the Venezuelan Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas, criticized the review that the Spanish right-wing newspaper La Razón published of a new book by writer Jesús Ángel Rojo, When We Were Invincible. In La Razón‘s article, Rojo defended the alleged “Discovery of America” as a wonderful event, “the most transcendent since the birth of Jesus Christ,” ignoring the genocide and the cultural destruction it entailed.
“The millions of murdered indigenous people and enslaved African people should, according to said perspective, thank the conquistadors for the crimes, chains, and diseases that that ‘fusion’ meant for them,” Villegas wrote in a social media post, October 14. “The right wing that emits these historical falsifications is the same one that despises Simón Bolívar and the sudacas [South Americans] of today.”
As a counterweight, the minister recommended reading the book Historias del paraíso (“stories of paradise”) by Venezuelan author Gustavo Pereira.
“The debate about October 12 is not only about the past,” wrote Villegas on social media. “Its interpretation has very serious consequences for the present and the future of humanity.”
The following is the original article from the Spanish newspaper La Razón, publicizing the book Cuando éramos invencibles (“When We Were Invincible”) by Jesús Ángel Rojo:
La Hispanidad, the greatest civilizing work in the history of humanity
More than ever, we must celebrate October 12, an eternal date in the memory of Spain and Latin America.
Jesús Ángel Rojo, author of Cuando Éramos Invencibles, writes that “October 1492 is a date marked in the heart of every good Hispanic, the result of which is the most transcendental event in the history of mankind since the birth of Jesus Christ, known as ‘The Discovery of America.’ It is a memorable day because from then on, the fusion between Spain and America began, which culminated with the so-called ‘encounter of two worlds,’ transforming the vision of humanity and the lives of both Spaniards and Americans, since it was thanks to this encounter and its consequences that what we know today as Hispanic America was born.
“According to Maeztu, Hispanidad is the common being of the Hispanic peoples, with a diversity of races, geographical areas and languages, with a fundamentally common history and, above all, with a permanent destiny. On October 12, we celebrate not only Columbus Day, but the set of qualities that distinguish Hispanic peoples and cultures from the rest of the world. Hispanidad is a reflection of the spiritual, cultural, and blood ties that unite Spain and Latin America. However, it is the most destructive ideologies that constantly threaten the concept of Hispanidad, trying to impose a false and mendacious history with the purpose of breaking the ties that unite us, imposing hatred and division between brothers.
“In these turbulent times, the nation will only resist the grave dangers it faces if it knows how to do justice to the heroes who made it the most powerful nation in the world. For this reason, the fathers of the motherland must be in the perpetual memory of all of us, because they were responsible for creating the greatest civilization currently existing on the face of the earth: the Hispanic civilization.
“The need to identify oneself as a nation always arises at the most crucial moments of its history. In the case of Spain, national values and ideals have been discredited and trampled upon in an attempt to turn our nation into a mere group of people living together in a common territory.
“Therefore, we have to step forward and refuse to be mere guests in this crucial moment we are living in order not to end up being a failed country in the future. Our nation was able to create a New World, civilize it, and defend it from the aggression of foreign powers for more than 300 years, leaving an eternal and unique legacy that today is enjoyed by more than 600 million Hispanics. There is no nation in the world that has been able to accomplish such a great feat.
“But some excluding and mediocre politicians have tried to make the Spanish people feel ashamed of the extraordinary legacy left to us by our ancestors. They have questioned our history because they wanted to question the existence of our own nation. For this reason, Spaniards have felt ashamed of their achievements. They have filled our minds with complexes and clichés with the intention of subjugating us and segregating the land of our fathers into small territories with nothing in common. The traditional black legend, like the new one, is encouraged by two great monsters that resonate more strongly than ever: peripheral nationalism and cultural Marxism of the 21st century, which seek, through hatred, to destroy the civilizing work of Spain.
“The Swedish historian Sverker Arnoldsson said the following: ‘the anti-Spanish black legend has been the greatest collective hallucination of the West for centuries.’ Without the history of our country, we could not understand today’s world. We must remember a thousand times that Spain has been the nation that has done the most for Western civilization since the fall of the Roman Empire. Despite this, we are ashamed of our exploits and discoveries, which are unparalleled in world history.
“In short, when social resentment claims that there is nothing to celebrate today, I would recall that there are 600 million reasons to celebrate October 12, but the main and most beautiful one is found in the unique and eternal heritage that our predecessors left us: La Hispanidad.”
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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