Spanish foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell has expressed his "regret" for remarks he made in a debate earlier this week. On Monday at Madrid's Complutense University, he said that the US gained independence in 1776 with "practically no history, the only thing it had done was kill a handful of Indians".
Spaniards and Native Americans alike have opposed his remarks. The minister responded to the controversy in a series of tweets.
Last Monday I referred in an excessively colloquial way, which I regret, to the almost annihilation of Native Americans in present-day US by the colonizers. This was done in the context of explaining that setting up a federal union in #NorthAmerica was easier than in #Europe(1/3)— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) 28 de novembre de 2018
because, apart from sharing the same language, the original colonies had not fought bloody wars among themselves for centuries, which is what happened in the Old World. Instead, they engaged in the killing of the original inhabitants of North America. (2/3)— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) 28 de novembre de 2018
This was indeed done in large numbers and should not be belittled. All my respect and sympathy to the Native American community. (3/3)— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) 28 de novembre de 2018