European Discovery of Cuba – I

Lead: The first voyage led by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought Europeans to the Caribbean. One of his most significant discoveries was the largest island in the Antilles, Cuba.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: After decades of frustration, the Italian sailor and visionary, Christopher Columbus finally convinced the ruling house of Spain to commission him for a voyage of exploration out across of the Western Ocean in search of a water bridge to East Asia. King Ferdinand and his bride and fellow monarch Queen Isabella, had just achieved a seven-century long goal of the Christian kingdoms of Spain. They conquered Grenada, the last remaining Islamic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula.

Spanish Cultural Diversity – III

                Lead:      In 1978 Spain adopted its first post-Franco Constitution. Included was an innovative way of giving regions a certain amount of self-government. In the time since, Spain has created seventeen autonomous communities.

 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: In the run-up to and aftermath of the American Revolution, thirteen independent colonies or states came together to form the United States. The Constitution provides that powers not specifically granted to the federal government were retained by the states. States gave up some of their powers and kept others. The struggle to fix the powers of federal and state governments is one of the great disputes in American history. Spain developed differently. Beginning in the medieval period, the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon conquered Spain and unified its various regions under a strong central royal government. Despite powerful regional aspirations toward some degree of self-government, particularly in Catalonia the area around Barcelona and in the Basque region of the north, central government power nearly always trumped regional or provincial desires.

The Valley of the Fallen

Lead: At his death in 1975, the remains of Francisco Franco were interred in a elaborate basilica carved from a mountain and topped with a 500 foot stone cross in El Valle de los Caidos, the Valley of the Fallen. It is an exquisite obscenity.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: In the 1940s Francisco Franco, Spain’s Head of State and leader of the victorious Nationalist insurgents in the bloody Spanish Civil War, like many tyrants before him, entered his Egyptian phase. He began to build his tomb. 

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Spanish Civil War (Francisco Franco) – III

Lead: Both during and after the Spanish Civil War, Francisco Franco led the nationalists. He and his allies were determined to halt Spain’s drift into the modern world, but they failed.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: In July, 1936 conservative generals led by Francisco Franco attempted a coup d’etat against the elected government of Spain’s Second Republic. Their goal was a quick and bloodless take-over using rebellious army units. To their surprise the government did not roll over, but stood firm. The Spanish Civil War lasted for three years, produced horrendous casualties, and created tension divides Spanish society to this day.

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Spanish Civil War (Francisco Franco) – II

Lead: The driving force behind the nationalists in the Spanish Civil War was General Francisco Franco Bahamonde. He lived in the world of the past and devoted his life to keeping Spain there as well.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Franco was born in 1892. Spain at the time was conservative, Catholic, and nursed a waning, but powerful imperial memory. No longer the center of the world and soon to have Cuba and the Philippines, its two remaining colonial jewels, taken in the Spanish-American War, Spain needed to move quickly to exploit its rich natural, political and human resources, but it did not. That Spain would be denied its rightful place in the ranks of modern, democratic, and progressive societies until the 1970s, was in good measure the result of the life work of Francisco Franco.

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