Guarding Europe's Gate

Letter from Spain

by Marisa Escribano
published in MER178

One of the events planned for 1992 is to “marry” the Statue of Liberty in New York to the statue of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona. Although they do share a similar aesthetic kitsch style, it will be a difficult union. Consider only the 300-year span between the ages of the groom and the bride, aside from all the ideological baggage that each one of them carries.

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Andalusia's Nostalgia for Progress and Harmonious Heresy

by Khalid Duran
published in MER178

In southern Spain’s province of Andalusia 1992 is a year of controversy, not because it is the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, but because it commemorates the conquest of the Moorish kingdom of Granada by “foreign invaders from the North.” In other parts of Spain, and even more so in other parts of Europe and America, 1492 is also remembered as the year Spain’s Jews were expelled from that land. In Andalusia, people know it as part of a time when large numbers of Muslims were made to leave the country.

Spain and the EC

Sluicegate for Europe's Migrant Labor Market

by Graciela Malgesini
published in MER181

Nearly every day, off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, wealthy windsurfers unfold their multicolored sails and plunge into the waters. As often as the wind invites acrobatic risk taking on the crest of the waves, it turns the Straits into a graveyard for hundreds of Moroccan migrants. More than 200 drowned from January to October 1992 alone. Their journeys occur under conditions of extraordinary risk and with minimal chances of success. Many are captured the moment they set foot on Spanish soil, or even while still at sea. During the first ten months of 1992, 2,000 undocumented immigrants were detained on the coasts of Cadiz. In 1991, 2,500 were captured in Andalusia alone. [1] This risk they evidently prefer to the desperate poverty that motivated their flight.