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The image of Felipe VI seated and not applauding, in the extensive VIP guest stand, while the rest of those present were standing, as a sign of respect, when Simón Bolívar's sword arrived, carried by four soldiers in ceremonial dress, at the swearing in of the new president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, exemplifies better than any other explanation how out-of-step the Spanish monarchy is. Only from the antiquated view of an imperial and colonialist Spain is it possible to conceive a gesture of such discourtesy and contempt.

It has been 212 years since Colombia ceased to be a Spanish colony and Simón Bolívar, the liberator, fought for the independence of Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and also Colombia, combating the absolutist Spanish kings. More than enough time for Felipe VI to have learned to play the role required of him in the country he represents, closer to one with a republican monarchy than one where he poses - or to take the pressure off him, they say, one where he is obliged - every time he can, to smile for the camera with the senior leadership of Vox, as he did, for example, last Friday in Palma. Nostalgia.

The Spanish monarchy has a lot to learn from the British one, where such a gesture would be unthinkable on the part of Elizabeth II in any country that had previously been under British sovereignty. They all go to the same schools for the world elites and they receive a similar education, but they never learn the same thing. It is also not surprising, then, that Felipe VI received a loud whistling when the names of the different heads of state and government were read out at Petro's swearing-in ceremony. It was the only major whistling, and it contrasted with the applause that many leaders received and silence for some of those mentioned. At the swearing-in of the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, about a year ago, there was already angry criticism from the new president against Castile and the Spanish crown in the presence of Felipe VI.

Beyond the fact that Spain's loss of influence in many South American countries is clear, the figure of the Spanish crown and its new monarch have blundered into enormous problems that have become steadily more visible with the arrival of politicians from the left at presidential palaces, meaning that almost the entire Southern Cone and Central America have turned red. Faced with this situation and the increased tendency to denounce the facts of Spanish colonialism, Spain's arrogant stance has done nothing more than contribute to the breaking of many ties that still remained through attitudes that have been unnecessarily offensive.

The colonial and imperialist mentality, deeply rooted in the spheres of Spanish power, should be something we associate with the previous regime, so difficult to leave behind, and in its place there should be erected the necessary good co-habitation to ensure a certain influence on the continent, which today is almost non-existent. But instead of this, it seems that Felipe VI went to Colombia to burn the few bridges he had left. So he remained seated, looking more to the past than to the future, and showing a surprising absence of manners and decorum. In these circumstances, he would be better staying at home or taking a longer vacation.