Populist Spanish Party Celebrates ‘Reconquista’ on Social Media

Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain's far-right party VOX, gives a speech during a campaign meeting ahead of regional elections in Andalusia, on November 26, 2018 in Granada. - With a tough line on immigration and Catalan separatism, Spain's tiny far-right party VOX is starting to make waves and could win …
CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS TOMLINSON

Spanish populist right-wing party VOX unabashedly celebrated the anniversary of the completion of the Spanish Reconquista on social media, which was met with criticism from left-wing opponents.

The party posted a video on its official Twitter account Wednesday depicting the surrender of Islamic forces by Muhammad XII in Grenada in 1492 to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand and wrote, “We should not forget, that today 527 years ago, the liberation of Granada by the Spanish troops of the Catholic monarchs, ending eight long centuries of reconquest against the Muslim invader.”

While the video received over 11,000 likes and over 5,000 retweets, many of the replies from left-wing accounts slammed the post with some accusing the party of not understanding history.

One account complained of the use of  “Spanish” to describe the Catholic troops saying, “Spanish troops… what? Spain as such, did not exist yet. Those who lived there were as ‘Hispanic’ as the Catholic invaders.”

“How can there be reconquest of a territory that was never taken? To not apologise, I forgot that Spain has existed for 3,000 years. Read a little and less demagoguery, please,” another wrote.

The move to celebrate the end of the Muslim occupation of Spain echoes a similar celebration by the populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) in 2016 when they marked the 333rd anniversary of the breaking of the Siege of Vienna that saw Holy Roman Empire and Polish forces repel the Turkish army.

The FPÖ celebration of the anniversary was also met with criticism from left-wing groups with some saying the event was designed to provoke a response from the Turkish Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well as the large Turkish-background community living in Vienna.

VOX broke through into the Spanish political scene last year after winning 12 seats and 11 per cent of the vote in the Andalusian elections. The party had polled under one per cent in the previous election, marking a huge breakthrough.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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