader of the Spanish Communist Party and post-reunification deputy. A picture of Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, Lenin and chronicles of the 1917 Russian and Austrian victories in World War I were also found. Rounding out the repertoire are a variety of newspaper clippings and books associated with the 1936 coup in Spain and the volunteers of the Blue Division (a military corps sent by Franco to support Hitler and Mussolini against Russia).
But along with all the paraphernalia, Pompeyo González had compromising material. From flimsy plastic bags that police believe he used to fill in the letters, to cylindrical and metal tubes. The most serious, a Dji Mavic 2 drone, an old and light model capable of taking pictures and flying for half an hour.
Police records show the retiree was preparing higher-powered devices and planned to deposit them with the device, which he had rigged to transport envelopes and remotely deposit.
The operation to arrest González was baptized as a convert, envelope in Russian, the first element that the agents began to look for in order to locate the culprit of the events. The stamps used were also an important clue, particularly after examining surveillance camera images of the post offices where they were purchased.
Although DNA found no matches to police records, one of the keys was handwriting analysis, which determined that the handwriting corresponded to an elderly man.
Prosecutor sources have initially assured the Spanish press that any connection with Russia has been ruled out and that the thesis is that he acted alone without the support of criminal networks.
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