The Popular Party in the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has demanded this Monday that the Port Authority return to its place the propeller of the Canarias cruise ship and the bust of Cándido García San Juan, two vestiges of Francoism on the island that were removed from the port of the city last week. Councilor Guillermo Díaz Guerra has made this request until the Catalog of Francoist vestiges prepared by the Government of the Canary Islands is definitively approved.
MAP | Complete list of the Francoist vestiges in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
This councilor, who stated at the beginning of the month that the controversial monument to the dictator Francisco Franco of the capital could be a “tourist attraction”, has insisted that the PP will request that this catalog be challenged, which is being drawn up by the Government after a detailed study involving experts from the University of La Laguna, among others, because “the necessary dialogue with City Hall”. In addition, it considers that the document, which was created to comply with the Historical Memory Law and which collects all the vestiges of Francoism in the islands and pays special attention to the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (because it is the one that preserves the most) , “must arise from the consensus with the Administration which it directly affects”.
On the other hand, Guillermo Díaz Guerra has insisted on the same argument defended by the mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez (Canarian Coalition), that the Government of the Canary Islands “should have drawn up a catalog of the entire Autonomous Community, and not just the municipality of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. In fact, the Government is preparing a dossier for the entire Canary Islands, but the one for Santa Cruz has been completed first, among other reasons because progress had already been made on it since a study by the University of La Laguna on this same issue was completed in 2019. . However, Díaz Guerra considers that it is “an example of the harassment to which the Government of the Canary Islands submits to the city”.
For the councilor of the PP, the Port Authority “should have respected the times before proceeding with the withdrawal of the propeller” [del crucero Canarias] of the port because they already knew that “there was an intention, on the part of the municipal sphere, to challenge the Catalog”. The Port Authority, for its part, proceeded with the withdrawal last Thursday to comply with the Historical Memory Law and since there is no impediment to doing so.
Guillermo Díaz Guerra, however, argues that there is “no approved catalog and no commission has been met, so the Port Authority is acting arbitrarily.” On the contrary, the expert who has led the making of the catalogue, of more than 3,000 pages, the professor of History at the ULL Maísa Navarro, stated, in statements to Televisión Canaria, that there is no reason for the City Council not to proceed to remove the more than 70 vestiges of Francoism located in the municipality.
A cruiser that bombed civilians
The Crucero Canarias was considered by the Spanish Navy as its most famous ship of the 20th century and “the subject of headlines that highlighted its importance in Franco’s victory during the civil war and in several reports in the different NO-DO newscasts, as well as in press campaigns in the Archipelago so that its pieces, after being scrapped, were delivered to the provincial capitals as an exhibition object”.
The Government’s catalog of vestiges stresses that “it is advisable to definitively withdraw from public space this representative element of combat actions perpetrated against the civilian population in different parts of the national territory. By agreement of the plenary session of the Cabildo de Tenerife, the Ministry of Education, Universities, Culture and Sports of the Government of the Canary Islands has been urged to register the propeller in the registry of remains to be removed in compliance with Law 5/2018 since, from of that registration, the City Council of Santa Cruz and the Port Authority are requested to proceed accordingly”.