Monday, October 15

La Fiesta Nacional

Friday, Oct 12 was Spain´s Fiesta Nacional. Keith and I went to the big parade downtown and got to see the King and Queen, the Prince, and Spain´s entire armed forces. Jets flew overhead, parachuters jumped out of planes and spiraled down to earth waving the Spanish flag, tanks and heavy duty arms were showcased in the parade, and hundreds of soldiers from every military sector marched in unison, straight faced and wearing beautifully decorated uniforms. Unforunately the batteries of my digital camera died only a half hour into it and I´m now kicking myself for not being able to show you the best of the show.

The King and Queen driving by...

Madrid is very conservative and Zapatero, the current president, is from the Socialist Party. They really hate him here in Madrid, though he has much support in Spain´s other provinces. When his car drove by at the parade, the crowd rose their flags and chanted ¨¡FUERA!¨ which means ¨Get out!¨. In 2004, Zapatero ran on an anti-Bush/Iraq War platform and gained a lot of support after the terrorist bombing of the Spanish subway in March of 2004 in which 200 people died. The previous president however, Aznar, was Bush´s close ally and supported the invasion of Iraq. Apparently, a few years ago at the Fiesta Nacional, Zapatero actually sat down when the American flag passed by. Conservative Madrid, and Washington for that matter, was none too happy. So everyone here is conservative and anti-Zapatero, but I´m still not so sure why. Some say it´s because he´s not much of a nationalist since he´s doing little to stop seperatist movements.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

wtf? spain has a kind and queen? that's news to me