Spain

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Overview

 The relationship between Spain and the United States began before there was even a United States of America. Christopher Columbus’ historic voyage that led to the discovery of America was financed by Queen Isabella of Spain. Relations between Spain and the US were cordial for the most part during the early years of U.S. independence; that is until the outbreak of the Spanish-American War of 1898, which the US won and as a result wound up controlling Cuba and the Philippines. Following the war, economic issues dominated relations between Spain and the US, as Spain sought to enhance its trading position by developing closer commercial ties with the US and Latin America. When civil war broke out in Spain in the 1930s, approximately 3,000 American citizens volunteered to serve in the Spanish Republican Army, although the United States government remained neutral during the conflict. Following the Nationalist victory, public opinion in the US condemned Francisco Franco’s regime as a fascist dictatorship, but the United States government participated in various Allied agreements with Spain, aimed at ensuring that Franco would not permit the Iberian Peninsula to be used by Adolf Hitler against Allied forces.

 

Following the death of Franco in 1975, the US welcomed the liberalization of the Spanish regime under King Juan Carlos and sought to bring Spain further into Western military arrangements. In 1976 the bilateral agreement between Spain and the United States was transformed into a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In addition to renewing United States basing rights in return for United States military and economic aid, this treaty provided for a United States-Spanish Council intended to serve as a bridge to eventual Spanish membership in NATO. Relations continued to be strong until 2004, when the government in Madrid withdrew its forces in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration’s war in that country. Deep differences on Cuba also worked against a spirit of collaboration. It is expected now that the administration of Barack Obama is in charge, and the US role in Iraq gradually shrinks, that relations will improve between Washington and Madrid.

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Basic Information

 Lay of the Land: Third-Largest country in Europe, occupying 85% of the Iberian Peninsula. It thrusts out from Europe toward Africa and the Americas, separated from France and Andorra in the northeast by the Pyrenees Mountains. Includes the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, and the tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco. The Strait of Gibraltar, 8.5 miles wide, makes Spain a natural bridge between Europe and Africa. Exceptionally mountainous, with the second-highest average elevation in Europe, its heartland is a great plateau, “La Meseta”.

 
Population: 40.5 Million (2008)
 
Religions: Roman Catholicism 79.1%, Protestantism 2.9%, Islam 2.3%, Non-religious 15.7% (2007).
 
Ethnic Groups: Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque.
 
Languages: Castellano (Spanish) 70.5%, Catalan 16%, Gallego 8%, Basque 1.5%, Extremaduran 0.5%, Asturian 0.3%, Calo 0.01%, Aragonese 0.001%, Aranese 0.001%, Fala 0.001% (1994).
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History

Spain was originally inhabited by Celts, Iberians, and Basques before becoming a part of the Roman Empire in 206 BC.

 
In 412 AD, Visigoth leader Ataulf crossed the Pyrenees and took control of Spain, first in the name of the Roman emperor and then independently. In 711, the Muslims under Tariq entered Spain from Africa and within a few years completely conquered the country. In 732, the Franks, led by Charles Martel, defeated the Muslims near Poitiers, thus preventing the further expansion of the Islamic Empire in southern Europe.
 
Aragon and Castile were the most important Spanish states from the 12th to the 15th century, consolidated by the marriage of Ferdinand II and Isabella I in 1469. In 1478, they established the Inquisition to root out heresy and uncover Jews and Muslims who had not converted to Christianity. The last Muslim stronghold, Granada, was captured in 1492, the same year that Roman Catholicism was established as the official state religion.
 
In the era of exploration, discovery, and colonization, Spain amassed tremendous wealth and a vast colonial empire through the conquest of Mexico by Cortés (1519–1521) and Peru by Pizarro (1532–1533). The Spanish Hapsburg monarchy became for a time the most powerful in the world. In 1588, Philip II sent the Spanish Armada to invade England, but its destruction cost Spain its supremacy on the seas and paved the way for England to colonize America.
 
Spain then sank rapidly to the status of a second-rate power under the rule of weak Hapsburg kings, and it never again played a major role in European politics. The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) resulted in Spain's loss of Belgium, Luxembourg, Milan, Sardinia, and Naples. Its colonial empire in the Americas and the Philippines vanished in wars and revolutions during the 18th and 19th centuries.
 
In World War I, Spain maintained a position of neutrality. In 1923, Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator. In 1930, King Alfonso XIII revoked the dictatorship, but a strong antimonarchist and republican movement led to his leaving Spain in 1931. The new constitution declared Spain a workers' republic, broke up the large estates, separated church and state, and secularized the schools. The elections held in 1936 returned a strong Popular Front majority, with Manuel Azaña as president.
 
On July 18, 1936, a conservative army officer in Morocco, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, led a mutiny against the government. The civil war that followed lasted three years and cost the lives of nearly a million people. Franco was aided by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, while Soviet Russia helped the Loyalist side. Several hundred leftist Americans served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade on the side of the republic. The war ended when Franco took Madrid on March 28, 1939. Franco became head of the state, national chief of the Falange Party (the governing party), and prime minister and caudillo (leader).
 
In a referendum in 1947, the Spanish people approved a Franco-drafted succession law declaring Spain a monarchy again. Franco, however, continued as chief of state. In 1969, Franco and the Cortes (“states”) designated Prince Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor María de Borbón (who married Princess Sophia of Greece in 1962) to become king of Spain when the provisional government headed by Franco came to an end. Franco died on November 20, 1975, and Juan Carlos was proclaimed king on November 22.
 
Under pressure from Catalonian and Basque nationalists, Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez granted home rule to these regions in 1979. But this did not stop Basque separatists from committing hundreds of terrorist bombings and kidnappings in an effort to achieve complete independence from Spain.
 
In October 1982, Felipe González Márquez and his Spanish Socialist Workers Party won a resounding victory in national elections. That same year, Spain entered NATO, and in 1986, it joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union).
 
General elections in March 1996 produced a victory for the conservative Popular Party, and its leader, José María Aznar, became prime minister. He and his party easily won reelection in 2000.
 
In August 2002, Batasuna, the political wing of the Basque terrorist organization ETA, was banned.
 
Aznar backed the US war in Iraq in 2003, a move that proved highly unpopular. (Spain sent no troops to Iraq but contributed 1,300 peacekeeping forces during the reconstruction period.) Yet Aznar's Popular Party did extremely well in municipal elections in May 2003. The country's relative prosperity and the prime minister's tough stance against the ETA were thought to be responsible for the strong showing.
 
On March 11, 2004, Spain suffered one of its most horrific terrorist attacks, as 191 people were killed and 1,400 were injured in bombings at Madrid's railway station. The government at first blamed ETA, but soon evidence emerged that al-Qaeda was responsible. When record numbers of voters went to the polls days later, Aznar's Popular Party experienced a stinging defeat, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the Socialist Party became the new prime minister. Many Spaniards blamed Aznar's staunch support of the US and the war in Iraq for making Spain an al-Qaeda target. Others were angered by what they saw as the government's politically motivated position that ETA was to blame for the attacks at the same time that links to al-Qaeda were emerging. By April, a dozen suspects, most of them Moroccan, were arrested for the bombings. On April 4, several suspects blew themselves up during a police raid to avoid capture. In May, the new prime minister made good on his campaign promise, recalling Spain's 1,300 soldiers from Iraq, much to the displeasure of the United States, which said Spain was appeasing terrorists.
 
In June 2005, despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church, Spain legalized gay marriage.
 
After four decades of violence, the militant Basque separatist group ETA, responsible for more than 800 deaths and for terrorizing Spanish society with its bombings and other attacks, announced a permanent cease-fire on March 24, 2006. In June 2007, however, ETA renounced the cease-fire and vowed to begin a new offensive.
 
In a June 2006 referendum, the region of Catalonia voted for greater autonomy from Spain.
 
The government dissolved Parliament in January 2008 and called for new elections. In the March election, Zapatero was reelected, taking 43.7% of the vote. Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party garnered 40.1%. On April 12, Zapatero announced his cabinet, which for the first time includes more women than men.
 
A new citizenship law was passed in December 2008, allowing descendants of those exiled from Spain during the Spanish Civil War to lay claim to Spanish citizenship. The new law is part of the "law of historical memory" legislation that was passed the previous year.
 
A Country Study: Spain (Library of Congress)
History of Spain (Wikipedia)
Spain History (History World)
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Spain's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Spain

 The founding of America owes much to the early monarchy of Spain, as it was Queen Isabella who financed the explorations of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of territories in the Caribbean. Relations between the US and Spain were at their most fractious in the late 19th century, when the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana, Cuba ignited the Spanish-American War of 1989. As a result of the American victory, the US gained control of Cuba and the Philippines.

 
In the years following the Spanish-American War, economic issues dominated relations between Spain and the United States, as Spain sought to enhance its trading position by developing closer commercial ties with the US as well as with Latin America. A series of trade agreements signed between Spain and the US in 1902, 1906, and 1910 led to an increased exchange of manufactured goods and agricultural products that benefited Spain's domestic economy. Cultural contacts and tourism also increased.
 
