Dia de la Hispanidad, the day of Spanish culture is celebrated on the 12th of October, the day on which Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. The day thousands of folk going about their lives were given the good news of their ‘discovery’ by the well meaning Christopher.
Or maybe he wasn’t so well meaning. Dear ol’ Chris was consciously responsible for:
1. The start of decades of plundering of the continent’s natural resources
2. The manipulation, brutalization and subjugation of the continent’s people in order to make them a) civilized and b) Christian
3. The attempt to start up a slave trade to rival the one in Africa
More distant and unforeseen results of his little ‘discovery’ include:
1. The collapse of indigenous populations under the pressure of ravaging disease, impoverishment and general brutalization.
2. Long lasting impoverishment of South American states leading to vulnerability to greedy multinationals, puppet dictators, drug barons and a host of other delightful characters.
3. The disgruntlement of many Spanish conservatives at the large scale influx of South American immigrants fleeing decades of poverty created by colonization.
So his services to Queen and God notwithstanding, maybe Columbus isn’t the best poster boy for modern day Spanish national pride.