King Philip attended the inauguration of Colombia’s new president last Sunday. The pictures that arrived in Spain did not satisfy some of the deputies who denounced the disrespect of the King of Spain for foreign national emblems. King Felipe VI did not get up when Simon Bolivar’s sword passed, sparking a pointless controversy. Although he respected the protocol, some denounced his refusal to show his respect in front of something that symbolized the independence of the former Spanish colonies.
Also Read: King Philip cuts short his Mallorca vacation to attend a presidential inauguration in Colombia
Why didn’t King Philip stand when Simon Bolivar’s sword passed?
King Felipe has attended more than 70 presidential inaugurations in Latin America, as King of Spain and indeed as Prince of Asturias, succeeding his father, since 1996. He knows the protocol and the way forward. Every ceremony is different, sometimes in a football field, sometimes in Parliament House, sometimes in a public square. King Felipe knows how to act and his presence is immediately aimed at strengthening the historical and cultural ties that bind Spain with its former colonies.
On Sunday, August 7, 2022, King Philip cut short his holiday in Mallorca to go to Bogotá for a day. King Felipe witnessed the transition of power between outgoing President Ivan Duque and new President Gustavo Petro. The new president, the former mayor of Bogota, is the first left-wing president of Colombia. During the ceremony, a glass case containing Simon Bolivar’s sword was placed on the podium, next to the new president. King Felipe, like other foreign heads of state who attended the ceremony, did not get up from the podium, when the sword passed. The picture was broadcast on TV.
Simon Bolivar, nicknamed El Libertador, is the main actor in the independence of many South American countries. Between 1813 and 1830, he would be the first president of Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. Sixteen years after the end of the colonial period in Upper Peru, this new country finally established its new republic, giving it the name Bolivia, in honor of Bolivar, who was also the country’s first president.
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King Felipe followed protocol and the sword was not part of the original scenario
The sword of the liberator was that of Simon Bolivar, who made the decision not to withdraw it again, once independence was gained. The sword was stolen from a museum in 1974 by the M-19 guerrilla movement, then returned to the government in 1990. New chief Petro was a member of the M-19 group.
At the last moment, Gustavo Petro requested that the passing of the sword be included during his inauguration ceremony. It was not in the program. Colombian Law No. 12 of 1984 states that the only national symbols are “Flag, coat of arms and national anthem”. The new president would like to issue a new decree to add the sword of Bolivar to it.
El Rey went to Casa de Nariño to help continue the proceedings motivated by the transfer of the presidential mandate to the President-elect of the Republic of Colombia, Gustavo Petro.
– Casa de SM el Rey (CasaReal) August 8, 2022
Read also: King Felipe VI of Chile to attend the inauguration of President Gabriel Borek Font
Podemos seizes the opportunity to attack the King of Spain
El Mundo comes to the rescue of King Philip, stating that he respects the letter, the protocol and the planned course of the ceremony, which he conscientiously studied before attending the show. King Felipe behaved as he was, “Not only because of his background and experience, but also because the King’s team receives proof of delivery before he takes office, which explains how the ceremony will be conducted.” There is no mention of the sword in the manual, as this passage was added at the last minute.
However, Podemos’ political party again took the opportunity to attack King Philip. Party leader MP Ion Bellara asked King Philip to apologize while party spokesman Pablo Echnik took the opportunity to call for the abolition of the monarchy.
“The King cannot do as he pleases. Her actions must be approved by the government. That is why we will ask the State Department whether the disrespectful actions of Felipe VI in Colombia have been approved or not.”the far-left politician writes on Twitter. “I hope that soon Spain will be represented by a president … elected by the citizens.”
El Mundo in turn attacks Podemos, explaining Despite the search for controversy where there is none, the king still respected the symbols of other countries. » The newspaper adds that it is King Felipe who regularly falls victim to disrespect for Spanish constitutional symbols when Podemos, a government party set up as a defender of unconstitutional foreign symbols, Decide “Don’t respect thems “.