The outbreak of the Civil War in Spain profoundly stirred the emotions of the American public, and approximately 3,000 American citizens volunteered to serve in the Spanish Republican Army, although the United States government remained adamantly neutral. Following the Nationalist victory, much of public opinion in the United States condemned Franco's regime as a fascist dictatorship, but the United States government participated in various Allied agreements with Spain, aimed at ensuring that Franco would not permit the Iberian Peninsula to be used by Adolf Hitler against Allied forces.
 
The 1953 Pact of Madrid between Spain and the United States provided for mutual defense as well as for US military aid, and it brought to an end Spain's postwar isolation. It did not end anti-Americanism in Spain, however. Francoist leaders resented having to accept what they considered to be insufficient military supplies in return for basing rights. They also chafed at US restrictions against the use of American equipment in defending Spain's North African territories in 1957. This anti-American sentiment was bipartisan in Spain. Whereas Francoists resented the United States for its democratic form of government, the opposition parties in Spain perceived the United States as the primary supporter of the Franco regime and therefore as a major obstacle to the democratization of Spain.
 
Following the death of Franco in 1975, the United States welcomed the liberalization of the Spanish regime under King Juan Carlos and sought to bring Spain further into Western military arrangements. In 1976 the bilateral agreement between Spain and the United States was transformed into a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In addition to renewing United States basing rights in return for United States military and economic aid, this treaty provided for a United States-Spanish Council intended to serve as a bridge to eventual Spanish membership in NATO.
 
When Calvo replaced Suarez as prime minister in 1981, he made vigorous efforts to gain approval for Spanish membership in NATO, and shortly after this was accomplished a new executive agreement on the use of bases in Spain was signed with the United States in July 1982. This agreement was one of a series of renewals of the basic 1953 arrangement, providing for United States use of strategic naval and air bases on Spanish soil in exchange for US military and economic assistance.
 
Many Spaniards resented the presence of these bases in Spain, recalling the widely publicized photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower throwing his arms around Franco when the first agreement on bases was signed. There were occasional popular protests against these reminders of US support for the dictatorship, including a demonstration during President Ronald Reagan's 1985 visit to Spain.
 
The Socialists had consistently advocated a more neutralist, independent stance for Spain, and when they came to power in October 1982, Gonzalez pledged a close examination of the defense and cooperation agreements with the United States. A reduction in US military presence in Spain was one of the stipulations contained in the referendum, held in 1986, on continued NATO membership. In keeping with this, the prime minister announced in December 1987 that the United States would have to remove its seventy-two F-16 fighter-bombers from Spanish bases by mid-1991. Spain also had informed the United States in November that the bilateral defense agreement, which opinion polls indicated was rejected overwhelmingly by the Spanish population, would not be renewed. Nevertheless, in January 1988 Spain and the United States did reach agreement in principle on a new base agreement. The new military arrangements called for a marked reduction of the US presence in Spain and terminated the American military and economic aid that had been tied to the defense treaty.
 
50 Years of U. S. - Spain Relations (US Embassy, Madrid) (PDF)
 
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Current U.S. Relations with Spain

 Relations between the US and Spain became quite cold after Madrid withdrew its forces in Iraq after the first election of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Deep differences on Cuba also worked against a spirit of collaboration. Zapatero would not have been invited to Washington for the G20 meeting in November 2008 were it not for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who lobbied on behalf of Spain.

Despite problems between Washington and Madrid, the two countries maintained important day-to-day relations in regards to NATO, the maintenance of US military bases in Spain that have proven critical to the conduct of affairs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and levels of two-way direct foreign investment, particularly in financial services and energy.


It is expected that prior difficulties will be minimized by the Obama administration. As the Iraq conflict winds down, that particular issue should fade. The new US administration may also soften Cuba policy, including restrictions on visits, remittances and exchanges, although the embargo, enshrined in US law, will likely remain for the foreseeable future.

Contacts between the Zapatero government and the Obama administration were made at senior levels even before the inauguration, and a fresh start is on tap, particularly if Spain is forthcoming on additional troops for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The United States could reciprocate by actively pushing for Spain to join the G8.
 
A total of 78,000 peopled identified themselves as being of Spanish ancestry in the 2000 US census. The Spanish population has historically been concentrated in Florida and California. There has been a widespread movement back to Spain in recent decades, following the death of Franco and the country’s economic rejuvenation.
 
In 2006, 930,491 Americans visited Spain, a 5% increase on 2005. This increase represents a gentle fluctuation and not a trend—there were 940,054 American visits to Spain in 2002. Also in 2006, 424,224 Spaniards visited America, a 10% increase on the previous year and a 58% increase on the 269,520 trips made in 2002.
 
Spain-US Relations (Wikipedia)
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Where Does the Money Flow

 US imports from Spain have been steadily rising, from $6.6 billion in 2003 to $11 billion in 2008. The two top imports during this time period were medical, dental and pharmaceutical preparations, up from $604 million to $1.09 billion, and other petroleum products, climbing from $279 million to $1.56 billion.

 
Other key imports included generators, transformers and accessories, up from $95 million to $873 million; vegetables and preparations, increasing from $278 million to $302 million; wine, up from $159 million to $287 million; industrial organic chemicals, rising from $204 million to $306 million; stone, sand, cement and lime, decreasing from $246 million to $194 million between 2007 and 2008; and other industrial machinery, up from $142 million in 2003 to $395 million in 2008.
 
Like imports, US exports to Spain also rose from 2003-2008, doubling from $5.9 billion to $12 billion. And like imports, the leading export was pharmaceutical preparations, rising from $279 million to $2.2 billion.
 
Other key American exports included sorghum, barley and oats, up from $43 million to $279 million; nuts, increasing from $230 million to $407 million; petroleum products, up from $79 million to $217 million; chemicals (organic), rising from $166 million to $487 million; logs and lumber, dropping from $185 million to $131 million; telecommunications equipment, jumping from $108 million to $249 million; medicinal equipment, leaping from $243 million to $409 million; and civilian aircraft, up from $144 million to $800 million.
 
The US sold $1.1 billion of defense articles and services to Spain in 2007. From 1997 to 2000, Spain was the second largest recipient of US arms sales among European countries, buying approximately $1.3 billion.
 
The US does not give foreign aid to Spain.
 
U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1997-2004 (by Richard Grimmett, Congressional Research Service)
 
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Controversies

 Spanish Government Helped US with Renditions

Allegations surfaced in December 2008 that the former conservative government of Spain gave permission to the United States to secretly fly terrorist suspects via Spain to the prison camp in Guantánamo, Cuba. Conservative leader Mariano Rajoy denied knowing anything about such flights, while the left-leaning daily El Pais reported that a 2002 Foreign Ministry document on the flights had mysteriously disappeared. The news resulted in former conservative foreign minister Josep Pique being booed by a group of students who slammed him as a “war criminal,” “killer,” “fascist” and “torturer.”
 
El Pais earlier claimed that the government of former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar had given permission in 2002 to US planes taking Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners from Afghanistan to Guantanamo to secretly make stopovers at two US military bases in Spain.
The conservative opposition responded by claiming that nine out of 11 flights organized by the Central Intelligence Agency took place under Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who took office in 2004.
Spain 'authorised' CIA rendition flights (by Fiona Govan, Telegraph)
 
US Upset over Spanish Arms Sales to Venezuela
Spain announced in 2005 plans to sell arms to Venezuela, much to the displeasure of the Bush administration. US officials claimed that the exports might upset Latin American security. The military hardware included a dozen military transport aircraft and eight naval patrol vessels to Venezuela. Washington responded by claiming it had the right to nullify the sales to Venezuela because the planes contained US components. (US law requires foreign governments to obtain permission from Washington to export arms incorporating US technology or parts)
 
State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack criticized the Spanish arms package as “not consistent with US foreign policy interests.” The United States branded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an undemocratic and volatile leader and charged that recent Venezuelan arms buys exceeded the country’s defense needs. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also criticized Spain's decision to sell military planes and boats to Venezuela. "I personally think that Spain is making a mistake," Rumsfeld said. "I guess time will tell. The problem is that, if one waits until time tells, it can be an unhappy story."
Latin American Arms Sales Moving Forward (by Wade Boese, Arms Control Association)
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Human Rights

 In recent decades, Spain has generally not suffered from major human rights violations, although violations do occur on a case-by-case basis. Threats to human rights also come from the terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and various societal problems, such as discrimination against minorities, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

 
Civil Rights
Spanish law provides for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. There are no restrictions to free speech, the Internet, and other types of media, nor were there any complaints against violations of the freedom of assembly. While the government has generally respected the right for freedom of religion, the Roman Catholic Church has the benefit of a close relationship with the government. For example, the tax system allows for citizens, regardless of denomination, to choose to donate part of their taxes to the Roman Catholic Church. Schools run by the Church are also partly directly funded by the government. Other religious communities, such as the Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities, also enjoy tax benefits from having notorio arraigo (or “deeply rooted” traditional) status, and having individual agreements with the government, although not to the extent as that of the Catholic Church. As of December 2008, the parliament is considering opening up tax benefits to all religions achieving notorio arraigo status. Jewish and Muslim communities have also reported difficulty in obtaining permits, etc. to establish new places of worship due to societal prejudice against their religions.
 
