Elias Castillo: Junipero Serra Sainthood Belies Cruel History Reply

Fray Junipero Serra

MercuryNews.com–Pope Francis has announced that he will canonize Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra when he visits the United States in late summer. How does that reconcile with a papal decision made 15 years ago when Pope John Paul II apologized for 2,000 years of violence by the Roman Catholic Church against indigenous peoples, Jews, heretics, women and gypsies? In the case of California’s missions, the coastal Indians paid a high price for their interaction with the church. Serra, who arrived in 1769, created a harsh and unforgiving regimen that would ultimately claim the lives of 62,000 Indians and devastate their civilization, including the extinction of a number of small tribes.

I have spent the past seven years researching life at the missions through historical documents at Santa Barbara Mission Historical Archives, Mexico’s National Archives in Mexico City and numerous university libraries. I have studied images of documents written in Serra’s hand and little-known letters and reports from Serra and other Franciscans, documents from Spanish governors and military leaders, eyewitness accounts from travelers as well as academic research. The truth is painful and not widely understood.



Spanish Premier Accused of Knowing about Slush Fund Payoffs Reply

Mariano Rajoy Spain

Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy, accused of slush-fund knowledge

Yahoo.com, MADRID (AP) — The former finance chief for Spain’s ruling political party has accused Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of having full knowledge about a slush fund that allegedly financed payoffs for party members. Luis Barcenas made the declarations to reporters who mobbed his every public movement after his release on bail from a prison. He was jailed when the scandal surrounding the scheme erupted in 2013.

Barcenas said Friday that Rajoy knew about the scheme “from the beginning” and that party officials received regular payoffs. Rajoy and his Popular Party have denied the claims. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria declined comment on the latest declarations by Barcenas, noting he faces fraud and money laundering charges.


Roca Brothers and Sherry, Berlinale’s Key Culinary Ingredients Reply

Roca Brothers

The Roca brothers, owners of the “El Celler de Can Roca” restaurant, as well as a documentary about Spanish Sherry wine, will star at the Culinary Cinema program of the 65th Berlinale, which starts Feb. 5.

LAHT.com–BERLIN – In “Cooking Up a Tribute,” a road (cooking) movie directed by Luis Gonzalez and Andrea Gomez, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, conscious of the need for introducing their cooking to the world and their obsession with innovation, decide to close their restaurant for five weeks to go on tour.

The film is a unique experience detailing their journey last summer to six cities in four countries on the American continent (Houston, Dallas, Mexico DF, Monterrey, Bogota and Lima), during which they prepared 50,000 dishes for over 2,700 people. The film, according to its creators, is a tribute to American cuisine, which has offered so much to European and world gastronomy.


Nineteen Sangría Recipes Reply

Grapefruit sangria Spain

It’s time to hone your mixology and practice your Spanish!

Huffington Post.com–Si acaso hay una bebida clásica del verano, que recuerde al verano, que tenga sabor a verano, esa es la sangría.  No hay experto dominguero que se precie que no tenga su receta perfecta de la sangría: que si con vermú, que sin con melocotón, que si el hielo va al final… Nuestros compañeros de HuffPost Taste, amantes de los cócteles creen que hay tantas recetas como personas, más aún siendo una bebida tan sencilla y refrescante. Como ellos mismos dicen, la mayor parte de recetas de sangría son bastante simples: vino+fruta+hielo (+ a veces brandy, vermú…). Y a partir de ahí, hay mucho con lo que se puede experimentar.


#FreeSpeechStories: The limits of Spanish humour Reply

Facu Diaz Spain

BBC Trending tells the story of a Spanish political satirist who some say crossed the country’s red lines – and who even ended up summoned to a criminal court because of a sketch.

BBC.com, Reporting: Anne-Marie Tomchak, Video journalists: Alvaro A. Ricciardelli and Gabriela Torres–Last week, at the same time as millions rallied online in support of pointed French satire using #JeSuisCharlie, south of the border in Spain #YoconFacu (I am with Facu) was trending last week in support of the satirist Facu Diaz. He has been accused of mocking victims of terrorism in an online video sketch, which uses the iconography of the Basque armed organisation ETA.


Podemos Targets Goldman Sachs’s Speculation in Social Housing in Spain 2

Podemos vs. Goldman

Estéban Duarte writes for Bloomberg.com–The anti-austerity party Podemos, leading Spanish polls less than a year before the next election, is targeting Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s purchase of social housing in Madrid, saying it’s a predatory type of investment that should be stamped out. Podemos is highlighting transactions such as Goldman’s 201 million-euro ($234 million) acquisition of rent-protected apartments as it works out policies to reduce inequality in Spain and draw millions of unemployed workers back into the labor force after a seven-year slump.

