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The violence we have witnessed on the streets of the United States over the past six months under the guise of combating alleged racial police brutality reached its most abject degree when openly Marxist and anti-system groups cornered entire cities, mercilessly assaulting Hispanic residents, destroying their businesses and property, vandalizing expressions of Hispanic cultural heritage, and even killing other Americans simply because they are of a certain race or defend a political opinion.
For these radical and supremacist groups, everything justified their cause, which has been none other than to destabilize the U.S., intimidate the free citizens of the world, and take the streets by storm. All this with the final objective of advancing the socialist agenda and unreservedly embracing Communism.
However, a large number of Hispanic Americans, especially in the city of Miami, FL, did not hesitate from the first moment to take to the streets to show our most absolute rejection of all that unjustified violence, and in the same way we broke into the press and television to explain why Hispanics.
(Spaniards, Cubans, Venezuelans, Peruvians, Mexicans, Argentines, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Dominicans, among others) we ask for respect for our culture and our common history and we demand the defense of democracy in the U.S., as well as in other brother countries, against the advance of cultural Marxism and the socialist agenda of the 21st century that has taken away so many millions of lives and countries.
Our message is clear: freedom is not, and will never be, at stake. We will not allow them to rewrite our history, censor free voices and advance their agenda to bring down the United States.
But so that we can better understand what’s going on behind the attacks and collapses of the statues of Christopher Columbus, Juan Ponce de León, Juan de Oñate or Fray Junípero Serra and the more recent attacks on our history, we decided to interview the renowned writer and expert on the subject, María Elvira Roca Barea, author of the book Empirephobia and the Black Legend.
María Herrera Mellado: You predicted some time ago that a Spanish-speaking wave would arrive in the United States based on a black legend that was being fed for various reasons. Do you think we are living in that moment?
María Elvira Roca Barea: When I wrote Empirephobia and the Black Legend, it seemed to me a real possibility, since in the academic and political world of the United States a construct has been encouraged according to which everything bad, terrible and unpleasant about what happens in this country has had to do with the arrival of the Spanish in America; but it never had to do with the arrival of the English.
This is clearly related to the rise of Indigenism in the United States and the absence of Hispanic voices in American universities whose chairs are led by Americans, English and Canadians who are not exactly defenders of Spain and the Hispanic worldview. These attacks are particularly directed against the History of Spain rather than Anglo-Saxon History, and that is the result of what we are seeing now.
María Herrera Mellado: Why has all this happened right now during the year 2020?
María Elvira Roca Barea: The BLM movement has combined with the rise of Indigenism, which in turn implies an anti-Spanish vision in university academic centers in America. In fact, this anti-Hispanic vision and the influence of the Black Legend have reached levels of fanaticism and intransigence that are devastating history and affecting our present. Probably during 2020 they saw an opportunity to show their contempt publicly and we cannot deny that there is a causal relationship between the recent events we have seen in many states and cities in the States and the destruction of statues recalling the Spanish legacy. None of this is happening by chance.
Let’s say that it has become a totum revolutum that now sweeps away both the elements or symbols of the Hispanic world as well as other icons and statues that refer to the founding fathers of the United States, such as the statue of Thomas Jefferson and many others that have also been torn down.
María Herrera Mellado: Is it possible to think that in spite of the unfortunate events that we have experienced, a Hispanic mentality is being forged in the United States even stronger than in Spain or in Hispanic America?
María Elvira Roca Barea: I think so. This wave of radical fanatical destruction is causing many Hispanics to realize that this is not only something that affects Spaniards, it is not an attack on Spain or its history, but an attack on the entire Hispanic American community in the U.S., which will possibly have consequences for this community in the medium- and long-term.
Unfortunately, the Hispanic community in general has suffered for decades from a lack of self-esteem and significant internal cohesion that it must overcome. If they are able to leave behind any grudge and manage to unite and work in brotherhood they will overcome any obstacle that lies ahead. This is precisely what must be prized within the Hispanic community anyway. The lack of unity has always made it difficult for our community to gain the importance it deserves.
