In the 18th century, King Carlos III created the Collection of the Indies in Seville to protest the negative propaganda that Spain was suffering from abundant documentation (and this collection is a unique case in the world). But it is that already in the XVII, Quevedo and Lope de Vega complained about the same thing.
However, I would insist that this is not just something that affects the current Spanish state; We are facing a Hispanophobic propaganda that affects the psychology and self-esteem of millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic. This is not an isolated discussion among scholars, we are facing a political and cultural weapon that affects us on a daily basis and that transcends all kinds of ideological realms.
How is the vision in the United States of America when talking about Spanish incursions into your territory?
Well, it depends… Guess there’s always been negative official publicity. initial America They tried to expand north, but could not, so they soon turned their attention to neighboring New Spain territories. Paradoxically, the Hispanics were their biggest and best allies, because without the invincible Hispanic-American army commanded by Bernardo de Galvez, the Anglo-American settlers would never have been able to achieve their independence. Spain provided vast amounts of arms, supplies and money, and the organization of the Anglo-Spanish War was cutting off the British’s route from the Caribbean to the Mississippi. But very soon there would be conflicts of interest, until they crystallized in the wars in Mexico or 1898, when the United States, under the pretext of the explosion of “Maine” (something that Spain never did), attacked Cuba, Puerto Invaded Rico and the Philippines. In the Philippines, the persecution of Hispanic culture was very bloody, even banishing our language. Similar efforts were made in Puerto Rico but there was opposition. The case of Cuba was different but we will get into other courses.
In short, there has always been negative official propaganda as manifest destiny sought to annex Hispanic territories.
However, in reality, there has always been more Hispanophilia in the United States than was thought. Hispanics such as the poet Walt Whitman, Charles F. Loomis or Stanley Payne, or presidents such as William Taft, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan were highly praised for the Hispanic past of the United States.
The idea that Americans don’t know their historyBut the truth is that Bernardo de Gálvez, who was governor of Louisiana and a fundamental hero for understanding the birth of the United States, is remembered and respected more in the United States than in Spain, where it took a leadership position. Took a long time to recover his memory.
The black story is talked about in the time of colonialism, but how did other great powers like England, France, Central European countries behaved at that time?
Well, we should clarify that “colonialism” is not a term that applies to the political concept of the Hispanic monarchy, which, says Tomas Pérez Vejo, a Spanish historian based in Mexico, was a “total monarchy” (in Viceroyalties). organized) ), in turn, expressed in “urban republics” or, as Ecuadorian historian Francisco Nez del Arco puts it, “city-states”. Nez del Arco argues that America They were inspired by many of the urban, political and legal models of American Spain to be configured.
As regards the behavior of other powers, it is clear that hispanophobic black legend It helps them overcome shame and guilt. An example: there is a French channel that broadcasts in Spanish and organizes debates on the conquest of America, but they will never question Napoleon, whose soldiers committed all kinds of atrocities against the Spanish civilian population, including rape and Serious insults (and graves of graves) are involved. Great heroes like Cid Campidore or Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known as the great captain). But of course, the Hispanophobic black legend will always serve to divert attention and divide Hispanics, because we are the diamonds in the rough that will change the world when we know there is much more to us than just tear us apart. that unites us. But that awareness will not come without knowledge and appreciation.
It is estimated that Florida may have been the first major European settlement in North America. How long was Spanish spoken in the region and what sites or events can be highlighted as part of Spanish heritage?
Well, Florida is a paradigm of the Hispanic past in the United States. The Spanish language dates back to the 16th century and continues to the present day. If there’s anything that can be highlighted, it’s the city of San Agustin, a pioneer city from this past, although Fort Mosse, a sanctuary of freedom for many slaves who fled the British colonies, is another point. on account..
What would it take to fill those gaps in historical knowledge or promote a more accurate view of history?
The truth is that we are late… but let’s go. On the other hand, happiness is good so it is never too late.
When we embarked on the adventures of the “Knowing Our America” program at Americano Media, we set out to speak to Hispanic people in their language, with their own tastes and in their own way. As I said earlier, this is not a “Spanish problem” but a “global Hispanic problem” and that is the only way we can tackle it. Naturally, a lot of diffusion and knowledge is needed, but also to venture into the world of fantasy, music … we do a lot of diverse programs, from Hispanic Contribution to the Independence of the United States Hispanic influences in music such as blues and country or Hispanic origins of the American agricultural region. There’s so much to tell… and it can be done in many ways.