Discrimination against Minorities
An influx of immigrants has caused friction within Spanish society and a rise in prejudice against religious minorities, particularly Muslim and Jewish communities. This was usually manifested in graffiti and other vandalism on religious buildings, such as mosques and Jewish institutions. For example, no arrests have been made for the vandalism done to the Colon Park mosque in Corboba in 2006, the defacing on the Synagogue of Cordoba and the Casa Safarad (Sephardic House) with anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi graffiti and threats written in German in 2008, or the defacing of a statue of the renowned 12th century Sephardic rabbi, Maimonides in 2008. In February 2008, six people, all members of the “Younger Workers Front,” attacked immigrants in Catalonia. They were arrested, tried, and convicted.
 
Discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities have also been cited, but the Spanish government is putting in effort to solve this problem. Fundacion Secretariado Gitano (FSG), a domestic NGO, has reported that the Roma population in Spain continues “to face discrimination in access to employment, housing, and education” and that they “experienced substantially higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy than the general population.”
 
Gay marriage is legal in Spain.
 
Women’s Rights
Spanish law provides for the equal treatment of women and men. Societal violations against women’s rights continue to be a problem, including the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and rape, sexual harassment, and female genital mutilation. Government institutions are in place to combat these problems.
 
Torture and Mistreatment of Prisoners
The Spanish government prohibits the mistreatment and torture of prisoners and provides for a judiciary for fair public trials. While the government has generally abided by these laws, there have been reported cases of police mistreatment. One such case was reported in June 2007 by Amnesty International (AI). In Barcelona, a woman was arrested for trying to intervene with the violent arrest of another person. After handcuffing and putting her in a police station cell, four police officers beat her severely, which resulted in multiple bruises on her body. The next month, the woman was fined for resisting arrest. Other complaints of mistreatment and abuse have also been filed, including six complaints in 2006 and 2007 against Catalonian regional police officers for “subjecting detainees to degrading treatment in Barcelona’s main police station of Les Corts.” In 2008, Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) released its annual report stating that 610 individuals in 2006 filed mistreatment complaints against security forces, 35 less than in 2005.
 
ETA
In 2006, the ETA withdrew from its permanent ceasefire and recommenced terrorist attacks in Spain. In 2008, reports of ETA terrorist activity included a car bomb “outside the civil guard headquarters in Durango, injuring two civil guards and causing significant property damage,” and an attempt “to kill the bodyguard of a Basque politician by planting a bomb on his car; the bodyguard escaped the burning car and survived.”
 
In its annual report, Reporters without Borders criticized ETA “for threatening journalists” and citing “several journalists in Spain required personal protection due to these threats.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

 John Jay
State of Residency: New York
Title: Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Sep 29, 1779
Note: Proceeded to post but was not formally received at court; left post about May 20, 1782.

 
William Carmichael
Appointment: Apr 20, 1790
Presentation of Credentials: [see note below]
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 5, 1794
Note: No report has been found concerning Carmichael’s presentation of credentials as Chargé d’Affaires en titre; he had already been received as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Feb 20, 1783.
 
William Short
Appointment: May 28, 1794
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1794
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 1, 1795
 
David Humphreys
Appointment: May 20, 1796
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1797
Termination of Mission: Probably presented recall soon after Dec 28, 1801
 
Charles Pinckney
Appointment: Jun 6, 1801
Presentation of Credentials: Jan-Mar. 1802
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 25, 1804
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 26, 1802.
 
Note: George W. Erving served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Oct 1805-Feb 1810.
 
James Bowdoin
Appointment: Nov 22, 1804
Note: Did not proceed to post.
 
George W. Erving
Appointment: Aug 10, 1814
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 24, 1816
Termination of Mission: Left post May 15, 1819
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Nomination confirmed by the Senate, Oct 3, 1814; commission following confirmation not of record.
 
John Forsyth
Appointment: Feb 16, 1819
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1819
Termination of Mission: Had farewell audience, Mar 2, 1823
 
Hugh Nelson
Appointment: Jan 15, 1823
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 4, 1823
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 10, 1825
 
Alexander Hill Everett
Appointment: Mar 9, 1825
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 4, 1825
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 1, 1829
 
Cornelius P. Van Ness
Appointment: Jun 1, 1829
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 9, 1829
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 21, 1836
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 10, 1830.
 
William T. Barry
Appointment: Apr 10, 1835
Note: Took oath of office, but died en route to post. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.
 
John H. Eaton
Appointment: Mar 16, 1836
Presentation of Credentials: [see note below]
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 1840
Note: No report has been found of presentation of credentials, which probably took place about Feb 1, 1837.
 
Aaron Vail
Appointment: May 20, 1840
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 5, 1840
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Aug 1, 1842
 
Washington Irving
Appointment: Feb 10, 1842
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 1, 1842
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 29, 1846
 
Romulus M. Saunders
Appointment: Feb 25, 1846
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1846
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 24, 1849
 
Daniel M. Barringer
Appointment: Jun 18, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1849
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 4, 1853
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Sep 28, 1850.
 
Pierre Soule
Appointment: Apr 7, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Feb 1, 1855
 
John C. Breckinridge
Appointment: Jan 16, 1855
Note: Declined appointment.
 
Augustus C. Dodge
Appointment: Feb 9, 1855
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 17, 1855
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 12, 1859
 
William Preston
Appointment: Dec 15, 1858
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 12, 1859
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 24, 1861
 
Cassius M. Clay
Appointment: Apr 14, 1861
Note: Declined appointment.
 
Carl Schurz
Appointment: Mar 28, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 13, 1861
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 18, 1861
 
Gustavus Koerner
Appointment: Jun 14, 1862
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1862
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 20, 1864
 
John P. Hale
Appointment: Mar 10, 1865
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 30, 1865
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 29, 1869
 
William S. Rosecrans
Note: Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
 
Henry S. Sandford
Note: Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
 
Daniel E. Sickles
Appointment: May 15, 1869
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 29, 1869
Termination of Mission: Presented new credentials on Feb 2, 1871, after change of government; transmitted recall by note Jan 31, 1874
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Mar 16, 1870.
 
Caleb Cushing
Appointment: Jan 6, 1874
Presentation of Credentials: May 30, 1874
Termination of Mission: Presented new credentials on Mar 10, 1875, after restoration of monarchy; left post Apr 9, 1877
 
James Russell Lowell
Appointment: Jun 11, 1877
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 18, 1877
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 2, 1880
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Oct 30, 1877.
 
Lucius Fairchild
Appointment: Jan 26, 1880
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 31, 1880
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 20, 1881
 
Hannibal Hamlin
State of Residency: Maine
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Jun 30, 1881
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1881
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 17, 1882
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Oct 13, 1881.
 
John W. Foster
Appointment: Feb 27, 1883
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 16, 1883
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 28, 1885
 
Jabez L.M. Curry
Appointment: Oct 7, 1885
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 22, 1885
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1888
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 13, 1886.
 
Perry Belmont
Appointment: Nov 17, 1888
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 13, 1889
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 1889
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 13, 1888.
 
Thomas W. Palmer
Appointment: Mar 12, 1889
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 17, 1889
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 19, 1890
 
E. Burd Grubb
Appointment: Sep 27, 1890
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 23, 1890
Termination of Mission: Left post May 26, 1892
 
A. Loudon Snowden
Appointment: Jul 22, 1892
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 6, 1892
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 3, 1893
 
Hannis Taylor
Appointment: Apr 8, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 1, 1893
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 13, 1897
 
Stewart L. Woodford
Appointment: Jun 19, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 13, 1897
Termination of Mission: Spain severed diplomatic relations with the U.S., Apr 21, 1898
Note: Woodford left post Apr 21, 1898. The United States declared war on Spain as of that date by Act of Congress approved Apr 25, 1898.
 
Bellamy Storer
Appointment: Apr 12, 1899
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 16, 1899
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 10, 1902
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 14, 1899.
 
Arthur S. Hardy
Appointment: Sep 26, 1902
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 2, 1903
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 1, 1905
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 8, 1902.
 
William Miller Collier
Appointment: Mar 8, 1905
Presentation of Credentials: May 15, 1905
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Jun 9, 1909
 
Henry Clay Ide
Appointment: Apr 1, 1909
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1909
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 8, 1913
 
Joseph E. Willard
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post under this appointment.
 
