We must not forget our roots; we must not forget theirs

Carmen Gomez

Franco’s signature continues to be written all over the country he ruled. By ensuring that the wounds left by the Civil War remain open so long, he appears to have inoculated his fellow Spaniards with the very intolerance he came to symbolize. Many of us wonder how this former dictatorship can be judged to have become a democracy. The thing is that democratisation in Spain is not set in stone as in other civilized and modern countries, but can be undone. Their democracy, like freedom and equality, is very much a matter of degree. 

In the same way as Spanish children learn from an early age that Gibraltar was robbed them by the British, and that subsequently we have made it our priority to try and ruin their economy, and sponge off their State like “Parasites”; apart from the closure of our frontier, there have been other previous dark chapters in Spanish history, both racist and colonial, which don’t appear in Spanish literature and unlike ourselves; due to a fear of reopening old wounds, there are a lot of people who are prevented from sharing their experiences; thus such events are therefore unknown to the populace.

Like the colonisation of Equatorial Guinea; the traffic of slaves in Barcelona; the British, the French and the Dutch have made public the traffic of slaves but not Spain; “La Gran Redada; and “La Desbanda.“


From where does the exclusion of the gypsy population in today’s society come from? The “Gran Redada” is a major gap in Spain’s history; there are no dates; nothing appears anywhere. This was an act perpetrated by the Spanish monarchy in 1749; when an entire ethnic community of some 10,000 Gypsies was rounded up; imprisoned; forced to work in labour camps; and women and children in factories; all in the name of God. Many thousands died. This was meant as an operation to cleanse and purify the Spanish race, and was funded by the confiscated goods and homes of the gypsy population. It brings sinister memories to mind of German action against the Jewish race does it not?

“La Desbanda” took place on 8th February 1937 where thousands of civilians were slaughtered on the highway under the fire of aerial attacks as they fled from Malaga to Almeria to find safety. Those left behind were rounded up, raped, killed and piled in to mass graves by the Franco regime.

However, there had been a pervious “desbandada;” between 1936 and 1937, which also took place from Malaga. Families in danger of their lives fled to Tangiers and stayed; whilst others embarked on a cargo ship “El Livorno”, bound for Tangiers. They slept amongst the cargo on canvases; arriving in Tangiers, where they spent two days; they then visited Gibraltar and went on to Algeciras; finishing up in Jerez de la Frontera.


A journalist from Madrid, Lucia Mbomio, says that there is more to Spain than the Catalans, Andalucían or Basques; the afro descendants form part of society since the country was born. She remarks “They don’t have to integrate me, I have been born here, what they have to do is make me visible!” Yet none of these are facts known generally, simply because Spain, who considers herself a dominant culture; sees herself like an aristocratic family whose child becomes pregnant out of wedlock; and in order to save the good name of the family, they hide her from sight; with no one being any the wiser.

Spain has tried for many years back, to erase its presence in Africa; erase its contribution in the enrichment of the Spanish culture; and the best way to hide it, is not to speak of it in the schools, nor write about it in books. Researchers from Spanish and Swedish Universities made discoveries which support the theory that the Canary Islands were colonized by tribes from Northern Morocco.

A number of southern Spanish songs such as the fandango are of Moorish origin. All of their rich architecture is the work of the Moorish people. The leader of the PP referred in his election speech to the colonisation of America as the most important milestone of humanity; because never before had Spain been able to take its culture, history or religion, to so many places at the same time.


What some historians have since remarked was that he forgot to mention that the presence of Spain in America was a result of a violent and hard conquest, so by expressing such an opinion what it did was recuperate the Francoist story. It’s like the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America which is dealt with as an exercise of propaganda; the kind that translates crimes and wars into heroic and great feats. He believed they were an inferior people who should be enslaved and killed, and have their precious resources stolen.

Why do I now recall this? Because at the same time as we must never forget our roots; we must never forget theirs! We must never for one moment forget that in all this time, they have not changed their mentality one iota. That they continue to thirst for reconquests; ours included. That they collude with those whose language is that which corrupt elements communicate with. That they can’t be trusted; that they don’t have the same understanding of democracy that we have; and that they have never had our best interests at heart.