Ambassador discusses U.S.-Spain relations

The Spanish ambassador to the United States, Antonio Oyarz?bal, discussed “A Century of Relations Between Spain and the United States” with a packed audience in the Marvin Center ballroom Thursday.

The lecture was part of the Program Board’s Ambassador Lecture Series.

Oyarz?bal talked about the social effects of Spain’s decreasing influence at the turn of the century and “the disaster” of the Spanish-American War.

He also addressed the strides Spain has made to re-emerge in international prominence.

Oyarz?bal also answered questions about the attempt to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from England to try him for the murders of Spanish nationals during his rule. He said the decision is a matter of national sovereignty.

He also said the European Union should increase the number of member nations.

“It was a very informative speech, although he spoke in a more historical context about how the relationship has changed, which I didn’t expect,” said Amanda Shaffer, a senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Oyarz?bal spoke about establishing a scholarship for students based on the Fulbright program for studying in the United Kingdom.

He said college students should use their ideas, energy and initiatives to “bring together two worlds that should not be so far away.”

Oyarz?bal’s speech was part of a symposium by the romance languages and literatures department entitled “Reflections on ’98.”

-Helder Gil contributed to this report.

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