The squares of Las Ventas and La Maestranza suffer from the indifference of the bullfighting … and the complex of related politicians. For that reason they are closed. And because of the pandemic, too, of course yes, but, above all, because bullfighting has no one to defend it tooth and nail at a historical moment in which its survival is being debated.
There is no explanation that, for the second year, the April Fair has not been held. And the appeals of the Junta de Andalucía to a state regulation that obliges to respect the meter and a half among the spectators sound wasteful. Not.
The Andalusian Government was scared by the photos of the bullfight held on August 6, 2020 in El Puerto in which it seemed that the businessman had not complied with the maximum allowed capacity of 50%. The facts showed that the norm had been respected, although not the distance between the people, which led the authority to impose a meter and a half of separation days later with a maximum capacity of 50%, which ended, in fact, with the possibility of celebrating celebrations with minimal profitability.
It should be remembered that the employer’s association of bullfighting business -ANOET- bitterly criticized José María Garzón, the manager of Porto and one of its members, which somehow justified the change in official criteria, which the Board later reinforced, including it in a decree the October 29 last.
Bullfighters act with the same cowardice as politicians
It is convenient to make a clarifying paragraph: that stifling rule for bulls did not affect other cultural celebrations, which only required the distance of one meter and a half days before the cancellation of the bullfighting subscription.
Then came the audacity of Ramón Valencia, businessman from La Maestranza, to present some posters on the condition that half of the capacity be accepted. And there began a comic comedy in which the Andalusian Presidency and Health councilors acquired a shameful role. In the end, prisoners of an inexplicable cowardice, they blamed the central government for a law of March 29 that the communities of Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid have not complied with, and absolutely nothing has happened.
And in all this process there was a detail that did not go unnoticed: only Morante de la Puebla publicly advocated the celebration of the April Fair. It is also true that at the last minute, there were brief communications from ANOET, the Union of Breeders and Manzanares with very little public impact; but bullfighting, the world of bullfighting, from the Toro de Lidia Foundation, the associations of gold and silver bullfighters to the fans themselves, opted for silence.
And La Maestranza remained closed. And so it has been because the bullfighters have acted with the same cowardice as the politicians. Everyone will know their reasons, but perhaps the reality today would be different if the full bullfighting had demanded from the Junta de Andalucía the same treatment for bulls that it had granted to other cultural industries.
And Madrid …
Las Ventas has been closed since October 13, 2019, and, suddenly, the Community of Madrid, owner of the arena, decides that on May 2 a festival will be held with a maximum capacity of 6,000 people. But at ten o’clock at night, the celebration over, the bolt was re-locked and nothing is known about the future.
It is true that there was an election on Tuesday the 4th; and thank goodness that the PP has won, theoretically bullfighting party. Better not to think about the Madrid bullfighting horizon if the left coalition had entered the Government.
And the bullfighters are still silent.
The last straw would be for the Vistalegre fair to be held with Las Ventas closed
The last straw would be to celebrate the alternative San Isidro Fair that has been announced in Vistalegre, second place, but with attractive posters.
It is logical to think that bulls will not be among the priorities of the new Executive, but it is still a relevant issue for thousands of families and fans.
For this reason alone – no longer because of bullfighting as a cultural heritage – the sector should wake up from the lethargy in which it seems to be engulfed, and demand that the Plaza de Las Ventas be opened to celebrations under the same conditions, at least, in which it celebrated the festival.
The Popular Party in Andalusia and Madrid, and the two most important squares in the world are closed. There is no logical explanation; and, even less so, that the main actors – cattle ranchers, businessmen and bullfighters – have decided to stoically endure the situation while waiting for better times that no one knows if one day they will come.
There are no longer tides of demanding, vociferous and passionate fans who jump into the ring to protest, stick in hand, for the bullfighting of the bulls, as our grandparents used to. Now, political correctness only allows polite nudges and smiles behind masks; But behind these good manners there is an incontestable reality: the bullfighting festival languishes amid the silence of the bullfighting and the complex of like-minded politicians.
Sometime someone, a person or an organization, should hit the table and face the problem with the seriousness and forcefulness that it requires.
It is the life of bullfighting that is at stake; and Seville and Madrid are the oxygen balloons from which the rest of the world feeds.
It is a priority that the doors of La Maestranza and Las Ventas are opened wide once and for all.
It is crucial that bullfighters arm themselves with courage, abandon cowardice, indifference and complexes and defend a heritage that is bleeding; because if one day the hunch is lacking, and it can happen, there will no longer be a solution.