Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fashion in 2000, as predicted in the 1930s

Puerto Ricans in the news - The Primary

My sister alerted me to McCauliffe's appearance on Face the Nation today (video above), amused by the mention of Puerto Rico's role in the nominating process. Clinton's campaign manager cruises down denial, bringing up the prospect of Puerto Ricans' votes for HRC in their democratic primary next month. Bob Schieffer reminds him that they have no vote in the Presidential election, and McCauliffe claims PR wants to become a US state. What, they will speed up approval of statehood (without regard for what Islanders think) just so they can get Puerto Rican votes for HRC in November? It's laughable and shows how desperate they have become.  

I love how suddenly the Island is in the news because of their scheduling in the primaries, and how we are getting more airplay than we have in years. Thus US citizens are hearing for the first time that we are US citizens, may vote in primaries, serve in the US military and yet if we reside on the Island rather than in the 50 states, we cannot vote for President. 

And given HRC's revelation that she is the candidate of "hard working White people" she will not be surprised to know that her alleged majority with Latinos does not seem to exist, at least among the Latinos I know, or randomly meet on the street, the supermarket, etc. all asking me where I got the "Latinos for Obama" pin or smiling and greeting me with comments about their support for our candidate!

Parque de la Memoria, Sartaguda, Navarra

Relative of a victim of Franco wrapped in a Spanish Republican flag searches for the name of a loved one.

Man points to the name of a family member.

A week ago, I was speaking to a colleague working on the Parque de la Memoria and the museum devoted to the memory of the Desaparecidos at the ESMA former torture site in Buenos Aires. I told her that I wasn't hopeful about such memorials in Spain, as there was a lack of consensus about the dictatorship, with a substantial number of Spaniards believing it was not a bad thing, survivors dying without leaving testimony of atrocity sites, concentration camp locations or mass graves. And the camps and prisons in many cases no longer exist. 

So yesterday I was overjoyed when I saw the news that in Navarra, a monument and memory park was inaugurated memorializing the over 3,000 murdered by Franco in the province of Navarra. The park is in a place known as the "town of widows" because the dictatorship killed 10% of the men. 

The fact that it is sited in Navarra means a lot to me, as part of my family originates from the area. In fact distant cousins still live there in a farm house where my family has resided for centuries, and they speak Euskera. I visited there in the early 1990s with my grandparents and met one cousin (now deceased) who was suffering from incipient Alzheimer's disease. As we traveled by bus from Pamplona to the tiny remote town high in the mountains where the rest of my relations are, she pointed in the direction of a hill and said "That is where they used to shoot people." I decided not to press the point. I am glad others did and I hope that such monuments are erected all over Spain. Perhaps one of my relatives is on this wall, someday I will have to go there and look for my Basque surnames. 

All photos EFE photo agency, Spain.