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Archive for Spain

Newsline: Dominican consulate in Madrid evicted due to complaints of noise

The Dominican consulate’s operations at its current headquarters in Madrid, Spain, are coming to an end. The court’s eviction order has the force of a sentence, so its transfer is urgent. Spain has the second-highest Dominican immigration, with over 187,345 dominicans. “When they evict, they are not only evicting the consulate, but also the Central Electoral Board and the Passport Directorate, which operate in the same building,” a source explained. According to the source, the court order is the result of years of litigation and continuous complaints from tenants and building owners about the noise and the confluence of people searching for services. Residents complained to the owner of the premises where the consular mission operates, and he saw no other option but to sue the consulate to force it to leave the premises because he is not interested in renewing the contract. (https://dominicantoday.com/dr/world/2023/01/27/consulate-of-the-dominican-republic-in-madrid-must-abandon-its-headquarters-due-to-noise-complaints/) According to the source, this is not a conflict that arose during the current consul’s management or in the past. He stated that it has been a problem for many years. He noted that the consulate had filed an appeal, but that most legal remedies had been exhausted.

Newsline: Israeli ambassador in Spain attacked

Israeli Ambassador to Spain Rodica Radian-Gordon was attacked by several dozen pro-Palestinian activists during a lecture at a university in Madrid. In a video that circulated on social media in Spain, the ambassador is seen being evacuated to a secure room by Israeli and local security guards while dozens of activists swarm around them. One of the security guards is seen to have pulled out his weapon and is pointing it in the direction of the protesters. The lecture resumed shortly after. A source in the Foreign Ministry stressed that this was a very violent and serious incident. (https://www.jpost.com/international/article-731269) According to the source, after the local police sent forces to the scene and evacuated the protesters, the ambassador’s lecture resumed. The source further stated that the same evening, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called the ambassador in Madrid to strengthen her stance against the extreme anti-Israel protesters and praised the fact that she returned and continued the lecture and the event, despite the attempt to prevent it with violence.

Newsline: Spain’s top diplomat offers freed Nicaraguans citizenship

The Spanish government offered citizenship to more than 200 Nicaraguan political prisoners who were freed and flown to the United States on Thursday, Spain’s top diplomat said on Friday. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares made the announcement to Servimedia news agency, following the surprise release of 222 Nicaraguan prisoners later expelled to the United States. After their release, lawmakers loyal to authoritarian President Daniel Ortega voted to strip them of their Nicaraguan citizenship, which could thwart plans to return home someday. But since it requires a constitutional change, a second vote is needed, likely not until 2024. In the interview, Albares hailed Ortega’s decision to free his jailed critics, many of them prominent opposition politicians, journalists and religious figures. He added that Spain stood ready to receive others, noting that Madrid’s decision had been made “after news reports that proceedings had begun to declare them stateless.” (https://neuters.de/world/europe/spain-offers-citizenship-222-freed-nicaraguan-political-prisoners-2023-02-10/) Spanish authorities will reach out to the prisoners, who were allowed into the United States under a temporary humanitarian visa, so they can formally apply for citizenship. Several opposition presidential candidates were among the released political prisoners, including several who sought to challenge Ortega in a 2021 election only to be arrested and detained in an unprecedented dragnet and criminalizing of political dissent. Most international observers declared the 2021 vote a sham.

Newsline: Suspect arrested in Spain in 2022 embassies letter-bomb case

Spanish police on Wednesday arrested a 74-year-old man suspected of sending letter-bombs in November and December to the Ukrainian and U.S. embassies, the Prime Minister’s office and an arms manufacturer in Spain, the Interior Ministry said. The man, a Spanish citizen, was detained in the northern town of Miranda del Ebro, and police conducted searches of his home, the ministry said in a statement, without providing further details. The man used to work for the townhall of Vitoria, a large city nearby, before retiring in 2013, a city spokesperson told Reuters. The investigation is still ongoing, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told reporters from Vitoria. “We are working on all possibilities,” Grande-Marlaska said. “The investigation is very advanced and we can really be very satisfied.” (https://neuters.de/world/europe/spanish-police-arrest-man-suspected-2022-letter-bomb-case-2023-01-25/) A total of six parcels with explosives were sent to targets including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, government offices, a European Union satellite agency and the U.S. Embassy between Nov. 24 and Dec. 2. Most were defused, although an employee at the Ukrainian embassy was slightly injured when one of the devices ignited.