Joseph E. Willard
Appointment: Sep 10, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 31, 1913
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 7, 1921
 
Cyrus E. Woods
Appointment: Jun 24, 1921
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 14, 1921
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 18, 1923
 
Alexander P. Moore
Appointment: Mar 3, 1923
Presentation of Credentials: May 16, 1923
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 20, 1925
 
Ogden H. Hammond
Appointment: Dec 21, 1925
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 26, 1926
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 13, 1929
 
Irwin B. Laughlin
Appointment: Oct 16, 1929
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 24, 1929
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 12, 1933
 
Claude G. Bowers
Appointment: Apr 6, 1933
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 1, 1933
Termination of Mission: Had final interview, Feb 2, 1939
Note: Bowers was resident during the last part of his Ambassadorship at St. Jean de Luz in France; he left that post Jun 14, 1939, his appointment having terminated May 14, 1939. The Embassy had meanwhile been re-established in Spain on Apr 13, 1939, when H. Freeman Matthews had been received at Burgos as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
 
Alexander W. Weddell
Appointment: May 3, 1939
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 15, 1939
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 7, 1942
 
Carlton J. H. Hayes
Appointment: May 2, 1942
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1942
Termination of Mission: Left Spain, Jan 18, 1945
 
Norman Armour
Appointment: Dec 15, 1944
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1945
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 1, 1945
Note: During 1945-1951 the following officers served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim: Philip W. Bonsal (Mar 1946-Jun 1947) and Paul T. Culbertson (Jun 1947-Dec 1950).
 
Stanton Griffis
Appointment: Feb 1, 1951
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 1, 1951
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jan 28, 1952
 
Lincoln MacVeagh
Appointment: Feb 21, 1952
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 27, 1952
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 4, 1953
 
James Clement Dunn
Appointment: Feb 27, 1953
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 9, 1953
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 9, 1955
 
John Lodge
Appointment: Jan 22, 1955
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1955
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 13, 1961
 
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 29, 1961
Presentation of Credentials: May 25, 1961
Termination of Mission: Left Spain, Oct 12, 1961
 
Ellis O. Briggs
Note: Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
Robert F. Woodward
Appointment: Apr 7, 1962
Presentation of Credentials: May 10, 1962
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 1, 1965
 
Angier Biddle Duke
Appointment: Mar 11, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 1, 1965
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 30, 1968
 
Frank E. McKinney
Appointment: May 11, 1968
Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post under this appointment.
 
Robert F. Wagner
Appointment: Jun 24, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 7, 1969
 
Robert C. Hill
Appointment: May 1, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 12, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 12, 1972
 
Horacio Rivero
Appointment: Sep 11, 1972
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 11, 1972
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 26, 1974
 
Peter M. Flanigan
Note: Not commissioned; nomination of Sep 17, 1974 was not acted upon by the Senate.
 
Wells Stabler
Appointment: Feb 20, 1975
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 13, 1975
Termination of Mission: Left post May 4, 1978
 
Terence A. Todman
Appointment: May 25, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 20, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 8, 1983
 
Thomas Ostrom Enders
Appointment: Aug 5, 1983
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 15, 1983
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 6, 1986
 
Reginald Bartholomew
Appointment: Aug 18, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 17, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 12, 1989
 
Joseph Zappala
Appointment: Oct 10, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 16, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 4, 1992
 
Richard Goodwin Capen, Jr.
Appointment: Jun 15, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 8, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 17, 1993
 
Richard N. Gardner
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 12, 1997
 
Edward L. Romero
Appointment: Jun 29, 1998
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1998
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 1, 2001
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
George L. Argyros, Sr.
Appointment: Nov 20, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 13, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 2004
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
Eduardo Aguirre
Appointment: Jun 21, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 2005
Termination of Mission: January 2009
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
 

Former U.S. Ambassadors to Spain

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Spain's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Gil-Casares, Ramón

The new ambassador to the United States from Spain is a career diplomat who has previously served in the U.S. and whose career has been tied to the political fortunes of Spain’s right-of-center political party, the People’s Party (PP), which won Spain’s most recent national elections in 2011. Appointed to his post in Washington in April 2012, Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui, currently Spanish ambassador to Sudan and South Sudan, replaces Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, who has held the post in Washington since July 2008.

 

Born in Madrid on October 26, 1953, Gil-Casares was the son of a Franco-era diplomat and a childhood friend of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, who was a classmate at the Colegio Santa María del Pilar, a private school in Madrid, until age 14. Gil-Casares earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Law at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1982.

 

Gil-Casares joined the Spanish Foreign Service in 1982, and had early career postings at the Spanish embassies in Equatorial Guinea, Uruguay and the Philippines. In 1990 he was appointed Deputy Director General of Cooperatives at the Spanish Institute for Development Cooperation, and later was deputy consul general of Spain in New York. In May 1996, he was named Director of the International Security Department in Prime Minister Aznar’s cabinet, and later also served as secretary of the Foreign Policy Council, a body formed in July 2000 to coordinate the activities of different ministries and agencies abroad. Gil-Casares became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in July 2002, serving until the April 19, 2004, election victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, which ousted Aznar’s PP from power.

 

In July 2005, the new Spanish government sent Gil-Casares to serve as ambassador to South Africa, residing in Pretoria with concurrent accreditation to the Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar and Lesotho. Gil-Casares stayed in Africa for his next posting as ambassador to Sudan, where he has served since March 25, 2011; he also became the first Spanish ambassador to South Sudan on January 20, 2012, although he remained based in Khartoum. Additionally, he served from October 2008 to March 2011 as an advisor to the Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for Africa.

-Matt Bewig

 

Ramón Gil-Casares, embajador en EE. UU. (Heraldo)

Ramón Gil-Casares, nuevo embajador en Estados Unidos (by José Ángel Jarne Navalón, EPCPC)

Gil Casares será embajador en EE. UU. y Eduardo Gutiérrez, en el Vaticano (by Luis Ayllón, ABC.es)

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Spain's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Tom Martin, Albuquerque, NM 4 years ago
I am saddened to learn that in the face of a dwindling population in Spain that your leadership has opted to broaden the accessibility of abortions in your country. I shall be sure to avoid Spain and travel to Europe overall because you idiots are exterminating the rich cultures that brought us to the wondrous age in which we live. I cannot think of anywhere in Europe that respects life as taught by my Catholic Church. I pray that God has mercy on your immortal souls. Obama = death....

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U.S. Ambassador to Spain

Costos, James
ambassador-image

The bipartisan practice of rewarding major campaign donors with ambassadorships to favored destinations continues with President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will nominate James Costos, an HBO executive to be the next ambassador to Spain. Costos donated $5,000 to, and bundled donations of at least $500,000 for, Obama’s 2012 presidential run, If confirmed by the Senate, Costos would succeed Alan D. Solomont, who has served as Washington’s man in Madrid since December 2009.

 

Born circa 1963, Costos earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts in 1985. Commencing his career as a fashion and retail executive in New York, Costos was vice president and director of retail for Tod’s of Italy from 1991 to 2001, and then for Hermes of Paris, for whom he was in charge of operations, marketing and brand development for the company’s U.S. stores from 2001 to 2002.

 

Costos migrated to film and television, working as a senior executive of Revolution Studios in charge of corporate partnerships and promotions from 2002 to 2004. He then founded Eight Cylinders Inc, an entertainment marketing firm. In July 2006, HBO hired Costos to head its new global licensing and marketing division.

 

A Democrat, Costos has donated heavily to Democratic candidates and organizations for the past several years, including $62,000 to the Democratic National Committee since 2009, $1,000 to Hillary Clinton in 2007, and $4,000 to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2003. He also donated $2,500 to Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine in 2012.

 

Costos is in a long-term relationship with interior designer Michael Smith, who was selected by Michelle Obama in 2009 to redecorate the residential quarters of the White House, and later designed a makeover of the Oval Office.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Obama to Name HBO Executive as Ambassador to Spain (by Tina Daunt, Hollywood Reporter)

Obama Nominates Two More Openly Gay Ambassadors (by Sunnivie Brydum, The Advocate)

Michael S. Smith’s Manhattan Penthouse (by Judith Thurman, Architectural Digest)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Spain

Aguirre, Eduardo
ambassador-image

A native of Cuba, Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. began serving as the US Ambassador to Spain and Andorra on June 24, 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree form Louisiana State University and graduated from the American Bankers Association’s National Commercial Lending Graduate School.
 
Aguirre was president of Bank of America’s International Private Bank and worked there for 24 years. He then served as vice chairman, chief operating officer and acting chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 2001 to 2002. Aguirre served for two and a half years as the first director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an under secretary rank position in the Department of Homeland Security, before being selected ambassador to Spain and Andorra.
 
He was appointed, by then Texas Governor George W. Bush, to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System for a six-year term, serving from 1996-1998 as chairman. According to OpenSecrets.com, Aguirre donated $500 to Bush’s presidential campaign in 1999. In 2000, he donated $1,000 to the Republication National Committee, and in 2001, Aguirre donated $850 to the RNC/Republican National State Elections Committee.
 
