February 29, 2024

The Spanish newspaper, El País, ran an article HERE (in Spanish) today on their website. Below you have the English-language translation of the same article:

Two days before Spain celebrates its Día de la Hispanidad, a tribute to Columbus´arrival in the Americas, US President George W. Bush sent King Juan Carlos a Message extolling the “strong and lasting friendship” between both nations.

The message, disseminated on the US Embassy website, read: “Spain remains a vital ally of the United States, and we look forward to further strengthening our relations.

“In the spirit of friendship and admiration from the American people, I wish to congratulate you and the people of Spain as you celebrate la Fiesta Nacional de España on October 12. The United States also observes this day as a National Holiday as we remember the historic importance of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas,” states the message.

In 2004 and 2005, there was no US representation in protest over the fact that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, then opposition leader, refused to stand as the American flag went by, as a sign of his rejection of the Iraq war.

Bilateral relations have been coll since Prime Minister Zapatero pulled Spanish troops from Iraq on taking office in 2004.

My only wonder is WHY didn’t President Bush address this message to President Zapatero as well? Doesn’t Zapatero rule the country and not the King of Spain? It almost sounds like Bush still doesn’t want to talk to him.

Let’s all hope the GOVERNMENTS of the USA and Spain can get along a bit better after the new US President is elected – no matter who wins on Novermber 2, 2008.

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