Opinion

Spanish conscience

bandera-española-colon

Spain and the Spanish people should be proud of our history with all its consequences because, despite the darkest periods, it has shaped our personality as citizens and our identity as a country. Above all, what we can no longer accept is that our history should be written by others, especially Anglo-Saxons who almost always point to the most negative aspects, or those who for too many years now have been stirring up the black legend of the conquest of America with malicious intentions. It is common that, in order to divert attention from internal problems caused mainly by mismanagement, some authoritarian leaders of the right and left - ideology is not spared because what counts is to hold on to power at all costs - use a supposed external enemy to channel a false patriotic pride that temporarily distracts from the harsh reality. 

There are too many cases, but today we could dwell on the false polemic promoted by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a left-wing populist who has long insisted that Spain should apologise for the atrocities committed on the occasion of the bicentenary of the discovery. Why does the Mexican president not address what happened less recently, in 1968 in Tlatelolco with the massacre of more than 300 university students. Many of them of indigenous origin. The Pope has sent a letter that should be read in its full context and not just the headline. And we Spaniards must defend with determination and conviction the achievements of the discovery of a new world with the creation of schools, universities, hospitals and a political organisation of the Viceroyalty on an equal footing with the institutions of the rest of Spain

The Spaniards arrived and allied themselves with some tribes that were at odds with others. But without avoiding criticism for the mistakes made, we cannot be ashamed of what happened, any more than the Americans are ashamed of the conquest of the West, or of the Muslims for their eight-century presence in Spain, or of the colonialism exercised for many years by the British, French, Dutch or Belgians, and they are not demonised.

What is more, the vestiges of British imperialism have now been used by populist fools such as Boris Johnson to stage an absurd Brexit, the first consequences of which are being suffered by millions of citizens who now regret having been led astray by false promises, by the disinformation manipulated on social networks and in the media in the service of bastard interests that are putting true democracy in crisis. It is also happening in too many countries, Spain among them, where it is essential to recover, without shame or false prejudices, the principles and values of the democracies that emerged from the Second World War, which have guaranteed stability and progress in Europe and in a large part of the world for many years.

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