Aguirre was also appointed to the National Commission for Employment Policy by President George H. W. Bush. The Supreme Court of Texas appointed him to the State Bar as a non-attorney director. Additionally, he has served on other public, professional and civic boards, including the Texas Children’s Hospital, Texas Bar Foundation, Operación Pedro Pan Foundation, Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, and the Houston chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
 
 
 

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Overview

 The relationship between Spain and the United States began before there was even a United States of America. Christopher Columbus’ historic voyage that led to the discovery of America was financed by Queen Isabella of Spain. Relations between Spain and the US were cordial for the most part during the early years of U.S. independence; that is until the outbreak of the Spanish-American War of 1898, which the US won and as a result wound up controlling Cuba and the Philippines. Following the war, economic issues dominated relations between Spain and the US, as Spain sought to enhance its trading position by developing closer commercial ties with the US and Latin America. When civil war broke out in Spain in the 1930s, approximately 3,000 American citizens volunteered to serve in the Spanish Republican Army, although the United States government remained neutral during the conflict. Following the Nationalist victory, public opinion in the US condemned Francisco Franco’s regime as a fascist dictatorship, but the United States government participated in various Allied agreements with Spain, aimed at ensuring that Franco would not permit the Iberian Peninsula to be used by Adolf Hitler against Allied forces.

 

Following the death of Franco in 1975, the US welcomed the liberalization of the Spanish regime under King Juan Carlos and sought to bring Spain further into Western military arrangements. In 1976 the bilateral agreement between Spain and the United States was transformed into a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In addition to renewing United States basing rights in return for United States military and economic aid, this treaty provided for a United States-Spanish Council intended to serve as a bridge to eventual Spanish membership in NATO. Relations continued to be strong until 2004, when the government in Madrid withdrew its forces in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration’s war in that country. Deep differences on Cuba also worked against a spirit of collaboration. It is expected now that the administration of Barack Obama is in charge, and the US role in Iraq gradually shrinks, that relations will improve between Washington and Madrid.

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Basic Information

 Lay of the Land: Third-Largest country in Europe, occupying 85% of the Iberian Peninsula. It thrusts out from Europe toward Africa and the Americas, separated from France and Andorra in the northeast by the Pyrenees Mountains. Includes the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, and the tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco. The Strait of Gibraltar, 8.5 miles wide, makes Spain a natural bridge between Europe and Africa. Exceptionally mountainous, with the second-highest average elevation in Europe, its heartland is a great plateau, “La Meseta”.

 
Population: 40.5 Million (2008)
 
Religions: Roman Catholicism 79.1%, Protestantism 2.9%, Islam 2.3%, Non-religious 15.7% (2007).
 
Ethnic Groups: Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque.
 
Languages: Castellano (Spanish) 70.5%, Catalan 16%, Gallego 8%, Basque 1.5%, Extremaduran 0.5%, Asturian 0.3%, Calo 0.01%, Aragonese 0.001%, Aranese 0.001%, Fala 0.001% (1994).
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History

Spain was originally inhabited by Celts, Iberians, and Basques before becoming a part of the Roman Empire in 206 BC.

 
In 412 AD, Visigoth leader Ataulf crossed the Pyrenees and took control of Spain, first in the name of the Roman emperor and then independently. In 711, the Muslims under Tariq entered Spain from Africa and within a few years completely conquered the country. In 732, the Franks, led by Charles Martel, defeated the Muslims near Poitiers, thus preventing the further expansion of the Islamic Empire in southern Europe.
 
Aragon and Castile were the most important Spanish states from the 12th to the 15th century, consolidated by the marriage of Ferdinand II and Isabella I in 1469. In 1478, they established the Inquisition to root out heresy and uncover Jews and Muslims who had not converted to Christianity. The last Muslim stronghold, Granada, was captured in 1492, the same year that Roman Catholicism was established as the official state religion.
 
In the era of exploration, discovery, and colonization, Spain amassed tremendous wealth and a vast colonial empire through the conquest of Mexico by Cortés (1519–1521) and Peru by Pizarro (1532–1533). The Spanish Hapsburg monarchy became for a time the most powerful in the world. In 1588, Philip II sent the Spanish Armada to invade England, but its destruction cost Spain its supremacy on the seas and paved the way for England to colonize America.
 
Spain then sank rapidly to the status of a second-rate power under the rule of weak Hapsburg kings, and it never again played a major role in European politics. The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) resulted in Spain's loss of Belgium, Luxembourg, Milan, Sardinia, and Naples. Its colonial empire in the Americas and the Philippines vanished in wars and revolutions during the 18th and 19th centuries.
 
In World War I, Spain maintained a position of neutrality. In 1923, Gen. Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator. In 1930, King Alfonso XIII revoked the dictatorship, but a strong antimonarchist and republican movement led to his leaving Spain in 1931. The new constitution declared Spain a workers' republic, broke up the large estates, separated church and state, and secularized the schools. The elections held in 1936 returned a strong Popular Front majority, with Manuel Azaña as president.
 
On July 18, 1936, a conservative army officer in Morocco, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, led a mutiny against the government. The civil war that followed lasted three years and cost the lives of nearly a million people. Franco was aided by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, while Soviet Russia helped the Loyalist side. Several hundred leftist Americans served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade on the side of the republic. The war ended when Franco took Madrid on March 28, 1939. Franco became head of the state, national chief of the Falange Party (the governing party), and prime minister and caudillo (leader).
 
In a referendum in 1947, the Spanish people approved a Franco-drafted succession law declaring Spain a monarchy again. Franco, however, continued as chief of state. In 1969, Franco and the Cortes (“states”) designated Prince Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor María de Borbón (who married Princess Sophia of Greece in 1962) to become king of Spain when the provisional government headed by Franco came to an end. Franco died on November 20, 1975, and Juan Carlos was proclaimed king on November 22.
 
Under pressure from Catalonian and Basque nationalists, Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez granted home rule to these regions in 1979. But this did not stop Basque separatists from committing hundreds of terrorist bombings and kidnappings in an effort to achieve complete independence from Spain.
 
In October 1982, Felipe González Márquez and his Spanish Socialist Workers Party won a resounding victory in national elections. That same year, Spain entered NATO, and in 1986, it joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union).
 
General elections in March 1996 produced a victory for the conservative Popular Party, and its leader, José María Aznar, became prime minister. He and his party easily won reelection in 2000.
 
In August 2002, Batasuna, the political wing of the Basque terrorist organization ETA, was banned.
 
Aznar backed the US war in Iraq in 2003, a move that proved highly unpopular. (Spain sent no troops to Iraq but contributed 1,300 peacekeeping forces during the reconstruction period.) Yet Aznar's Popular Party did extremely well in municipal elections in May 2003. The country's relative prosperity and the prime minister's tough stance against the ETA were thought to be responsible for the strong showing.
 
On March 11, 2004, Spain suffered one of its most horrific terrorist attacks, as 191 people were killed and 1,400 were injured in bombings at Madrid's railway station. The government at first blamed ETA, but soon evidence emerged that al-Qaeda was responsible. When record numbers of voters went to the polls days later, Aznar's Popular Party experienced a stinging defeat, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the Socialist Party became the new prime minister. Many Spaniards blamed Aznar's staunch support of the US and the war in Iraq for making Spain an al-Qaeda target. Others were angered by what they saw as the government's politically motivated position that ETA was to blame for the attacks at the same time that links to al-Qaeda were emerging. By April, a dozen suspects, most of them Moroccan, were arrested for the bombings. On April 4, several suspects blew themselves up during a police raid to avoid capture. In May, the new prime minister made good on his campaign promise, recalling Spain's 1,300 soldiers from Iraq, much to the displeasure of the United States, which said Spain was appeasing terrorists.
 
In June 2005, despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church, Spain legalized gay marriage.
 
After four decades of violence, the militant Basque separatist group ETA, responsible for more than 800 deaths and for terrorizing Spanish society with its bombings and other attacks, announced a permanent cease-fire on March 24, 2006. In June 2007, however, ETA renounced the cease-fire and vowed to begin a new offensive.
 
In a June 2006 referendum, the region of Catalonia voted for greater autonomy from Spain.
 
The government dissolved Parliament in January 2008 and called for new elections. In the March election, Zapatero was reelected, taking 43.7% of the vote. Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party garnered 40.1%. On April 12, Zapatero announced his cabinet, which for the first time includes more women than men.
 
A new citizenship law was passed in December 2008, allowing descendants of those exiled from Spain during the Spanish Civil War to lay claim to Spanish citizenship. The new law is part of the "law of historical memory" legislation that was passed the previous year.
 
A Country Study: Spain (Library of Congress)
History of Spain (Wikipedia)
Spain History (History World)
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Spain's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Spain

 The founding of America owes much to the early monarchy of Spain, as it was Queen Isabella who financed the explorations of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of territories in the Caribbean. Relations between the US and Spain were at their most fractious in the late 19th century, when the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana, Cuba ignited the Spanish-American War of 1989. As a result of the American victory, the US gained control of Cuba and the Philippines.

 
In the years following the Spanish-American War, economic issues dominated relations between Spain and the United States, as Spain sought to enhance its trading position by developing closer commercial ties with the US as well as with Latin America. A series of trade agreements signed between Spain and the US in 1902, 1906, and 1910 led to an increased exchange of manufactured goods and agricultural products that benefited Spain's domestic economy. Cultural contacts and tourism also increased.
 
