Spain neglects its former territories
It may not have been discussed at lengths or received wide media publicities, but it is common knowledge that many countries once occupied or dominated by the royal Spanish Crown for many centuries are falling in the category of least developed countries.
Look at the Philippines and other Latin American countries now? From the political and economic perspectives, these countries have barely took off the ground in terms of growth. This article doesn't mean to discredit what Spain did to the Philippines in the past 400 years. Based on my history readings, religion was at the epicenter of the people's lifestyles and beliefs during that long period of time when the country was under occupation by a foreign power. Aside from religion, Spain had persisted at that time to require all inhabitants to learn the spanish language, whichwas a must in all the catholic schools ran by the dominican friars.
But as I learned to read my ABCs, I began to wonder if the friars had ever introduced the knots and bolts of politics and economics as part of the school curricula? Otherwise, the intellectuals like the brave heroes, may not have revolted against the Spanish Crown if they felt that what these friars were doing could redound to the benefits of the people. Therefore, the ensuing revolutions that took place during the spanish regime were great manifestations that Spain had strongly imposed its edicts that contradicted the moral beliefs of the intelligent patriots who eventually took up arms against the royal crown. While those who were unable to fight head on with the might of Spain's well-armed civil guards, most of whom were recruited from Latin America to defend spanish interests in the colony, had resorted to writing harsh commentaries and criticisms against the spanish government, as a means to exercise their press freedom underground. For example, the late Dr. Jose Rizal, came out with two novels depicting the human rights violations and wrong doings of the spanish authorities in the form of Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and the El Filibusterismo (The Filibuster). Despite their wide acclaim as among the bestsellers among the people during those years, these two books have not been given enough international reviews even now such as those given to Gabriel Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
Going back, Mexico and the rest of the Latin American nations have been at the forefront of international publicities owing to the mass migration of millions of undocumented workers across the border to the green pastures of America, the land of the free. Except for religion and the rich spanish language and culture, there is no other veritable legacies that catholics worldwide can be proud of. Nothing at all. But look at Spain today and you will see how developed the country is in so far as the economy is concerned. Isn't this because the country had looted all the gold ingots in the countries it occupied and hauled them off by their galleons as part of the country's huge international gold reserves today? At times, I kept on wondering why the spaniards had succeeded in cheating the newly converted catholics into submitting to the wishes of the domineering powers? Isn't this absurd and unfair? The problem is that after the long period of looting frenzies, the occupied territories end up with nothing, but remnants of Spain's historical pasts like the churches and cathedrals and spanish-designed houses, many of which, have still dotted most parts of the Philippines and now preserved for historical purposes.
If you try to look at what Great Britain did to its occupied territories many centuries back, there was a big difference compared to what Spain did to its territories. I can only muster enough courage to appreciate how the British developed the Sultanate of Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and other Middle East countries, before they packed up their bags and finally gave these countries their own independence from the British Crown. The same is true with the French and Dutch colonizers. Now, the question is: Can I be proud that my country was occupied by Spain? I don't think so. Because even at this point in time, when the country's currency is already in euro, never did I hear Spain has ever extended any financial reparations to the countries they had mishandled and abused like what Japan did to the Philippines.
I have nothing against religion, but the very people who run it.
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