Negative Hispanophobic vision has been pushed out of Hollywood many times and this is not by chance. Without going too far, “Western” is a style that, accommodating its true Hispanic history, can help us recover our so-damaged collective imagination with pride and reason.
Something is being done in the world of comics, of illustration; Hopefully the big screens will resonate soon.
Do you recommend any historical cut-off books or websites to fill the historical gaps related to this topic?
There are many… if we pay attention to the black story, it happens to me story about blackby Ivan Velez Hispanic American Black Legend History, By Romulo D. Carbía… The books of María Elvira Roca Beria are making a lot of noise throughout the Hispanosphere… If we focus on the US Hispanic region, I will refer to the Bernardo de Gálvez Cultural Association, as they reference I am doing a commendable job. Especially in memory of this great ideal that united the history of Spain, Mexico and the United States.
Hispanic Council You are also doing great public relations work.
Another book that comes to mind is forgotten keyBy Cristóbal Tejón, about Fernando de Leyba, one of the many Hispanic heroes who made possible the independence of the United States.
The work of Jorge García Ruiz (Spanish historian based in San Antonio) on the Texas mission tells us that data kills the stories. George is doing a great job of research and will certainly be more recognized in the United States than in Spain or Latin America.
Would it be historically correct to judge what other countries did in the past based on today’s ethical concepts?
The truth is that this is called “presentism” and it is completely wrong. And generally, this is done for dishonest purposes. For example, when we speak of slavery, we think of whites versus blacks, but do not think of how African and Asian Muslims enslaved European Christians for centuries.
Presentationism has always been accompanied by motives of ideological bias and consequent media manipulation. And let’s look at how “Black Lives Matter” is talked about with hammers and sickles made up of European ideologies, but not fabricated, when Christians are massacred in Nigeria. And so with everything.
To what extent can this review of history help the descendants of indigenous peoples today?
Okay, so starting off because where the largest Amerindian population lives is in areas that were part of the Hispanic monarchy. Spain is used to throwing all the blame for the deportation of many Indian nations; However, in Spanish times there were abundant native populations in areas such as California or Texas. There was one before and after the Spanish era and that is to keep quiet by stating the exact opposite.
Spain never had large armies in the Americas, its rule supported by local militias and alliances with the native population. Without that system of alliance, our heritage and our culture cannot be explained.
For example, leather dragons, that is, soldiers who were a kind of mixture of the Texas Rangers, the Canadian Mounted Police and the Spanish Civil Guard, belonged to the various races that populated North America and the borders of New Spain on horseback. expanded and secured.
Similarly, although slavery did exist, not all blacks moving into Hispanic territories were slaves; Actually, the memory of the Black Curse (Free) which came from Atlantic Andalusia remained in Cuba. There were conquerors, settlers, sailors and black soldiers during the three centuries of Spanish presence in the area.
Revealing our common history can and should help heal many artificially inflicted wounds. And it’s not the fault of the Americans, because the current Spanish state is the first to spread and even finance all kinds of black legends. this is madness.
Most recently, the Heroes of Cavite Cultural Association. Hispanista shared a story about a man who saw an image in which Spaniards were called ‘killers’. Is this an isolated case or are these types of interpretations commonly found in the United States?
Unfortunately this is not an isolated case and it has begun to rise long ago, precisely when there was greater recognition of Hispanic heritage in the United States, which is not the legacy of “recent immigration”, as Teresa Valcarés, Ambassador K. Hispanics were there before, during, and after the formation of the States, as a promise of gratitude for the Bernardo de Galvez association and the architect of Galávez’s painting, being at the capital as a promise of independence.
For example: when the statue of Juan Onet was destroyed, it was not even realized that this man was American, specifically a Creole, married to a mestizo woman, also American … that’s it There is the vision that we should help spread, that we are facing a united history, which is not an exoticism or a fashion… that all this barbarism of smashing statues is an attack against a history and culture that belongs to the West. Makes up a large part, again quoting my friend Francisco Nez del Arco, Hispanic culture was the quintessence of Western and Atlantic civilization.
The Association Cultural Heroes de Cavite-Hispanistas is doing a commendable job of outreach, also adding sections in English, which make knowledge more accessible in the United States and in many other parts of the world. Of course, they should be appreciated.
I am very afraid that the Hispanophobic wave will continue and so we must unite more than ever. Enough to put your head down because of the lies that they want to impose with intimidation and violence. We have a lot of potential and by bringing it to the fore, we will gain self-respect and security.