The Government enters the debate on the symbols of the past, kindled by the protests against the racial abuse in the united States. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has conveyed its concern to different u.s. authorities by the fact that the questioning of some historical figures has reached to characters hispanic linked to north America. The recent attacks on statues such as those of Christopher Columbus or the friar Junipero Serra have motivated the submission of multiple letters of diplomacy to iron out differences, as explained this Wednesday, the minister of Foreign affairs, Arancha González Laya.
In the wake of these episodes, the ambassador in Washington has been directed at “federal, state and local”, they assure in the ministry, without specifying the specific target. “What we have brought to its attention by the importance we give to this shared history with the united States, so shared it as unknown”, emphasized the owner of the billboards in a press conference at the headquarters of the ministry. The writings do not constitute formal complaints, and have been communicated to the us authorities “quietly”, according to González Laya.
The wave of protests originated in the united States —and later extended to other territories— by the death of the african-american George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has stirred the discussion about the historical symbols in the north american country. In this context, some statues of characters hispanic —as disparate as Columbus, Cervantes, or Ponce de Leon— have suffered takedowns or beheadings.
As a sign that the movement has ended questioning to characters of very different depth, beyond the confrontation of racial, González Laya cited a list of names that included former presidents u.s. George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt.
The minister wanted to draw a line between the protests against racial discrimination —”we share much with that movement”— and the siege to symbols of the Spanish presence in the continent. Gonzalez Laya, he defended a better knowledge of the Spanish contribution to the american story. In this task framed the opening of the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute in Los Angeles before the end of the year.