The 13-second video shows a French bulldog doing a fascist salute and rolling over when its owner mentions Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain’s up-and-coming Podemos party, is having huge online success.
Even Iglesias himself says he has seen, and laughed at, according to Europa Press.
"They've named him after Mussolini and his owner must be a right fascist, but this dog is great," says a tweet on the left-wing leader’s account, followed by 688,000 people. “I laughed a lot."
Le habrán puesto el nombre de Mussolini y su dueño será muy facha, pero este perro es genial http://t.co/8a4wriRLhg Me he reído mucho— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) November 25, 2014
In the video, the dog is first persuaded to lift one of its front legs in a form of fascist salute when the owner says “Arriba España” (Hail Spain!), a slogan which was used extensively among supporters of fascist General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist side in Spain’s 1936–39 Civil War.
Then, when the dog hears "the pony-tailed one is coming" in reference to Iglesias’s long hair which the MEP always wears tied back, Benito rolls over and plays dead.
While the Podemos leader has taken the Benito video with a dose of good humour, the rapid rise of the party has coincided with a number of threatening comments posted about the party.
Earlier this month a Popular Party local politician from Palencia warned Iglesias might be shot.