The Fiesta Nacional is, as the name denotes, an annual celebration across Spain of a huge Spanish legacy that gave the world – the New World – a single (Spanish) denominator for the cultures in the vast Americas and brought the region under one dominant language. It set off the Golden Age of exploration and colonization, catapulting Spain as the first-ever world power. But couching it in today’s politically acceptable lingo, the Fiesta Nacional is touted as celebrating Spain’s union and brotherhood with the international community.
A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “CURRENT EVENTS…NEWS…BUSINESS/Civil Guards Still Adjusting to Democracy,” 31 May 1985 »
A news item about the Civil Guards (Guardia Civil) and how it is adjusting to parliamentary democracy in Spain ten years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. During the dictatorship, the Guardia Civil was a reactionary element associated with internal surveillance and political repression. Once dedicated to repressing opposition to the Franco regime, the adjustment of the police, but, it seems, especially the Civil Guards to democratic rule was not always easy.
In just a decade, the predictable two-party environment in Spain fractured into a wide breadth of parties and ideologies and may never revert to the what-had-once-been. This will certainly make for a more chaotic system, but a more interesting one as well.
"Guernica, a terrifying mural oil painting of greys, whites, and blacks, was Picasso’s response to the aerial bombing of Guernica, a town in the Basque Country. With Guernica he took a leap into political discourse, reflecting the tremendous events that unfolded in the Basque town"
"Suddenly, life in the Spanish kingdom has acquired an entirely new framework, putting paid to a prolonged dictatorship which made it an international pariah. It was an electrifying moment in the modern history of Spain"
“One of the most poignant descriptions in the book is the farewell to the International Brigades as their battle is coming to a close. As they marched down the Diagonal in Barcelona 300,000 Spaniards wept, cheered, waved and threw flowers, confetti, and notes of thanks”