THE Head of the Spanish State has given a mass audience to the 1,384 emigrants of «Operation Spain», organizad by the Ministry oí Labour. Thanks to this, these Spa,niards from the Americas have been able to visit their country once more after twenty-five years absence. And here they have received a rapturous welcome. «We have not invited you to see», said the Minister of Labour, (fwe have invited you to take possession.»
Thanks to this, 1,384 Spanish emigrants have been able to visit this country after more than twentyfive years absence.
Joyous reception in every Spanish town.
ONE thousand three hundred and eighty-four Spanish emigrants from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Cuba and the Central American countries. have touched Spanish soil after more than twentyfive years absence, thanks to «Operation Spain», organised by the Ministry of Labour´s Spanish Emigration Institute.
On board the liners Cabo San Vicente, Satrústegui and Ciudad de Barcelona, the emigrants arrived at the port of Barcelona, where thousands were waiting to give a gay weleome to these f>paniards from the Americas, who left these shores long ago ia search of broader horizons, but now wept and kissed the earth of Spain.
The Minister of Labour, Romeo Gorría, organiser of «Operation Spain», welcomed the emigrants in the ñame of the Head of State.
"WE HAVE INVITED YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION
The members of this major excursión toured the main streets of Barcelona amid applause and cheering from the many thousands lining the streets, while in the Ramblas, the flower-girls gave them bunches of cholee blooms. At the town hall, there was a reception at which the Mayor, José María Porcioles made a speech of weleome, while the oeremony ended with a speech from the Minister of Labour, \vho said,
«In ñame of the Head of the Spanish State, in ñame of the Government, in ñame of the entire ccuntry, which opens its heart to weleome you, I wish to greet you at this long desired re-encounter, to express to you our satísfaction at this joyous return to your home. We do not just want you to visit Spain, we do not just want you to rediscover the countryside, the accent, the embrace lost in memories. We have not invited you to see; we have invited you to take possession, because we are aware, proudly aware, of being able to offer you an image of Spain which is more beautiful, richer and gayer, warmer, less hard to her sons than when you left many years ago.» Later on, Romeo Gorría declarad, «Now tour Spain stowly; uve in her; here you have the Spain we have managed to make. Make her yours knowing that behind every new stone, in every im-proved córner of your villages, lie sacrifices, efforts, hardships of all Spaniards, yourseíves included.». The Minister ended his speech with the following words:
«iSpaniards of the Americas; the Spain which you have cherished for a quarter of a century in your hearts, is here before your eyes. Believe us that, her growth, vitality, her new Jook, are witness to a land which knows how to tharik the sacrifico of her children, who were forced, sorrowing, to leave her. The solidarity of Spanish workers here with yourselves, has made possible this «Operation Spain», The solidarity of all Spaniards, without distinction of spaee and place, has made possible the miracle before your eyes of a Spain re-born. Weleome home, Spaniards of the Americas!»
RECEIVED BY THE HEAD OF STATE
After a short stay in Barcelona, the emigrants left in a special train for Madrid, where they were received by the Head of State, municipal authorities and. diplomatic corps. After a series of ceremonies of tribute, íhe emigrants dispersed to their villages of origin, where they can Uve for three months with their relations and former neighbours in a happy meeting which for them — many are over seventy — had seemed practically impossible.
íVom the moment the 1,384 emigrants arrived at Barcelona, evidence and gestures of solidarity carne thick and fast. One curious detail arising from the operatíon was the creation by the Ministry of Labour of the emigration medal, to be awarded to those ´Spanisli emigrants whose human and patriotic qualities deserve it. It can also go to f oreigners wha offer special services to Spanish emigration or its institutíons.
«Operatíon Spain» has been brought to a successful conclusión. Our Spaniards from the Americas are once more among us in this new, different Spain, so unlike the one of thirty years ago. And this is the outcome of work, solidarity and peace.