Saturday, February 25, 2012

International Hypocrisy

“History will make us who we are, and today we are witnessing a journey that started 200 years ago,” he said. “This is not money. This is historical heritage.”

These are the words of Spanish ambassador to the US Jorge Dezcallar de Mazar upon the return of 594,000 silver coins to Spain. He's talking about silver coins made from Peruvian silver when Peru was part of the Spanish empire. These coins were lost in a shipwreck off the coast of Portugal in 1804 and salvaged by an American dive company, which took the coins to Florida.

I don't have any issue with the dive compnay losing claim to the coins. I'd sooner see them preserved in a public setting than sold off to private collectors around the world. I just love the hypocrisy of the Spanish Ambassador laying claim to them as Spanish heritage. You know, the heritage of subjugating the Americas, killing off the native populations with disease, war and bottom of the caste status while pillaging the natural resources of the Americas for the sole benefit of the elites of Spain. Kind of a heritage much like the alleged piracy of the American salvage company.

Unfortunately, Peru's last minute appeals to the US Supreme Court failed. They're the ones that ought to have the coins.

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