María Herrera Mellado: Do you think that with a better knowledge of History, one could improve Hispanic geopolitics on both sides of the Atlantic?
María Elvira Roca Barea: I think that on both sides of the Atlantic those who don’t like Spain or don’t even know what the Hispanic culture means have tried to teach the worst historical version of ourselves and we have believed the Black Legend. But little by little we are learning more about what we were really able to achieve. In fact, today we know, for example, that the commercial axis woven between New Spain, by way of the Galleon of Manila which connected the Spanish Monarchy with the Ming Empire in China, was one of the greatest economic revolutions in the world, one that took place precisely during those Spanish centuries, this is something that we have not studied, nor will you see in books.
And I ask myself, and we must ask ourselves, can our history really be reduced to an economic failure? We carried out an extraordinarily important economic revolution that in turn was the origin and development of globalization.
The truth is that they are trying to tell our story on both sides of the Atlantic on the basis of the two classic pillars of the Black legend, which are Conquest and Inquisition, and this has overshadowed everything else. Have you ever wondered why we do not know, for example, the great Mexican businessmen of the time, who, by the way, were born and developed thanks to a huge Spanish legacy, or why we do not know the importance that Spanish silver had in the economic development of Asia, or why the countless successes of that era are still hidden from us?
The reality is that we do not know half of the achievements of the Spanish Empire. That’s why it’s essential that more and better research be done and published on what we really were. That bad things were done? Sure, but really extraordinary things were done that we should remember which the Black Legend has tried to hide.
María Herrera Mellado: Do you think that the historical-political claims against Spain have any support?
María Elvira Roca Barea: I don’t think so. Can you imagine a president of the United States demanding that the Queen of England apologize for the colonization done by her country? That is something inconceivable, isn’t it? But in our Hispanic world it’s not only possible, it seems normal to many. This is what I call the “bipolar disorder” suffered by the Hispanic American community. Can you imagine Americans saying that Thanksgiving Day must be eliminated because it commemorates the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons to America and the beginning of the destruction of indigenous cultures? Well, what is not normal is, apparently normal for some Hispanophobes. In fact, they now propose eliminating Columbus Day in the States.
But the reality is that the Hispanic community represents more than 500 million human beings with a unique and common language, with a very diverse and extremely rich culture, but with common and powerful roots, that is, we have a cultural empire with no one to lead it. A gigantic heritage that allows the Hispanic community to make progress in creating an unparalleled future. And that’s why we can’t continue to foster division and to only accept the negative side of our history or to continue to fuel this bipolar disorder. If we do, we will get nowhere, despite this heritage that our ancestors have left us with.
The importance of being able to influence is extraordinary thanks to geopolitics and our strategic position in the world, since we belong to this gigantic international community that has Spanish as its common language. And this is a huge gift as this heritage is already here, it already exists, and since its here we must be able to manage it and articulate it in such a way that it turns into prosperity, political stability and a lot of magnificent things and projects that are still here to be achieved.
María Herrera Mellado: What recommendation could you give to that Hispanic community that feels anxiety with all that has happened? How could we draw positive consequences from everything that has happened?
María Elvira Roca Barea: We must learn to look at ourselves in a different way than we do now, rejecting an “Anglo” view at us. In other words, we Hispanics must cultivate a positive Hispanic outlook on our own present and past without fear of being judged or evaluated by the criteria of different culture. In addition, we have to build our own roadmap.
If we are able to become confident about our own heritage, legacy and culture, which already exist, and which are also among the richest and most important in history, we will be able to reverse this situation and this conflict that we will be facing and fully enjoying a much more favorable future. We must open a new stage, since a tremendously fluid situation is occurring at the geopolitical level in the world and this is the moment when the axes of hegemonic power are moving from Europe to Asia, to the Americas, etc., giving rise to extraordinary windows of opportunity. At this point, we must take advantage of this point in time, since windows can close freezing in place hegemonies for the next 100 or 150 years.
Right now the Hispanic community is in a very good position to succeed, but first it has to become aware of everything it has in its hands, and act accordingly.