NATIONAL SPAIN DAY

Politicians who criticize Spain Day are “ignorant” and “dunces,” says PP

Spokesperson takes aim at leftist mayors, who described event as “celebration of genocide”

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, pictured earlier this month.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, pictured earlier this month. EL PAÍS

A spokesperson for the governing Popular Party (PP) on Tuesday stated that left-wing politicians who linked Monday’s October 12 National Spain Day celebrations to acts of genocide are “ignorant” and “dunces.”

The reaction came to a tweet posted yesterday by Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, which stated: “Shame on the state that celebrates a genocide, and to top it all off with a military parade costing €800 thousand.”

These comments show how ignorant and dunce-like some people are” PP congressional spokesman Rafael Hernando

Cádiz Mayor José María González, known as “Kichi,” followed suit with: “We never discovered America, we massacred and suppressed a continent and its cultures in the name of God. Nothing to celebrate.”

The anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492 is celebrated domestically as National Spain Day, as Columbus Day in the United States and under various other names in Latin American countries. In Spain, the date is celebrated with a national holiday and a military parade and fly-past.

In his comments to the press, PP congressional spokesman Rafael Hernando lamented the fact that “some people” who sit inside a mayor’s office think that Spain Day celebrates genocide.

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Without mentioning Colau or González expressly, Hernando said that such comments “show how ignorant and dunce-like some people are, who either know very little about history, or who have read very few books, or who have traveled even less.”

Hernando said he was “very proud” of the Spain Day celebrations, and that Spaniards should also be “very proud” of the humanitarian work carried out by their armed forces in international conflicts.

He added that “Spain’s role in the discovery of the Americas” resulted in “a cross of civilizations” very much unlike “what happened in other parts of the world, even just a little bit north in America.”

Both Kichi and Colau reached power in May with left-wing coalitions that include the anti-austerity party Podemos. Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena, also of a leftist alliance, chose to attend the official celebrations held in the capital on Monday.

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