The Ibero-American community in the united kingdom 10 years later

Frank Romero Director de Iberoamerican UK y Scotland Yard. Amigo Mont.

Carlos Jara Cuevas

International Policy, Security and Development Cooperation Analyst . Prensa International for Gaceta Ucayali

London 09 /07/2020

The story of many immigrants in the world shows that elsewhere no one is a prophet in his own land , this is the case of Latin American in the UK this week begins the festivities of the FRIEND MONTH as well known in the UK Here we send the greetings of the Director of Ibe roamerican UK in the act of activities and institutional recognition. It is very important that this Ibero-American Celebration be institutionalized in the monthly Cultural Agenda for the integration between the peoples of the United Kingdom and Ibero-America ,"THE IBEROAMERICAN MONTH" , being for this reason that both the current Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Prime Minister Boris Jhonson make this proposal a reality for our community. From these pages we echo our solidarity with the HUMANITARIAN AMNESTY TO THE IMMIGRANTS WITHOUT PAPERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

GREETINGS OF THANKS : My name is Frank Romero , Director Iberoamerican UK. Today, September 7, 2020 Our IBEROAMERICAN UK institution greets the organizers of this event in tribute to THE IBEROAMERICAN COMMUNITY residing in the United Kingdom, AMIGO MONTH is for us a moment to share the hopes and opportunities for development and integration in this country that welcomes us.

We consider it important to be recognized and made visible to the various problems of our society, politically, legally, socially, economically, culturally and religiously, that is why we see with great pride that in these ten years the experiences of leaders and people who have preceded us serve us for this common objective, and that it is important to recognize the role of Mr. Isaac Bigio and other characters such as the representative of the Portuguese House, as well as various associations and social activists who have voluntarily given their time to face Covid19 in the midst of this economic and social crisis that has also impacted our Ibero-American community, which in many cases is in a situation of vulnerability and social exclusion, food, labor and medical, among other problems.

We are not only concerned about the various problems that we have mentioned here, but also about a significant number of immigrant workers of various nationalities and ethnic minorities, who today are in an irregular and undocumented situation for all of them, we stand in solidarity so that the government and the Prime Minister Boris Jhonson are sensitized and can agree to a HUMANITARIAN AMNESTY TO REGULARIZE IMMIGRANTS WITHOUT PAPERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. We are human beings and no human being is illegal, we believe that this call will be heard by our authorities and we hope they will solve this problem.

Finally, we hope that these activities remain in time to be a moment of reflection and sharing experiences and we disseminate our stories and our cultures to be recognized as a Spanish-Portuguese Ibero-American Community. Thank you very much for this opportunity and we will be the order of the day to strengthen our community and make the Ibero-American House in the United Kingdom a reality to which we are committed at this time. On behalf of Roxana Sánchez, Vicente Jara and our volunteers. A hug and thank you very much to all of you. London 09/07/2020 

We also deliver the reproduction of a historical event for the Ibero-American Community in the United Kingdom, it is the interview with Isaac Bigio published ten years ago when the Mayor of London was Boris Jhonson, current British Prime Minister, for your information we send this article and the source of this interview.

The recognition of the Ibero-American community in the United Kingdom

By Isaac Bigio

The interviewee speaking to tens of thousands in the largest pro-immigrant and Ibero-American march in the history of London (May 2009), proposing recognition, respect and that Ibero-Americans be regularized. (courtesy photo)

The main British Portuguese monthly publication (Palop News) and its director Alcino Francisco interviewed Isaac Bigio , coordinator of the Alliance of Ibero-Americans and Luso-Hispanics

More than a million people from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world reside in the cradle of English. There is a growing movement that seeks to recognize this minority, as is the case with the Irish, Asians, and Afro-Caribbean people. To talk about it, the main British Portuguese monthly publication (Palop News) and its director Alcino Francisco interviewed Isaac Bigio , coordinator of the Alliance of Ibero-Americans and Luso-Hispanics.

The agitated Portuguese and Spanish communities

Isaac Bigio 50, a native of Peru, who was a professor of Political Science and Economics, is at the center of all the controversies that in Portuguese are spoken in the United Kingdom. Associations, opinion leaders, association leaders and anonymous people in the conversation speak to discredit or give their ruling on the work that has been carried out over the last few months. Whenever there is a group of people who speak Portuguese, a ceremony, a party or any event, Isaac Bigio is there performing a performance with an insistence that is difficult to match.

The Portuguese-speaking community knows him well and few are ignorant of his work.

Residing in London for about 20 years, Isaac Bigio left teaching for personal reasons almost seven years ago. It is related to all kinds of authorities. He was on the visit that several journalists made to the construction of the London Olympic Games and was the author of the invitation to the Vice Mayor of London to be in the day of Portugal 2010, which earned him some more criticism for having spoken with him Portuguese Ambassador and Portuguese MP Paulo Pisco.

He declares that he is not a politician and has no electoral aspirations. The only thing he wants is for the community to organize itself and have room for maneuver in this system.