The outbreak of the Civil War in Spain profoundly stirred the emotions of the American public, and approximately 3,000 American citizens volunteered to serve in the Spanish Republican Army, although the United States government remained adamantly neutral. Following the Nationalist victory, much of public opinion in the United States condemned Franco's regime as a fascist dictatorship, but the United States government participated in various Allied agreements with Spain, aimed at ensuring that Franco would not permit the Iberian Peninsula to be used by Adolf Hitler against Allied forces.
 
The 1953 Pact of Madrid between Spain and the United States provided for mutual defense as well as for US military aid, and it brought to an end Spain's postwar isolation. It did not end anti-Americanism in Spain, however. Francoist leaders resented having to accept what they considered to be insufficient military supplies in return for basing rights. They also chafed at US restrictions against the use of American equipment in defending Spain's North African territories in 1957. This anti-American sentiment was bipartisan in Spain. Whereas Francoists resented the United States for its democratic form of government, the opposition parties in Spain perceived the United States as the primary supporter of the Franco regime and therefore as a major obstacle to the democratization of Spain.
 
Following the death of Franco in 1975, the United States welcomed the liberalization of the Spanish regime under King Juan Carlos and sought to bring Spain further into Western military arrangements. In 1976 the bilateral agreement between Spain and the United States was transformed into a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In addition to renewing United States basing rights in return for United States military and economic aid, this treaty provided for a United States-Spanish Council intended to serve as a bridge to eventual Spanish membership in NATO.
 
When Calvo replaced Suarez as prime minister in 1981, he made vigorous efforts to gain approval for Spanish membership in NATO, and shortly after this was accomplished a new executive agreement on the use of bases in Spain was signed with the United States in July 1982. This agreement was one of a series of renewals of the basic 1953 arrangement, providing for United States use of strategic naval and air bases on Spanish soil in exchange for US military and economic assistance.
 
Many Spaniards resented the presence of these bases in Spain, recalling the widely publicized photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower throwing his arms around Franco when the first agreement on bases was signed. There were occasional popular protests against these reminders of US support for the dictatorship, including a demonstration during President Ronald Reagan's 1985 visit to Spain.
 
The Socialists had consistently advocated a more neutralist, independent stance for Spain, and when they came to power in October 1982, Gonzalez pledged a close examination of the defense and cooperation agreements with the United States. A reduction in US military presence in Spain was one of the stipulations contained in the referendum, held in 1986, on continued NATO membership. In keeping with this, the prime minister announced in December 1987 that the United States would have to remove its seventy-two F-16 fighter-bombers from Spanish bases by mid-1991. Spain also had informed the United States in November that the bilateral defense agreement, which opinion polls indicated was rejected overwhelmingly by the Spanish population, would not be renewed. Nevertheless, in January 1988 Spain and the United States did reach agreement in principle on a new base agreement. The new military arrangements called for a marked reduction of the US presence in Spain and terminated the American military and economic aid that had been tied to the defense treaty.
 
50 Years of U. S. - Spain Relations (US Embassy, Madrid) (PDF)
 
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Current U.S. Relations with Spain

 Relations between the US and Spain became quite cold after Madrid withdrew its forces in Iraq after the first election of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Deep differences on Cuba also worked against a spirit of collaboration. Zapatero would not have been invited to Washington for the G20 meeting in November 2008 were it not for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who lobbied on behalf of Spain.

Despite problems between Washington and Madrid, the two countries maintained important day-to-day relations in regards to NATO, the maintenance of US military bases in Spain that have proven critical to the conduct of affairs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and levels of two-way direct foreign investment, particularly in financial services and energy.


It is expected that prior difficulties will be minimized by the Obama administration. As the Iraq conflict winds down, that particular issue should fade. The new US administration may also soften Cuba policy, including restrictions on visits, remittances and exchanges, although the embargo, enshrined in US law, will likely remain for the foreseeable future.

Contacts between the Zapatero government and the Obama administration were made at senior levels even before the inauguration, and a fresh start is on tap, particularly if Spain is forthcoming on additional troops for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The United States could reciprocate by actively pushing for Spain to join the G8.
 
A total of 78,000 peopled identified themselves as being of Spanish ancestry in the 2000 US census. The Spanish population has historically been concentrated in Florida and California. There has been a widespread movement back to Spain in recent decades, following the death of Franco and the country’s economic rejuvenation.
 
In 2006, 930,491 Americans visited Spain, a 5% increase on 2005. This increase represents a gentle fluctuation and not a trend—there were 940,054 American visits to Spain in 2002. Also in 2006, 424,224 Spaniards visited America, a 10% increase on the previous year and a 58% increase on the 269,520 trips made in 2002.
 
Spain-US Relations (Wikipedia)
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Where Does the Money Flow

 US imports from Spain have been steadily rising, from $6.6 billion in 2003 to $11 billion in 2008. The two top imports during this time period were medical, dental and pharmaceutical preparations, up from $604 million to $1.09 billion, and other petroleum products, climbing from $279 million to $1.56 billion.

 
Other key imports included generators, transformers and accessories, up from $95 million to $873 million; vegetables and preparations, increasing from $278 million to $302 million; wine, up from $159 million to $287 million; industrial organic chemicals, rising from $204 million to $306 million; stone, sand, cement and lime, decreasing from $246 million to $194 million between 2007 and 2008; and other industrial machinery, up from $142 million in 2003 to $395 million in 2008.
 
Like imports, US exports to Spain also rose from 2003-2008, doubling from $5.9 billion to $12 billion. And like imports, the leading export was pharmaceutical preparations, rising from $279 million to $2.2 billion.
 
Other key American exports included sorghum, barley and oats, up from $43 million to $279 million; nuts, increasing from $230 million to $407 million; petroleum products, up from $79 million to $217 million; chemicals (organic), rising from $166 million to $487 million; logs and lumber, dropping from $185 million to $131 million; telecommunications equipment, jumping from $108 million to $249 million; medicinal equipment, leaping from $243 million to $409 million; and civilian aircraft, up from $144 million to $800 million.
 
The US sold $1.1 billion of defense articles and services to Spain in 2007. From 1997 to 2000, Spain was the second largest recipient of US arms sales among European countries, buying approximately $1.3 billion.
 
The US does not give foreign aid to Spain.
 
U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1997-2004 (by Richard Grimmett, Congressional Research Service)
 
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Controversies

 Spanish Government Helped US with Renditions

Allegations surfaced in December 2008 that the former conservative government of Spain gave permission to the United States to secretly fly terrorist suspects via Spain to the prison camp in Guantánamo, Cuba. Conservative leader Mariano Rajoy denied knowing anything about such flights, while the left-leaning daily El Pais reported that a 2002 Foreign Ministry document on the flights had mysteriously disappeared. The news resulted in former conservative foreign minister Josep Pique being booed by a group of students who slammed him as a “war criminal,” “killer,” “fascist” and “torturer.”
 
El Pais earlier claimed that the government of former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar had given permission in 2002 to US planes taking Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners from Afghanistan to Guantanamo to secretly make stopovers at two US military bases in Spain.
The conservative opposition responded by claiming that nine out of 11 flights organized by the Central Intelligence Agency took place under Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who took office in 2004.
Spain 'authorised' CIA rendition flights (by Fiona Govan, Telegraph)
 
US Upset over Spanish Arms Sales to Venezuela
Spain announced in 2005 plans to sell arms to Venezuela, much to the displeasure of the Bush administration. US officials claimed that the exports might upset Latin American security. The military hardware included a dozen military transport aircraft and eight naval patrol vessels to Venezuela. Washington responded by claiming it had the right to nullify the sales to Venezuela because the planes contained US components. (US law requires foreign governments to obtain permission from Washington to export arms incorporating US technology or parts)
 
State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack criticized the Spanish arms package as “not consistent with US foreign policy interests.” The United States branded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an undemocratic and volatile leader and charged that recent Venezuelan arms buys exceeded the country’s defense needs. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also criticized Spain's decision to sell military planes and boats to Venezuela. "I personally think that Spain is making a mistake," Rumsfeld said. "I guess time will tell. The problem is that, if one waits until time tells, it can be an unhappy story."
Latin American Arms Sales Moving Forward (by Wade Boese, Arms Control Association)
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Human Rights

 In recent decades, Spain has generally not suffered from major human rights violations, although violations do occur on a case-by-case basis. Threats to human rights also come from the terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and various societal problems, such as discrimination against minorities, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

 
Civil Rights
Spanish law provides for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. There are no restrictions to free speech, the Internet, and other types of media, nor were there any complaints against violations of the freedom of assembly. While the government has generally respected the right for freedom of religion, the Roman Catholic Church has the benefit of a close relationship with the government. For example, the tax system allows for citizens, regardless of denomination, to choose to donate part of their taxes to the Roman Catholic Church. Schools run by the Church are also partly directly funded by the government. Other religious communities, such as the Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities, also enjoy tax benefits from having notorio arraigo (or “deeply rooted” traditional) status, and having individual agreements with the government, although not to the extent as that of the Catholic Church. As of December 2008, the parliament is considering opening up tax benefits to all religions achieving notorio arraigo status. Jewish and Muslim communities have also reported difficulty in obtaining permits, etc. to establish new places of worship due to societal prejudice against their religions.
 
