A modern day siege of Gibraltar

Gibraltar from the air

IN the 1950’s, the United Nations made efforts to carry out something called a “world decolonisation programme.”

Gibraltar sent representatives to New York to argue their case in favor of maintaining a close association with Britain.

General Franco however took this opportunity to demand the return of Gibraltar to Spain. His retaliation resembled a modern-day diplomatic siege replete with vehicular, aircraft and pedestrian restrictions, closed telephone lines, water shut-offs, and other measures to induce economic hardships.

Gibraltarians, whose ancestors had lived through much worse, stayed firmly resolved. Separated families and friends would gather on Sundays and communicate with megaphones and binoculars in a mocking display to Franco.

These impositions to Gibraltar lasted for nearly 30 years. It was not until 1985 that democratic Spain finally reopened the border.

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