Who is Isaac Bigio who is coordinator of the AIU (Ibero American Association of the United Kingdom? "A normal person") he declares.

The first question of the interview is how he managed to speak on the 2010 Portugal Day which triggered different challenges. after all, Isaac Bigio was the man who invited the Vice Mayor of London to be present and has received honors from official support of the Consul General Macedo de Santana Carlos Leon and ambassador of Portugal on the tour they did throughout the tournament. ¿ Who commissioned the sermon, (!) It was nobody. Everything is going on their own initiative, without asking permission and presenting the work already done. That nobody else does.

At the height of his ambitions, Bigio refers to the union between the two communities in a dream that has difficulties to frame in the thinking of the majority of the community that has difficulties in dreaming.

Seeks that both communities are recognized. "I fight for us to be recognized as a minor ethnic group that has equal rights and earns the respect of the authorities, "he tells PALOP Noticias. The example of the USA (United States) is an example of the essence of their struggle.

He claims to have no political ambitions and is not a candidate for any election saying that he intends to return to the teaching he left due to personal problems.

As an example the US wants a month to celebrate the historical legacy of the communities of these two languages ​​and explains in this interview why that benefits the Portuguese and Spanish language communities.

"I am the Coordinator of the AIU for a while" he declares. "The AIU is a meeting of leaders of both communities, continues Isaac Bigio , who claims to have with him" hundreds of people and some are leaders of the associations. "

The AIU is confused with the name of the Spanish and Portuguese Speakers ' Alliance. " It is not registered in the Chamber of Societies, but the community knows about the measure "and Bigio does not intend it to be otherwise." The AIU is not an association, it is not a charity, but a movement. An alliance of leaders and citizens who come together to discuss issues relating to both communities. " How many associations? - we asked. There is no exact number." We have a list of people. The AIU is a crawling baby now, but we have a lot of work done. What we intend now is to hold a congress where we can start towards another stage. " When confronted about who chose him to lead the destinies of this movement, he says that he was unanimously chosen as the coordinator of this initial phase and the minutes of said meeting exist and can be presented.

Regarding the members of the UIA, Bigio points out that there were all kinds of interested parties. "Individual members, religious, commercial and citizen associations" in an amalgam of views and interests.

"Everybody voted when I was elected coordinator of the UIA - he declares.

The Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) have been meeting in parallel to assess the interest of the UIA and its participation.

At just one year old, Isaac Bigio maintains that, above all, the UIA is a movement and a meeting point for those who want to participate. "It is not yet a fully structured organization. We are going to organize a congress in both languages ​​of which a representative Directorate with legitimacy is constituted to give continuity to this work", he says.

Bigio is not reluctant to give a sneak peek for Palop news readers on how it all happened. "For many years there was the idea that the Latin American community should have political representation. About 5/6 years ago a movement was created and Gloria Gómez was part of this movement called the Latin Front. Every month we met with the most important politicians These meetings took place in Elephant and Castle (south of London) to achieve a political space for the Latino Community. Over time they realized that it could not be only the Latin Americans who fight.

"We were twinned with those of the language. Portuguese, Portuguese and Spanish. "

In fact, in the Spanish-speaking population, there are more Spaniards than Mexicans, Argentines or from other countries. We are linked by language to the Spanish in the same way that Brazilians are linked to the Portuguese The community was therefore larger. It is not only Spanish-speaking from South America, but all those who speak Spanish or Portuguese and who come from all over the world. "

The interest in uniting both communities however does not stop there.

"We all have similar problems. We are not recognized in censuses and investigations. We do not have political representation and we do not have members in parliament, or in our Councils.

Thus we come to the conclusion that we are not only Latin Americans, but a whole community that despite having two languages ​​does not need an interpreter to speak with each other.

In the elections for Mayor in 2008, we had a problem with the Mercado Pueblito Paisa (Above the Seven Sisters station ). it is a Latin root and is the largest of its kind in the whole of London. the Council wanted to close that market to demolish it and build from scratch luxury towers with one of the largest construction companies in the world (Grainger). 

We did the fight to defend the market and when the elections were decided to use our arguments. We organized the 1st Spanish Electoral Forum in the UK with 200 people in Tottenham and then re joined a human chain of 500 people around the market block. We had the largest meeting to date and when the election was, Boris Johnson came to meet with us. 

With this we managed to put the Pueblito Paisa market in the center of the elections and all the candidates had to go to visit the Pueblito as someone who makes the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. All the parties, all the candidates promised to defend the market and then the politicians were told that we are not only Latin Americans. We are Ibero-Americans because in our community we have Spanish and Portuguese who vote and we have the same problems. 

There are no services in both languages ​​and translations that should exist. In the UK, more Portuguese than Spanish is spoken as a mother tongue, although there are far fewer services in Portuguese than in Spanish. "As a South American I realized that there is discrimination here against the Portuguese language more than against the Spanish that does not end there." Bigio lives in the Lambeth area where the most Portuguese per square meter are concentrated in all of England. 

