A demand from the current President of Mexico that Spain – as well as the King and the Pope – should apologise for having conquered Mexico. To which the correct response is a hearty “What the heck are you on about Amigo?” For a number of different reasons.
The most obvious being that the people of Spain today aren’t whoever did whatever in the past. It’s thus not actually the responsibility of those alive now for what those long dead did.
A second being that conquering places was just what people did back then. You know, that the past is a foreign country thing?
The third being that the real complaint is perhaps that the Spanish won. The Aztecs were just as – perhaps more – bloodthirsty and exploitative of those they conquered and they did manage to take most of at least central Mexico. That you’re being oppressed, murdered and sacrificed by the tribe one over rather than the one over the sea might be of comfort to the later historian but it’s of little benefit to you as the obsidian knife slices out your heart.
So, this is silly:
Spain refuses to apologise for conquering Mexico five hundred years ago
We do also get to a certain age for such things. We all agree that turning up in Rouen these days to demand an apology for 1066 would be pretty stupid. Getting the Germans to pay pensions to slave labourers isn’t stupid. Somewhere in between the stupidity quotient changes.
Spain’s government has refused a demand from Mexico’s new president that it apologise for conquering the country five hundred years ago. Firing the first shots in what threatens to become a diplomatic row, the Left-wing Mexican leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Monday that he had sent letters to Spain’s King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologize for crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of what is today Mexico. “There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the temples,” Mr López Obrador said in a video message.
That message is here:
Estamos en Comalcalco, vamos a Centla a conmemorar 500 años de la batalla de los españoles contra la resistencia de los mayas-chontales. pic.twitter.com/glYO0eAMtX
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) 25 March 2019
But there is a little more. Which language is being used there? Might it be the one of those conquerors? In fact, Lopez Obrador looks not very Indio nor even Mestizo to me. Ah:
López Obrador was born in Tepetitán, a small village in the municipality of Macuspana, in the southern state of Tabasco, on 13 November 1953. He is the first born son of Andrés López Ramón (son of Lorenzo López and Beatriz Ramón) and Manuela Obrador González, Tabasco and Veracruz-based merchants. His younger siblings include José Ramón, José Ramiro, Pedro Arturo, Pío Lorenzo, and twins, Candelaria Beatriz and Martín Jesús. His maternal grandfather José Obrador Revueltas was Cantabrian who arrived as an exile to Mexico from Ampuero, Spain, while his maternal grandmother Úrsula González was the daughter of Asturians. He also claims paternal Indigenous descent.
So, we’ve a Spanish bloke ruling a place demanding an apology from Spain for enabling a Spanish bloke to be ruling the place he demands the apology about Spain enabling him to rule.
Think we’ll pass on this one, eh?