Newsline: Spain appoints new ambassador to Venezuela amid improving relations

The Spanish government has appointed a new ambassador to Venezuela, signalling a thaw in relations that comes two years after Madrid vacated the post to protest over what it said was the absence of free elections in the Caribbean country. The new ambassador is Ramon Santos Martinez, who has been the acting head of the diplomatic mission in Caracas since November 2021. “There are new circumstances that make it advisable to raise Spain’s representation in Venezuela to the level of ambassador,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. “Once the negotiations in Mexico have resumed, Spain intends to be able to influence … the opening of the Venezuelan political process,” the spokesperson said. (https://news.yahoo.com/spain-appoints-ambassador-venezuela-amid-114556417.html) Following the 2018 presidential election, Spain recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and distanced itself from the government of Nicolas Maduro, culminating in the recall of its top envoy to Caracas in November 2020. The new appointment heralds a change in that stance within the context of the ongoing political talks in Mexico between Venezuela’s government and opposition groups.

Newsline: US, Ukrainian embassies, other sites targeted by letter bombs in Spain

The United States’ embassy in Madrid has received a letter similar to the five letter-bombs sent to the Ukrainian embassy to Spain and other targets in the country, according to La Sexta TV station. Deputy Interior Minister Rafael Perez told reporters earlier on Thursday that the letter bombs received by five other offices, including the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, a Spanish weapon manufacturer and three government institutions were sent from within the country. “It appears that they were all sent from within the country but we are basing this on early visual inspections without yet having an in-depth technical report,” he said. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/1/us-embassy-five-other-sites-targeted-by-letter-bombs-in-spain) The interior ministry said on Thursday that an “envelope with pyrotechnic material” addressed to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had been received on November 24 and disarmed by his security team. A “similar” package was received by the Ukrainian embassy on Wednesday was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev and exploded when it was opened by a security official.

Newsline: Blast at Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid Injured One Employee

Spanish police said an employee at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was injured on Wednesday in an explosion that occurred while he was handling a letter. The staff member suffered light injuries went to hospital under his own steam, police added. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-11-30/spanish-police-say-blast-at-ukrainian-embassy-injured-one-employee) Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was not immediately reachable.

Newsline: Spain summons Iran ambassador over protests crackdown

Spain summoned the Iranian ambassador to express its opposition to the heavy-handed crackdown on mass demonstrations across Iran that have claimed dozens of lives, a diplomatic source said. In a statement, the ministry expressed Spain’s “absolute condemnation” of the violence against peaceful demonstrators and in particular its “abhorrence of the violence against Iranian woman and their rights”. “The foreign ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador in Madrid to express its objection over the repression of the protests and the violation of women’s rights,” the source said. (https://www.thelocal.es/20220928/spain-summons-iran-ambassador-over-protests-crackdown/) It urged the Iranian authorities to carry out “an independent investigation (into the bloodshed) and to establish responsibility in a transparent, objective and thorough manner” while “ending all arbitrary arrests” of journalists and other citizens exercising their civic freedoms.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy issues warning of increased sexual assault risk in Spain

The United States Embassy in Madrid issued a security alert for American travelers visiting Spain. “The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General urge U.S. citizen students and visitors to take precautions against sexual assault during their stay in Spain,” the alert reads. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2020/02/05/spain-sexual-assaults-rise-u-s-embassy-warns/4667505002/) According to the alert posted on the Embassy’s website, the Spanish Ministry of Interior has reported a steady increase in sexual assaults in the Iberian nation over the past five years. That rise includes an uptick in the number of sexual assaults of young U.S. citizens visiting or studying all over Spain. The alert comes just over a month after Spanish authorities arrested three Afghan men on suspicion that they sexually assaulted three sisters from Ohio on New Year’s Eve in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain, according to the Associated Press. The men were students as was one of the women.

Newsline: Spain’s, UK foreign ministries cooperates to repatriate nationals from Wuhan

A group of Spanish citizens will fly back from the Chinese city of Wuhan in the coming hours as part of a joint repatriation operation with the United Kingdom amid concerns over coronavirus, Spain’s foreign ministry said on Thursday. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-spain/spain-to-repatriate-nationals-from-wuhan-in-cooperation-with-uk-idUSKBN1ZT1WG) Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said earlier that the group of around 20 Spaniards will spend 14 days in quarantine when they return to the country.