|Map: Spain. Credit: CIA World Factbook.|
On the Occasion of Spain's National Day
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
October 10, 2012
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.
|North facade of the Royal Palace in Madrid|
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. The government's major focus for the immediate future will be on measures to reverse the severe economic recession that started in mid-2008