“Meeting of two worlds” | United States Mission to the Organization of American States
Bradley A. Freden
Acting Permanent Representative of the United States
October 5, 2021
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, the United States welcomes the opportunity to come together to recognize Spain’s role and contributions to our hemisphere and to the OAS. In doing so, we recognize the Meeting of two worlds, el Día de la Hispanidad, Discovery day, the day of the Raza, or Columbus Day, as it is still popularly known here in the United States.
Mr. President, my delegation would like to begin by thanking Ambassador Carmen Montón, Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS, for Spain’s continued commitment and leadership within our community of member states and OAS observers.
We would like to congratulate the Ambassador and her government – as well as the generosity of the Spanish people – for their advocacy, commitment, and support for key OAS programs and initiatives that are essential to the advancement of the core values of this institution, as enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
In particular, Spain’s consistent and long-standing support for OAS election observation missions and other key functions – which rely almost entirely on voluntary donor support – has been particularly vital in strengthening the democracy in our region and serves as an example to others.
President, notwithstanding the actions of a 16emonarchy of the century that bears little resemblance to modern Spain, we note that Spain’s contributions to our inter-American community are also framed by a rich history of intellectual and cultural exchanges and interactions,
Spain also played an important role in the independence of the United States, as part of its conflict with Great Britain. Spain declared war on Britain as an ally of France, itself an ally of the American colonies. The Spanish fleet attacked the British West Indies and the British in Central America, forcing the British to divert their forces to defend their possessions.
Spain contributed to the American Revolution from the start by secretly providing money, gunpowder, and supplies to American revolutionaries. Our common history and democratic goals deserve reflection and renewed commitment here at the OAS, especially in the context of today’s increasingly multilateral world.
We again thank the Spanish government for its rich contributions to our society and to the OAS.