Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Spanish envoy: Tell us where you put your Franco statues; and then mind your business!

Dear Spanish envoy: Tell us where you put your Franco statues; and then mind your business!

To the Spanish envoy, from a citizen of this country, kindly shut up, sit down and keep out of this. Go process some document or something, this is no concern of yours.

And may I point out to you and the few local lackeys who are either as ignorant as you are, or have their own self-loathing issues, that talk about rewriting history is hollow coming from someone who belongs to a continent that got where it is today by doing precisely that.

Photo: Spain Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Javier Carbajosa.
(via Spain Embassy)

Western Europe and the United States that came out of it is seen as the pinnacle of civilisation by systematically erasing other civilisations—after co-opting various aspects of these civilisations’ technology and institutions—and then pretending that they never existed. The very sails that brought the Spanish ships to this region were Arab lateen sails and neither the compass nor the astrolabe were European inventions.

As I recall, it was my ancestors the Africans you know as the Moors, that brought and preserved high science and learning, established universities like the one at Salamanca, while the Christian parts of Spain and the rest of Europe were steeped in ignorance, intolerance and superstition.

Even hygiene is something we had to give you because, as Stanley Lane-Poole pointed out in ‘Story of the Moors in Spain’ when the Christians took control of your country and expelled the Moors, one of the many things they forbade was bathing and cleanliness.

By the information I read in Columbus’ own log, he was a kidnapper and an enslaver. Furthermore, these statues and street names were imposed on us to emphasise the same point that was being made in academic books: that African and indigenous people had no history, technology, ideas of state formation or conflict resolution.

As such all we can aspire to do is copy the ways, values, dress and notions of development of the West—what is good for the West is best for the rest. What an interesting concept given that much of the racism and marginalisation of Indigenous and Africans in Venezuela, all over Central and South America in fact, are perpetrated by descendants of Spanish aristocrats and common criminals who came to this region.

Photo: Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s equestrian statue is dismantled in the city of Santander in December 2008.
It was the last remaining statue to Franco.
(Copyright Rafa Rivas/AFP)

Another thing, as I recall, wasn’t there a similar exercise that removed a statue of the murdering dictator Francisco Franco in your country? But that cannot be done here?

Get away from here and mind your business, please and thanks.

Learn to show respect to Black lives and sovereignty.

About Corey Gilkes

Corey Gilkes is a self-taught history reader whose big mouth forever gets his little tail in trouble. He lives in La Romaine and is working on four book projects. He has a blog on https://coreygilkes.wordpress.com/blog/ and http://www.trinicenter.com/Gilkes/. Vitriol can be emailed to him at coreygks@gmail.com.

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  1. Just curious if Port of Spain will become Port of Trinidad or Triniport for short. Just asking.