Although U.S. officials minimized the significance of the anti-[Reagan] demonstrations in Spain on the eve of the President's arrival, officials of Spain's Socialist government are concerned. In their view, the most vulnerable target of the demonstrations was [Felipe Gonzalez], not Reagan.
Some analysts believe that the cause is hopeless and that Gonzalez, to salvage the situation, will cancel the referendum and hold a general election instead, interpreting a victory as endorsement of NATO. No political analyst here doubts that Gonzalez could win any election with ease.
From this psychological point of view, the Reagan visit was a success for the Gonzalez government. Reagan praised the new Spanish democracy in ringing tones, and even El Pais agreed that Reagan's words would help Spain forget "the ominous declaration" of former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. when Francoist members of the Civil Guard and the Spanish army tried to overthrow the new democracy in 1982.