The Walls

Pedro Sánchez - AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN
Pedro Sánchez - AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN

Throughout history, for various reasons, although fundamentally defensive, mankind has been forced to build walls or ramparts behind which to defend itself in the belief that protecting itself with them was the only way to achieve survival or the way and place where it could develop its ideas and needs in peace and freedom, oblivious to possible contagions or invasions from other peoples, who, being close neighbours or not, tried to enter them for mere reasons of conquest or because they had greater possibilities of survival, accommodation and progress. 

  1. Pedro Sánchez's wall 

Thus were born heavily walled cities that defended their belongings and their citizens for a long period of time; so much so, that sometimes they had to resort to trickery and trickery of combat based on deception, to be able, after years of siege, to bring down their defences and take such strongholds, as was the case in the famous Trojan War, which, it seems, if it had existed, could have been fought between 1194 and 1184 BC. 

The walling of cities has been going on for many centuries and today it is rare to find a major European city that does not have enough remains of ancient walls, some of them from different periods and built with different materials, purposes and even overlapping.   

But there have also been great walls that were not erected around specific cities, but extended across vast territories to defend them from invasions by peoples known as barbarians because they belonged to other races, cultures and religions. Among the examples of these walls or ramparts is the most famous of them, known as the Great Wall of China, built and rebuilt between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern frontier of the Chinese Empire - during successive imperial dynasties - from attacks by Xiongnu nomads from Mongolia and Manchuria. At its peak it was estimated to be 21,200km long, stretching from the Korean border to the Gobi Desert. Today, however, only 30% of it has survived. 

Another example of this type of construction is the wall that the Romans erected from the year 122, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, to defend themselves against the invasion of the British barbarian peoples and, in turn, to launch their own incursions into their territory. Today, its remains constitute the largest Roman archaeological site in Britain, a very famous site frequented by thousands of tourists, stretching for a total of 117.5 kilometres in the north of England.  

More recently, the Maginot Line was a fortified defensive wall built by France along its border with Germany and Italy after the end of the First World War, which, because of its great cost and military uselessness, was the greatest example of the failure of French strategy in the face of German invasion in the Second World War. 

Even more recently, there are or were other ramparts; sadly famous for the spurious, shameful and perverse intentions with which they were devised and erected. The first of these, chronologically speaking, is the wall that has separated the two Koreas since the signing of the armistice between the two countries in 1953 and which remains in full force and effect today. A border between two sister states, which has even separated families, is some 237 kilometres long and lies in the middle of what is known as the demilitarised zone of Korea, with a four-kilometre-wide strip in between that is heavily guarded and with thousands of guards, weapons and missiles of all types and calibres permanently pointed at it. The whole system means that the separation between the two remains the most militarised and impenetrable border in the world. 

Somewhat later, the wall known as the Berlin Wall appeared, which was a security wall that formed part of the inter-German border from 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989, when it fell due to civil and international pressure, leading to the fall of the USSR. It is the best known symbol of the Cold War and the division of Germany. The wall was called the Anti-Fascist Protective Wall by the East (GDR), while the media and part of Western public opinion referred to it as the Wall of Shame.  

And as a final example of an ignominious real wall, the still existing one on the southern border of the United States with Mexico, whose construction began in 1994 under Bill Clinton as part of his programme to combat illegal immigration and which sadly took on even greater significance and importance when Donald Trump made it his own in his 2017 election campaign, should be mentioned. It is formed by a physical barrier of about 900 km in length in the border area of Tijuana (Baja California) - San Diego (California). Due to the existence of this wall, illegal immigrants (mainly from Mexico) who try to cross into the US must do so through more dangerous areas, such as the Sonora desert, which has led to more than 10,000 deaths, and countless cases of prostitution, drugs and all kinds of bribery, intense corruption and embezzlement since the beginning of its implementation.  

It would not be fair not to mention, at least in passing, the physical or non-physical walls that have become numerous borders between countries in Central and South America or the Caribbean, where the free movement of people, goods or capital is persecuted, hindered or completely prevented.    

A brief critical analysis of all of the above leads us to several major or common conclusions, such as the fact that they have always been material elements of physical and real separation between men, brothers, races and good people; that most of them have been built by powerful people fearful for their lives or personal property, regardless of the suffering they may have caused; that these sufferings derived from their construction and their very existence are by no means insignificant and that most of them, with a few exceptions and perhaps to show their lack of real usefulness, have had an ephemeral life and have soon disappeared or have become picturesque elements that only serve to attract tourism in current or future times.   

Pedro Sánchez's wall 

And, in the midst of all this dirty and strange maelstrom, with very little effectiveness in sight and totally out of place; without prior warning, nor being included in any programme, - as, by the way, has become habitual in the character - after the last general elections in Spain, without constituting the result of a strong reason of weight, threat or real peremptory need, President Sánchez announced the creation of a wall between Spaniards to separate those who follow and flatter him from those who do not do so and do not believe him at all. 

Incredibly, for no apparent reason or because it has been taken as unworthy, unbelievable or despicable, it has not been given the consideration it deserves both in Spain and within the EU. It has officially gone almost unnoticed except by the occasional media; a serious fact, because without realising it, the mere physical or ideological materialisation of such a wall is an attack on democracy and respect for freedom of expression and beliefs. 

Fortunately, in view of the results of the recent regional elections in Galicia, perhaps because of its irresponsible project or because it is not yet well established or mature, the aforementioned wall has not served the purpose intended by its inventor, or the opposite of what was intended.  

It is obvious and notorious that these were elections in which the Socialist Party, now totally converted into Sanchista, has suffered its greatest and most shameful electoral defeat and obtained the least support for its project, however much now, Sánchez and his mariachis look the other way and despise an election in which all of them, without exception - accompanied by the illustrious, unfunny and inopportune Zapatero - put their prestige and many eggs in a basket, which has finally turned out to be bottomless, totally rotten or in terrible condition. 

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