As a resident of Lambeth, he is linked to the Portuguese by ties of friendship and maintains that "we have common problems. We are compadres. " He concludes. "Together, we are the largest minority" that is not part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

"All minorities that are recognized are from the Commonwealth. Pakistanis, Indians, Caribbean, Africans ... all are from the Commonwealth. " For Bigio, the Portuguese and Spanish communities do not have the mental structure or the experience of the Commonwealth," we do not have the legal or thought structure, but we have 500 years of the same culture and the same language. " " In 2008 we decided to create an Ibero-American movement. "In January 2009 we organized a meeting with the prefect and before that with Boris Johnson- Mayor of London". 

In fact, Palop Noticias published an extensive report on this Assembly which was attended by the Director of the Portuguese Community, António Cunha, at the invitation of Isaac Bigio. "It was important that the Portuguese were present, as well as the Angolan Embassy, ​​which was also present. At that meeting we said that we were Latinos and we are proud of our Iberian history. In England, Iberian culture is unknown, according to Isaac Bigio.

In October we have the month of the black race, in June the gypsies, the month of February of homosexuals and transsexuals, "but nobody talks about us," laments Bigio. Nobody in England celebrates the discoveries that are made by the Iberian community although 80% of the English are descendants of the Iberians.

"Deeply connoisseur of the history that unites this network of peoples, Bigio says that London was founded by the Iberians." Trajan and Hadrian, the Roman emperors who built London were born in Andalusia". Like yapa, the famous Edgware Road, a motorway of about 30 kilometers in London, was built by the Roman Empire and is now part of the modern A5. "Here there were always people from Portugal and Spain.

Charing Cross (center of the road network in London and the United Kingdom), preserves the monument of love of Edward I to Eleanor of Castile. The habit of tea, comes from the hand of Catalina de Braganza de Portugal, whose family was the royal family of Brazil.

Until a century and a half ago the largest minority of immigrants in London were Jews who came from Spain and Portugal, and spoke Spanish and Portuguese. " The historical alliances that Bigio refers to between Portuguese and Spanish speakers don't stop there.

 "The Prime Minister, founder of the Conservative Party (Benjamin Disraeli) is of Portuguese and Spanish origin. David Ricardo, the second largest economist in England was of Portuguese descent, and the majority of liberators in Latin America lived in London as in the case de Bolívar and San Martín. In Bigio's voice, we all have roots here. "The Prime Minister and President of Ireland ( Eammon De Valera) who ruled for more than 30 years was the son of Spanish-Cuban parents and was born in New York ". 

Bigio doesn't need to be asked questions and shoots." We have to try to show this England that we are not a ghost community, we are not invisible; we exist and we are millions of people with roots in England, more roots than other communities that have more rights than us.” In May 2009, the AIU organized with the London Citizens the largest pro- immigrant march in the history of England with dozens of thousands of marchers and 4,000 posters wielded in a story covered by PALOP Noticias.

 The crowd gathered in Trafalgar Square, demanding the recognition and regularization of illegal immigrants and more. Bigio, rebels because these two communities do not exist in the censuses or forms and seems to know more about the Portuguese community than most Portuguese leaders. "The Portuguese community has a lower academic performance rate than recognized communities and an unemployment rate higher than that of Afro-Caribbeans" - he puts as For example, Isaac Bigio says that if recognized, these communities will have more facilities in all contexts and criticizes the lack of co-recognition.

 I am responsible for the poor school performance of Portuguese-speaking children. For Isaac Bigio , in Lambeth , where the Portuguese community is recognized, there are facilities that do not exist in other places in England and even the crime prevention study will be better safeguarded with recognition. "Without recognition, there is no access to statistical data." 

To appeal for the union of the speakers of both languages, Bigio refers to the victory in June in Pueblito Paisa at the end of a two-year war. "After the mayor of London had washed its hands, Haringey had to surrender to the judgment of the Court of Appeals that ruled against the construction company writing that you cannot build a building creating problems of social cohesion since this is a fault respect for ethnic minorities One day, when I learned of the renovation of Elephant and Castle (the old neighborhood of the Infanta de Castilla, corzaon of the Spanish-American community) or Little Portugal (the most Portuguese neighborhood north of the English Channel ), they must have the support of the Latin-Portuguese community.

This ruling was very important because British law has a tradition of being based on the concept of jurisprudence "- he states as a warning. Bigio points out that having a remodeling that affects businesses, the strength of the community is important for the maintenance of those same businesses and social cohesion. 

Defending the modernization of the Seven Sisters market, Bigio insists that modernization must not negatively affect businesses and that it must not serve as ethnic cleansing. 

Bigio knows that investment in urban areas brings about shakings in the concepts of population and does not hesitate to affirm that restructuring does not carry the damage of immigration. "When there is urban interest, the threat is permanent and the community must be prepared to react in its defense."

Source: https://www.lajornadanet.com/diario/archivo/2010/agosto/23/8.html


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