“They know that at a certain point the protected rents will expire, and when that happens, they will throw the tenants out,” Juan Carlos Monedero, a member of Podemos’s executive committee, said in an interview. “They are enriching people who already have more money than they know what to do with, and in turn they are forcing people to live on the streets.”


Spain to Shelve Alliance of Civilizations Initiative Co-chaired with Turkey Reply

Alliance of Civilizations

Spain plans to leave its position as co-sponsor of the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative proposed and adopted by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during the 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005.

Today’s Zaman.com–The current Spanish government has decided to completely suspend the Alliance of Civilizations initiative on the grounds that it has lost its importance. The initiative, which was included in Spain’s National Security Strategy in 2011 by Zapatero, was also reportedly excluded from the document’s updated version by the incumbent Spanish government last month.

The current National Security Strategy document that was updated by the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) is said to make no reference to the initiative as well, reportedly due to pressure from ruling party lawmakers who claim that it is not right to focus on such an initiative at a time when “jihadists terrorize Europe,” the private Doğan news agency reported on Saturday.


Sid Lowe: “Spanish Football Has Become Fragmented and Flat” Reply

Real Sociedad Atletic

Stadiums aren’t filling. Fans are largely treated with disdain. And while the authorities are now belatedly acting to stamp out bad atmosphere, little is being done to foment a good atmosphere

Sid Lowe writes for The Guardian.com–Sunday in Euskadi. In the Frontón Bizkaia, Juan Martínez de Irujo was wearing a big Basque beret and an even bigger smile, holding the trophy with battered and heavily bandaged hands, another pelota triple crown his. In the Bilbao Arena, Bilbao Basket beat Real Madrid, knocking them off the top for the first time in 78 games. And in the Teatro Principal in San Sebastián, Athletic Club de Bilbao were about to take on Real Sociedad in the Bertso Derbi, a kind of Basque sing-and-joke-off. Not far away, down the boulevard and in from the beach, Anoeta waited in the rain for the main event: Athletic Bilbao versus Real Sociedad.

In the narrow streets of the old town, they had been having an informal Bertso Derbi of their own, in between the patxaran and the pintxos. Blue and white shirts and scarves were everywhere, even on a dog or two. There were red and white shirts too; fewer than normal, but they were there.


Former Spanish King Faces Paternity Suit Reply

Royal paternity suits

Ingrid Jeanne Sartiau and Alberto Solá Jiménez, alleged illegitimate offspring of ex-Spanish king

A court will study a paternity lawsuit brought against the former King of Spain

CNN.com–Spain’s former King Juan Carlos, 77, will face a paternity lawsuit — by a Belgian woman alleging that he’s her father — before the nation’s Supreme Court, a 12-judge panel ruled Wednesday. The court accepted the case for study, two court spokeswomen told CNN. The royal household affirmed its “respect” for judicial decisions but declined further comment.

The plaintiff is Ingrid Sartiau, 48, who lives near Brussels. Sartiau alleges that her mother and the married Juan Carlos had a relationship in late 1965, and she was born, as a result, in August 1966, said her attorney, Jaume Pararols. He became Spain’s King and head of state in 1975 after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco. Juan Carlos abdicated in June in favor of his son, King Felipe VI, who was born in 1968. While the court agreed to take Sartiau’s claim for study, it rejected a separate paternity suit against the former King brought by a Spanish man.


Spanish Foreign Minister Urges International Aid for Gazans Reply

Israeli bomb damage Gaza

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo has urged the international community to provide more financial assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

PressTV.ir–The Spanish foreign minister made the remarks during a visit to the coastal enclave on Tuesday, as he met with Palestinians affected by the 50-day Israeli war. “The international community must act rapidly to rebuild Gaza,” he said at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City, adding, “The inhabitants of Gaza are living through a real tragedy.” He called for more aid to be given to reconstruct the more than 120,000 homes damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes more than four months ago.

Garcia Margallo, the third European Union minister to visit the coastal enclave since the 50-day war last summer, arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing. Upon his arrival, Maher Abu Sabha, head of the Palestinian border authority said Garcia Margallo wanted to see the impact of the recent Israeli offensive in the coastal enclave and hold talks with chief of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl. The UNRWA has so far provided USD 70 million in aid to more than 40,000 families for repairing their damaged homes. However, reconstruction has not started yet.