What about Olivença?


Spain is again rattling sabers over Gibraltar. The rocky outcrop was taken in 1704, and Spain ceded it to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht. But that has not ended numerous Spain governments desire to get the 2.6 square miles of land back. To have that discussion Spain should return a territory it has held illegally for 211 years: The Town of Olivença. This border town was Portuguese from 1297 to 1801, when a French/Spanish army invaded during the Napoleonic Wars. The Treaty of Vienna in 1815 retuned the town to Portugal, but Spanish forces never left. They outlawed the Portuguese language, and prevented a bridge linking it to Portugal to be rebuilt. Despite Spain’s refusal to return the town of 290 square miles and 11,000 people, the two nations have been able to coexist peacefully since 1815, and Portugal has resisted political rhetoric that could have led to war. If Spain wants Gibraltar back, which had been in British hand for almost a century when it captured Olivença, then it should consider autonomy for Olivença, and honor its obligation under the Treaty of Vienna.

#portugal #gibraltar #olivença

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