Florida Congressmen Flout Spain’s Socialist Government by Supporting Gibraltar’s Independence

Florida Congressmen Flout Spain’s Socialist Government by Supporting Gibraltar’s Independence

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
August 1, 2023

Washington, D.C.-  Members of Florida's congressional delegation jointly supported a resolution to back Gibraltar’s self-determination rights. 

A bipartisan coalition of Florida Representatives including Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Brian Mast, Michael Waltz, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Lois Frankel all signed on to the bill. 

The bill comes as Spain’s Socialist Party attempts to retain control of the government while brokering talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom over the status of Gibraltar following Brexit. 

Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents, primarily South Americans, arrived in the sunshine state after fleeing the consequences of Socialist policies in their home countries. Consequently, Florida voters largely disdain socialism, which Spain’s government currently embraces. Florida politicians have therefore repeatedly echoed their constituent’s rejection of socialist policies and ideas.

Gibraltar became a territory of the United Kingdom after the Spanish Crown ceded it to the British following a series of armed conflicts in the early 18th century. Since then, the United Kingdom has harnessed the island’s advantageous location for rolling out its geopolitical strategy in the Mediterranean and northern Africa. 

The House resolution underscores the island’s important support for American World War Two efforts and other American military endeavors in the region.

“The United States has relied on Gibraltar’s military facilities numerous times, including America’s first overseas military intervention in 1801 against the Barbary States, World War II, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization intervention in 2011 in Libya,” explained the resolution. 

Conversely, the Spanish argue that Britain’s expansion of military control and operations in the air and sea over and surrounding Gibraltar, respectively, exceed the original treaty's terms for the conferral of Gibraltar. 

Spain’s Foreign Policy Office squarely declares British policy regarding Gibraltar “violates the territorial integrity of Spain and must be brought to an end.”

The British claim the island and its surroundings as rightfully theirs, reminding Spain in early 20203 how “the UK’s commitment to Gibraltar remains as strong as ever.”

Brexit has altered Gibraltar’s international politics by forcing it to abandon its trade agreements and international treaties with EU countries. Gibraltar, a nation largely dependent on European imports, is therefore entrenched in a tug-of-war between Spain and the UK over the island's status within the EU’s regulatory framework.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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