Andalusian embassies

The agreement in Andalusia between Ciudadanos (1) and the PSOE promises something called the "Andalusian Strategy for Attracting Investment" and it involves the opening of various regional embassies abroad. We mustn’t forget Albert Rivera’s outraged complaint about the 27 million euros that the Catalan government spent on foreign policy, an area --he said-- "over which the Catalan government has no authority, while it does find the funds to spend on Catalan embassies (2)".

Anyone who walks into an Instituto Cervantes (3) will be able to see that they mainly showcase Spanish products and in Spanish. They can’t show the diverse nations and cultures that exist in Spain, because they just wouldn’t cope. Sometimes they invite an author who writes in Catalan (the one Catalan writer) or an author in Basque (the one Basque writer).

On the other hand, they invite many authors who write in Spanish. That is the case with authors, olive oil, cold meats, painters, and wine. The Andalusian culture, by the way, as it has the immense luck of expressing itself in Spanish, is much more broadly represented there than, for example, Catalan culture.

In fact, Andalusian culture has experienced both luck and misfortune: Franco-ism assimilated its folklore. Franco turned Spain into Andalusia, which meant that the rest of Spaniards got fed up with it because what they actually promoted was always the most basic and obvious stuff. It was unfair to everyone, but such is the way of dictatorships, and the way of fearful centralism: they always prune the branches that grow too much.

If we continue to be Spanish, then, the Catalan embassies may be shut down and they might use the same premises to house Andalusia’s, in the same way that they struck down the Statute voted in by the Catalan Parliament, due to the unconstitutionality of various articles copied from the Valencian Statute. The Spanish government bullies us. If they break our glasses every afternoon, they can continue to be the leaders of their class.


1 N.T. Following the Spanish regional elections last May --which turned many hung parliaments-- Ciudadanos have been using their increased influence to broker political majorities, such as in Andalusia.

2 N.T. The Catalan government has a network of offices abroad that aims to protect and promote Catalan interests and businesses. Critics of this programme oftern refer to them as “embassies”.

3 N.T. Spain’s Instituto Cervantes is responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture abroad, not unlike the UK’s British Council with English.