The Spanish media recently published declassified CIA documents revealing that, in 1975, the United States feared a possible collapse of the Franco regime, which would pave the way for the socialists. This would have resulted in the independence of Spanish Sahara to the benefit of the USSR.
In order to pressure Madrid out of its desert colony, the documents show that US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger colluded with King Hassan II of Morocco to organize the "Green March" of Moroccan civilians that took place on 6 November 1975. One week later, on 14 November, the Spanish government decolonized the Sahara, profiting Morocco and Mauritania. On 20 November, the death of Caudillo Franciso Franco was announced, after having been kept for weeks in a vegetative state.
According to these documents, Prince Juan Carlos, who succeeded him on November 22 as King of Spain, had given his green light to the CIA - thereby committing high treason - also fearing a political shift upon Franco’s.
Shortly before, the CIA had approached the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) pledging to support it if it agreed to keep the NATO bases on its territory and in the Spanish Sahara. The Party’s historic leaders rejected Washington’s self-serving offer; hence the US secret services arranged to have Felipe González elected as secretary general of the PSOE.
France and Saudi Arabia also took part in this plot.
King Hassan II asked the International Court of Justice (the UN arbitration body) to determine to whom the Spanish Sahara should be returned. While recognizing the historical links of this territory with Morocco, the ICJ stressed that it was up to the population to pronounce itself according to the principle of self-determination. Hassan II then mobilized his people by distorting the opinion of the ICJ. He insisted that the latter had acknowledged that the territory was Moroccan and occupied by Spain. 350,000 civilians then marched to the border, while 20,000 soldiers secured the border with Algeria to prevent it from intervening. Spain decolonized the Sahara which was immediately re-occupied, this time by Morocco and Mauritania.