In celebration of Spain’s national day, Javier María Carbajosa Sanchez, Ambassador of Spain, invited guests for a cocktail reception at his residence, “Willoughby” in Ellerslie Park, on Friday and what a celebration it turned out to be.
Guests who included Chief Justice Ivor Archie, members of the diplomatic corps, government and opposition officials, and the Spanish-speaking community in TT, under the influence of music from the TT Prisons Band, jumped and waved the night away.
Earlier, during the formal part of the evening, Sanchez spoke of the significance of the actual date, October 12, centuries aback.
He said on the same date, also on a Friday in 1492, Spain’s revered Admiral Columbus, in search of a new route on his first trip through the west to reach the East Indies, sighted and then landed on an island called Guanahaní by the local population, which he renamed San Salvador, and which is today part of the archipelago of the Bahamas.
He said 1492 was a crucial year for Spain, in that it marked the reunification of different kingdoms in the peninsula, and also the successful conclusion of the re-conquest under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel.
Sánchez said too, Spain is also commemorating the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world, a journey which started and ended in Seville.
He congratulated TT on the recent celebration of its 57th anniversary of independence, noting that it was just five years later that diplomatic relations between TT and Spain were established. Since then, Sánchez said the two countries have been working together to improve links in politics, commerce and culture, and several MoUs and bilateral agreements have been signed as a result. “Today, our two countries enjoy healthy and fluid diplomatic relations on all fronts.
"Spain operates in TT at three different levels. At a national level, Spanish firms work on the ground in various sectors and, along with our colleagues and friends from Latin American embassies, we try to promote the use of the Spanish language in TT, through different means.”
Also, as a member of the EU, Sánchez said, Spain works with other European counterparts in Port of Spain, co-ordinated by Ambassador Aad Biesebroek, to improve relations between TT and the EU. He added that Spain and Caricom also maintain a permanent dialogue to advance projects of mutual interests.
Sánchez boasted: “Spain is at the top three of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, which perhaps explains why last year we have been visited by over 82 million tourists. For some of you interested in this detail, Spain is the best country to travel alone, according to the US News Best Country Rankings 2018.”
Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, in response extended warm greetings on behalf of the government and people of TT to the government and people of the Kingdom of Spain on the occasion of their Fiesta Nacional de España.
He said: “As we commemorate the anniversary of Spain’s encounter with the new world in 1492, which led to the arrival of Spain in TT in 1498, we also acknowledge the relationship that has grown between our two countries over the last 52 years.”
During those years Moses said the two countries have collaborated in several spheres, and TT has also appreciated the development and technical co-operation activities throughout the years, through the Spanish Agency for International Co-operation Development.
Moses reaffirmed the government’s commitment to working with Spain as a valued partner to TT on the basis of shared principles for the mutual benefit of citizens of both nations.
After a toast to commemorate Spain’s national day, guests feasted on tapas and traditional Spanish paella, partied to the music and turned the occasion into a rollicking celebration