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On 23 February 1981, he stormed into the parliament building with fellow military and Civil Guard officers, and held the Spanish government hostage During that time, Spain was going from dictatorship to democracy. Tejero did not want democracy and wanted Spain to stay in the dictatorship.
His coup failed thanks to King Juan Carlos I. Tejero thought the King would support him because the King had been trained by Spain's old dictator, Francisco Franco. Instead King Juan Carlos I went on television dressed in his uniform as commander-in-chief of the Spanish Army and said the coup was wrong. The coup soon stopped, and Spanish television had pictures of the coup leaders trying to escape by climbing out of the windows of the parliament building