Discrimination against Minorities
An influx of immigrants has caused friction within Spanish society and a rise in prejudice against religious minorities, particularly Muslim and Jewish communities. This was usually manifested in graffiti and other vandalism on religious buildings, such as mosques and Jewish institutions. For example, no arrests have been made for the vandalism done to the Colon Park mosque in Corboba in 2006, the defacing on the Synagogue of Cordoba and the Casa Safarad (Sephardic House) with anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi graffiti and threats written in German in 2008, or the defacing of a statue of the renowned 12th century Sephardic rabbi, Maimonides in 2008. In February 2008, six people, all members of the “Younger Workers Front,” attacked immigrants in Catalonia. They were arrested, tried, and convicted.
 
Discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities have also been cited, but the Spanish government is putting in effort to solve this problem. Fundacion Secretariado Gitano (FSG), a domestic NGO, has reported that the Roma population in Spain continues “to face discrimination in access to employment, housing, and education” and that they “experienced substantially higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy than the general population.”
 
Gay marriage is legal in Spain.
 
Women’s Rights
Spanish law provides for the equal treatment of women and men. Societal violations against women’s rights continue to be a problem, including the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and rape, sexual harassment, and female genital mutilation. Government institutions are in place to combat these problems.
 
Torture and Mistreatment of Prisoners
The Spanish government prohibits the mistreatment and torture of prisoners and provides for a judiciary for fair public trials. While the government has generally abided by these laws, there have been reported cases of police mistreatment. One such case was reported in June 2007 by Amnesty International (AI). In Barcelona, a woman was arrested for trying to intervene with the violent arrest of another person. After handcuffing and putting her in a police station cell, four police officers beat her severely, which resulted in multiple bruises on her body. The next month, the woman was fined for resisting arrest. Other complaints of mistreatment and abuse have also been filed, including six complaints in 2006 and 2007 against Catalonian regional police officers for “subjecting detainees to degrading treatment in Barcelona’s main police station of Les Corts.” In 2008, Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) released its annual report stating that 610 individuals in 2006 filed mistreatment complaints against security forces, 35 less than in 2005.
 
ETA
In 2006, the ETA withdrew from its permanent ceasefire and recommenced terrorist attacks in Spain. In 2008, reports of ETA terrorist activity included a car bomb “outside the civil guard headquarters in Durango, injuring two civil guards and causing significant property damage,” and an attempt “to kill the bodyguard of a Basque politician by planting a bomb on his car; the bodyguard escaped the burning car and survived.”
 
In its annual report, Reporters without Borders criticized ETA “for threatening journalists” and citing “several journalists in Spain required personal protection due to these threats.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

 John Jay
State of Residency: New York
Title: Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Sep 29, 1779
Note: Proceeded to post but was not formally received at court; left post about May 20, 1782.

 
William Carmichael
Appointment: Apr 20, 1790
Presentation of Credentials: [see note below]
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 5, 1794
Note: No report has been found concerning Carmichael’s presentation of credentials as Chargé d’Affaires en titre; he had already been received as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Feb 20, 1783.
 
William Short
Appointment: May 28, 1794
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1794
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 1, 1795
 
David Humphreys
Appointment: May 20, 1796
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1797
Termination of Mission: Probably presented recall soon after Dec 28, 1801
 
Charles Pinckney
Appointment: Jun 6, 1801
Presentation of Credentials: Jan-Mar. 1802
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 25, 1804
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 26, 1802.
 
Note: George W. Erving served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Oct 1805-Feb 1810.
 
James Bowdoin
Appointment: Nov 22, 1804
Note: Did not proceed to post.
 
George W. Erving
Appointment: Aug 10, 1814
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 24, 1816
Termination of Mission: Left post May 15, 1819
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Nomination confirmed by the Senate, Oct 3, 1814; commission following confirmation not of record.
 
John Forsyth
Appointment: Feb 16, 1819
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1819
Termination of Mission: Had farewell audience, Mar 2, 1823
 
Hugh Nelson
Appointment: Jan 15, 1823
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 4, 1823
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 10, 1825
 
Alexander Hill Everett
Appointment: Mar 9, 1825
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 4, 1825
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 1, 1829
 
Cornelius P. Van Ness
Appointment: Jun 1, 1829
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 9, 1829
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 21, 1836
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 10, 1830.
 
William T. Barry
Appointment: Apr 10, 1835
Note: Took oath of office, but died en route to post. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.
 
John H. Eaton
Appointment: Mar 16, 1836
Presentation of Credentials: [see note below]
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 1840
Note: No report has been found of presentation of credentials, which probably took place about Feb 1, 1837.
 
Aaron Vail
Appointment: May 20, 1840
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 5, 1840
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Aug 1, 1842
 
Washington Irving
Appointment: Feb 10, 1842
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 1, 1842
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 29, 1846
 
Romulus M. Saunders
Appointment: Feb 25, 1846
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1846
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 24, 1849
 
Daniel M. Barringer
Appointment: Jun 18, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1849
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 4, 1853
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Sep 28, 1850.
 
Pierre Soule
Appointment: Apr 7, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Feb 1, 1855
 
John C. Breckinridge
Appointment: Jan 16, 1855
Note: Declined appointment.
 
Augustus C. Dodge
Appointment: Feb 9, 1855
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 17, 1855
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 12, 1859
 
William Preston
Appointment: Dec 15, 1858
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 12, 1859
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 24, 1861
 
Cassius M. Clay
Appointment: Apr 14, 1861
Note: Declined appointment.
 
Carl Schurz
Appointment: Mar 28, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 13, 1861
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 18, 1861
 
Gustavus Koerner
Appointment: Jun 14, 1862
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1862
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 20, 1864
 
John P. Hale
Appointment: Mar 10, 1865
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 30, 1865
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 29, 1869
 
William S. Rosecrans
Note: Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
 
Henry S. Sandford
Note: Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
 
Daniel E. Sickles
Appointment: May 15, 1869
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 29, 1869
Termination of Mission: Presented new credentials on Feb 2, 1871, after change of government; transmitted recall by note Jan 31, 1874
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Mar 16, 1870.
 
Caleb Cushing
Appointment: Jan 6, 1874
Presentation of Credentials: May 30, 1874
Termination of Mission: Presented new credentials on Mar 10, 1875, after restoration of monarchy; left post Apr 9, 1877
 
James Russell Lowell
Appointment: Jun 11, 1877
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 18, 1877
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 2, 1880
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Oct 30, 1877.
 
Lucius Fairchild
Appointment: Jan 26, 1880
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 31, 1880
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 20, 1881
 
Hannibal Hamlin
State of Residency: Maine
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appointment: Jun 30, 1881
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1881
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 17, 1882
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Oct 13, 1881.
 
John W. Foster
Appointment: Feb 27, 1883
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 16, 1883
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 28, 1885
 
Jabez L.M. Curry
Appointment: Oct 7, 1885
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 22, 1885
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1888
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 13, 1886.
 
Perry Belmont
Appointment: Nov 17, 1888
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 13, 1889
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 1889
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 13, 1888.
 
Thomas W. Palmer
Appointment: Mar 12, 1889
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 17, 1889
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 19, 1890
 
E. Burd Grubb
Appointment: Sep 27, 1890
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 23, 1890
Termination of Mission: Left post May 26, 1892
 
A. Loudon Snowden
Appointment: Jul 22, 1892
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 6, 1892
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 3, 1893
 
Hannis Taylor
Appointment: Apr 8, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 1, 1893
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 13, 1897
 
Stewart L. Woodford
Appointment: Jun 19, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 13, 1897
Termination of Mission: Spain severed diplomatic relations with the U.S., Apr 21, 1898
Note: Woodford left post Apr 21, 1898. The United States declared war on Spain as of that date by Act of Congress approved Apr 25, 1898.
 
Bellamy Storer
Appointment: Apr 12, 1899
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 16, 1899
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 10, 1902
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 14, 1899.
 
Arthur S. Hardy
Appointment: Sep 26, 1902
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 2, 1903
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 1, 1905
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 8, 1902.
 
William Miller Collier
Appointment: Mar 8, 1905
Presentation of Credentials: May 15, 1905
Termination of Mission: Superseded, Jun 9, 1909
 
Henry Clay Ide
Appointment: Apr 1, 1909
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1909
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 8, 1913
 
Joseph E. Willard
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post under this appointment.
 
