This chapter examines the fifteenth and longest siege of Gibraltar, which began on 8 June 1969 when Spain ordered the closure of the customs post and border gates between Spain and Gibraltar at La Línea. On 25 June the ferry service from Algeciras to Gibraltar was suspended, leaving the weekly BEA flight from London via Madrid as the only communication between Spain and the Rock. Both General Franco and his hard–line Foreign Minister Sr Castiella were very much mistaken if they thought that isolating Gibraltar would hurt its economy and lead to its inevitable transfer to Spain in order to survive. Not only did Gibraltar survive economically, largely through the support of successive British governments, but its isolation from 1969 to 1985 weakened its ties with Spain. The chapter addresses the question of what prompted Spain to take such a drastic step.
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