Today all of Spain is celebrating La Fiesta Nacional de España known as Spain’s National Day. The national holiday celebrates the day Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in an expedition funded by the Spanish Crown.
The day also celebrates Spain’s connection to the global Hispanic community. In 1981 Spain via royal decree established this day as ‘Dia de la Hispanidad’.
The current monarch’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia presided over a large military parade. This year many of the public activities have been scaled back due to the country’s economic problems and the government austerity program.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the people of Spain the following congratulatory message:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Spain as you celebrate La Fiesta Nacional de España this October 12.
With the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida approaching, we are reminded of Spain’s important contributions that have made a profound role in shaping this nation’s history. Today the United States and Spain are working closely together to tackle the challenges of an increasingly globalized world. We share a common desire to strengthen peace and security worldwide, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity. The United States deeply values the strong alliance between our two nations as well as Spain’s important contributions to international organizations such as NATO, the United Nations, and the OECD.
On this Fiesta Nacional de España, we join with Spain in the spirit of friendship and look forward to deepening our cooperation in the years to come.