Designated by Franklin D Roosevelt as “Columbus Day” in 1937, the 12th of October is the date that Christopher Columbus first “discovered” the Americas.
The anniversary was re-named “Day of Indigenous Resistance” by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2002 to commemorate the beginning of the indigenous struggle against European invasion and colonisation.
On 12 October, the Spanish state celebrates its festival with a great military parade as the central event. This is a date full of
controversy. Today it is called the Day of the National Festival, but for a large part of Franco’s time, it was also called ‘Hispanitat’ Day
and originally the Festival of the Race. And it was and is not only observed in Spain, but also in a few American countries under very
different names, in commemoration of the beginning of the Spanish colonisation of America.
In Argentina for example, it is called the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, and in Chile the Day of the Meeting of the Two Worlds,
whereas in Nicaragua and Venezuela, the 12 October is the Day of the Indigenous Resistance.
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