Joseph E. Willard
Appointment: Sep 10, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 31, 1913
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 7, 1921
 
Cyrus E. Woods
Appointment: Jun 24, 1921
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 14, 1921
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 18, 1923
 
Alexander P. Moore
Appointment: Mar 3, 1923
Presentation of Credentials: May 16, 1923
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 20, 1925
 
Ogden H. Hammond
Appointment: Dec 21, 1925
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 26, 1926
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 13, 1929
 
Irwin B. Laughlin
Appointment: Oct 16, 1929
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 24, 1929
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 12, 1933
 
Claude G. Bowers
Appointment: Apr 6, 1933
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 1, 1933
Termination of Mission: Had final interview, Feb 2, 1939
Note: Bowers was resident during the last part of his Ambassadorship at St. Jean de Luz in France; he left that post Jun 14, 1939, his appointment having terminated May 14, 1939. The Embassy had meanwhile been re-established in Spain on Apr 13, 1939, when H. Freeman Matthews had been received at Burgos as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
 
Alexander W. Weddell
Appointment: May 3, 1939
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 15, 1939
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 7, 1942
 
Carlton J. H. Hayes
Appointment: May 2, 1942
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1942
Termination of Mission: Left Spain, Jan 18, 1945
 
Norman Armour
Appointment: Dec 15, 1944
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1945
Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 1, 1945
Note: During 1945-1951 the following officers served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim: Philip W. Bonsal (Mar 1946-Jun 1947) and Paul T. Culbertson (Jun 1947-Dec 1950).
 
Stanton Griffis
Appointment: Feb 1, 1951
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 1, 1951
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jan 28, 1952
 
Lincoln MacVeagh
Appointment: Feb 21, 1952
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 27, 1952
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 4, 1953
 
James Clement Dunn
Appointment: Feb 27, 1953
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 9, 1953
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 9, 1955
 
John Lodge
Appointment: Jan 22, 1955
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1955
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 13, 1961
 
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 29, 1961
Presentation of Credentials: May 25, 1961
Termination of Mission: Left Spain, Oct 12, 1961
 
Ellis O. Briggs
Note: Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
Robert F. Woodward
Appointment: Apr 7, 1962
Presentation of Credentials: May 10, 1962
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 1, 1965
 
Angier Biddle Duke
Appointment: Mar 11, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 1, 1965
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 30, 1968
 
Frank E. McKinney
Appointment: May 11, 1968
Note: Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post under this appointment.
 
Robert F. Wagner
Appointment: Jun 24, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 7, 1969
 
Robert C. Hill
Appointment: May 1, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 12, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 12, 1972
 
Horacio Rivero
Appointment: Sep 11, 1972
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 11, 1972
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 26, 1974
 
Peter M. Flanigan
Note: Not commissioned; nomination of Sep 17, 1974 was not acted upon by the Senate.
 
Wells Stabler
Appointment: Feb 20, 1975
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 13, 1975
Termination of Mission: Left post May 4, 1978
 
Terence A. Todman
Appointment: May 25, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 20, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 8, 1983
 
Thomas Ostrom Enders
Appointment: Aug 5, 1983
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 15, 1983
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 6, 1986
 
Reginald Bartholomew
Appointment: Aug 18, 1986
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 17, 1986
Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 12, 1989
 
Joseph Zappala
Appointment: Oct 10, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 16, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 4, 1992
 
Richard Goodwin Capen, Jr.
Appointment: Jun 15, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 8, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 17, 1993
 
Richard N. Gardner
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 12, 1997
 
Edward L. Romero
Appointment: Jun 29, 1998
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1998
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 1, 2001
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
George L. Argyros, Sr.
Appointment: Nov 20, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 13, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 2004
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
Eduardo Aguirre
Appointment: Jun 21, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 2005
Termination of Mission: January 2009
Note: Also accredited to Andorra; resident at Madrid.
 
 

Former U.S. Ambassadors to Spain

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Spain's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Gil-Casares, Ramón

The new ambassador to the United States from Spain is a career diplomat who has previously served in the U.S. and whose career has been tied to the political fortunes of Spain’s right-of-center political party, the People’s Party (PP), which won Spain’s most recent national elections in 2011. Appointed to his post in Washington in April 2012, Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui, currently Spanish ambassador to Sudan and South Sudan, replaces Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, who has held the post in Washington since July 2008.

 

Born in Madrid on October 26, 1953, Gil-Casares was the son of a Franco-era diplomat and a childhood friend of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, who was a classmate at the Colegio Santa María del Pilar, a private school in Madrid, until age 14. Gil-Casares earned an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Law at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1982.

 

Gil-Casares joined the Spanish Foreign Service in 1982, and had early career postings at the Spanish embassies in Equatorial Guinea, Uruguay and the Philippines. In 1990 he was appointed Deputy Director General of Cooperatives at the Spanish Institute for Development Cooperation, and later was deputy consul general of Spain in New York. In May 1996, he was named Director of the International Security Department in Prime Minister Aznar’s cabinet, and later also served as secretary of the Foreign Policy Council, a body formed in July 2000 to coordinate the activities of different ministries and agencies abroad. Gil-Casares became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in July 2002, serving until the April 19, 2004, election victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, which ousted Aznar’s PP from power.

 

In July 2005, the new Spanish government sent Gil-Casares to serve as ambassador to South Africa, residing in Pretoria with concurrent accreditation to the Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar and Lesotho. Gil-Casares stayed in Africa for his next posting as ambassador to Sudan, where he has served since March 25, 2011; he also became the first Spanish ambassador to South Sudan on January 20, 2012, although he remained based in Khartoum. Additionally, he served from October 2008 to March 2011 as an advisor to the Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for Africa.

-Matt Bewig

 

Ramón Gil-Casares, embajador en EE. UU. (Heraldo)

Ramón Gil-Casares, nuevo embajador en Estados Unidos (by José Ángel Jarne Navalón, EPCPC)

Gil Casares será embajador en EE. UU. y Eduardo Gutiérrez, en el Vaticano (by Luis Ayllón, ABC.es)

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Spain's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Tom Martin, Albuquerque, NM 4 years ago
I am saddened to learn that in the face of a dwindling population in Spain that your leadership has opted to broaden the accessibility of abortions in your country. I shall be sure to avoid Spain and travel to Europe overall because you idiots are exterminating the rich cultures that brought us to the wondrous age in which we live. I cannot think of anywhere in Europe that respects life as taught by my Catholic Church. I pray that God has mercy on your immortal souls. Obama = death....

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U.S. Ambassador to Spain

Costos, James
ambassador-image

The bipartisan practice of rewarding major campaign donors with ambassadorships to favored destinations continues with President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will nominate James Costos, an HBO executive to be the next ambassador to Spain. Costos donated $5,000 to, and bundled donations of at least $500,000 for, Obama’s 2012 presidential run, If confirmed by the Senate, Costos would succeed Alan D. Solomont, who has served as Washington’s man in Madrid since December 2009.

 

Born circa 1963, Costos earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts in 1985. Commencing his career as a fashion and retail executive in New York, Costos was vice president and director of retail for Tod’s of Italy from 1991 to 2001, and then for Hermes of Paris, for whom he was in charge of operations, marketing and brand development for the company’s U.S. stores from 2001 to 2002.

 

Costos migrated to film and television, working as a senior executive of Revolution Studios in charge of corporate partnerships and promotions from 2002 to 2004. He then founded Eight Cylinders Inc, an entertainment marketing firm. In July 2006, HBO hired Costos to head its new global licensing and marketing division.

 

A Democrat, Costos has donated heavily to Democratic candidates and organizations for the past several years, including $62,000 to the Democratic National Committee since 2009, $1,000 to Hillary Clinton in 2007, and $4,000 to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2003. He also donated $2,500 to Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine in 2012.

 

Costos is in a long-term relationship with interior designer Michael Smith, who was selected by Michelle Obama in 2009 to redecorate the residential quarters of the White House, and later designed a makeover of the Oval Office.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Obama to Name HBO Executive as Ambassador to Spain (by Tina Daunt, Hollywood Reporter)

Obama Nominates Two More Openly Gay Ambassadors (by Sunnivie Brydum, The Advocate)

Michael S. Smith’s Manhattan Penthouse (by Judith Thurman, Architectural Digest)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Spain

Aguirre, Eduardo
ambassador-image

A native of Cuba, Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. began serving as the US Ambassador to Spain and Andorra on June 24, 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree form Louisiana State University and graduated from the American Bankers Association’s National Commercial Lending Graduate School.
 
Aguirre was president of Bank of America’s International Private Bank and worked there for 24 years. He then served as vice chairman, chief operating officer and acting chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 2001 to 2002. Aguirre served for two and a half years as the first director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an under secretary rank position in the Department of Homeland Security, before being selected ambassador to Spain and Andorra.
 
He was appointed, by then Texas Governor George W. Bush, to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System for a six-year term, serving from 1996-1998 as chairman. According to OpenSecrets.com, Aguirre donated $500 to Bush’s presidential campaign in 1999. In 2000, he donated $1,000 to the Republication National Committee, and in 2001, Aguirre donated $850 to the RNC/Republican National State Elections Committee.
 
Aguirre was also appointed to the National Commission for Employment Policy by President George H. W. Bush. The Supreme Court of Texas appointed him to the State Bar as a non-attorney director. Additionally, he has served on other public, professional and civic boards, including the Texas Children’s Hospital, Texas Bar Foundation, Operación Pedro Pan Foundation, Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, and the Houston chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
 
 
 

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