That Jerome Socolovsky is totally clueless about the Spanish-American relations, his studies
have been really superficial and incomplete and it looks to me this guy has a certain agenda. I bet he is one that tries to sell that the EU position in the Israel/Palestinian conflict is because of Europe's antisemitism, but well I digress. Going back to the topic, some comments :
1) Nobody in Spain cares nowadays about the 1898 war. This was a big issue in the first third of the last Century, and to a certain extent it had influence in most writers and politicians . But the main conclusion extracted from the war was that Spain had become an obsolete and irrevelant country, that could be easily defeated by an emerging power like the USA, and absolutely sub par with respect to the main powers of the time, like Britain, France or Germany. So Spain needed actually a regeneration and forget about past glories, it was no longer an Empire where the sun never set
I cannot deny that then there was some Anti-American sentiment then, after all this was an Imperialistic war of aggression from the USA, which was trying to expand their influence in the world. And let me tell you an anecdote, my grand-grandfather fought in the Cuba war and came back home crippled and with an absolute contempt for the USA, he was probably one of the first Anti-Americans in Europe !!! My father told me it was funny to see him in the twenties/thirties shouting at the kids he saw chewing gum, "don't you know this is an American invention, how can you buy anything from those bucaneers???"
But well this is all history. As I told before, todays sentiments about the USA have not anything to do with that war.
2) I would not say there is today a "rampant anti-American sentiment in Spain". McDonalds' are full, Levi's are big sellers here, plenty of Hollywood films in the cinemas, etc. But politic opinions are a different thing, true. But you do not have to trace back to the Cuban war, the dislike of American policies, there are basically two reasons for that :
- US support of Franco's fascist dictatorship . When we hear how Americans came generously to save Europe from Nazism we cannot but laugh. To make matters worse, our democracy suffered a militar coup in 1981 (fortunately failed), and in the first hours when the outcome was not yet clear, the dork then in charge of the Secretary of State (Alexander Haig, I believe) was interviewed about that and said it was an "Spanish internal affair", see how much he cared about democracy in the world.
- US policies in Latin America, which was treated like some kind of backyard with no respect for democracy values. Support of nasty autocrats and criminal governments (Nicaragua, Argentina), overthrow of democratic governments (Chile, Guatemala), etc. In this region it was clearly showed that USA cared first about its interests and second about things like democracy, freedom or human rights, which the US is supposed to champion worlwide. But to be fair, it must be said that the American policy has changed a lot for the better in LA
since the eighties.
3) Anti-semitism in Spain. Well, Spain was guilty, OK
. Or more precisely the Kingdoms that existed in the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the Middle Ages (Castilla, Aragon, Navarra & Portugal). There were pogroms in Spain in the XIV-XV centuries. One of the patron saints of my city (St Vicent Ferrer) was a vocal antisemite. The jews were finally expelled in 1492 from the Peninsular Kingdoms. The Inquisition made life difficult to the jews converted to Christianism. If you come to my city I can show you some places and tell some terrible stories about that time. But have in mind that Spain then was a Christian fundamentalist project. Life was hard for the Muslims too, and eventually they were expelled too in 1609.
But since then, anti-semitism has cooled a lot, among other things because there were no jews around to hate or made scapegoats of anything.
(to be continued later...)