Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced this Tuesday that he will send a letter to King Felipe of Spain to ask him to stop celebrating October 12 as a festive day, as it is a day that remembers “the genocide” of indigenous people.
“It is an offense for the whole of America that the king of Spain still celebrates October 12th, the day on which the colonialism of America and the greatest genocide in history began, as a festive day, as a supposed day of civilization,” said Maduro .
“I am sending a letter to the King of Spain that I will publish in the next few hours, in which I reflect, always with respect,” the president told supporters gathered in front of the presidential palace.
Spain celebrates October 12 as Hispanity Day, which commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America in 1492. The date was named in Venezuela the Day of Indigenous Resistance by President Hugo Chávez in 2002.
After months without speaking in public, Maduro addressed the crowd of supporters who had gathered outside the Miraflores palace after an Oct. 12 march in downtown Caracas. The president said the letter reflects the abuse experienced by indigenous peoples: “Every time Spain goes out to celebrate and dance on October 12th, it offends the historic memory of our grandparents and the historic heritage and values of our peoples.”
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