The statements of José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, Minister of Culture and Sports, this week (“I should not recommend going to the bullfighting, but theater is different in the sense that it is a peaceful matter”) move, in principle, to a triple reflection: either the minister is unaware of the mandate of the law (“the public powers will guarantee the conservation of bullfighting and promote its enrichment”), or it is a strategy designed to undermine, when the occasion requires it, the already swampy world of the bulls, or is that the minister has betrayed the subconscious and has gotten into a mess in which he has sunk even more when he has tried to explain himself.
He said the following verbatim: “We understand from the Ministry of Culture that we cannot and should not prohibit bullfighting, because it is recognized as intangible heritage by laws of recent years, but it does not seem to me that I should encourage going to the bulls … I think my duty is one of institutional respect, but I don’t think I should encourage people to go to the bulls either ”.
However, on the 13th, the minister presented the #CulturaSegura campaign in Madrid, and, according to an official note from the ministry, “Rodríguez Uribes encouraged citizens to go to their theaters, cinemas and museums, in short, to all the places where we can live and enjoy culture in situ, with the peace of mind that they are safe spaces ”.
That is, the minister can encourage people to go to theaters, cinemas or museums, but not to the bulls… Something is wrong.
Victorino Martín’s open letters to the minister are useless
It could be concluded that the minister does not consider bullfighting as a cultural sector, even though it is recognized by law and that he is untrue when he affirms that his “duty is one of institutional respect.”
The minister knows the law and knows what it says; What happened is that in his spirit of being politically correct, but without being unfaithful to his ideas, he has made a mess and created an unnecessary bitter controversy.
What need was there to nail another pair of black flags on the long-suffering backs of the bullfighting party that has been in the UCI since March? Would the minister have dared to say the same about Spanish cinema?
The Minister of Culture and Sports is part of a Government that from the moment of its inauguration has not shown the slightest attachment to the bullfighting festival.
Rodríguez Uribes has met with the Fundación del Toro de Lidia, but everything has remained in good words; The Minister of Labor is still in her thirteen of not recognizing bullfighters as “artists of public performances”, and it seems that United We can intend that the law against violence in childhood includes prohibiting minors from attending bullfights.
All bullfighting support is reduced to the “very good relationship” that the minister says he maintains with Victorino Martín, with whom he will hold a next meeting.
It is already known that the minister’s statements set social networks on fire, and the Fundación del Toro sent a letter of protest to the ministry.
Well, it is time for bullfighters to assume that this is useless.
The words of Mr. Rodríguez Uribes confirm that the bullfight is alone, and that its future will depend exclusively on it.
Has the sector considered what will happen if the current health situation lasts until the middle of next year, at least? Are there any plans on the table? Are the bullfighters gathered for a realistic analysis and the search for possible solutions?
What Cultura is saying is that it will do everything possible to end bullfighting as soon as possible
What the minister is saying is that they will do what is in their power so that bullfighting has a prompt expiration date; Thus, it would not be strange if one day they shot at the only bullfighting program on Televisión Española; that the presence of children in the squares be prohibited, by law, or that, once this pandemic is over, the two ruling parties consider repealing the laws that support the bullfighting festival.
And this may happen because those who govern know the extreme weakness of the sector, its traditional and fatal disunity and its inability to undertake the necessary internal revolution; they are aware of the decaying social support and anachronism of the bullfighting.
The so-called Reconstruction Tour is a simple sample button: things must be very bad for it to be the only agreement to which the sector has been able to aspire after six months of negotiations.
The fact, on the other hand, that the two main squares in the world, Madrid and Seville, have been closed throughout the season is the worst indication for the future.
For all this, which is no small thing, the minister allows himself to create controversy and keep the flame of official anti-bullfighting alive.
But, perhaps, Culture is not the problem (no government, central or regional, has ever made a firm commitment to the bullfighting festival), and only the wick of the final fire.
Perhaps, it is not necessary to waste time with more open letters of complaints to the minister, and to ensure that the patient does not die.
A few years ago, the former president of the PSOE, Manuel Chaves, attended in his capacity as president of the Junta de Andalucía, the ceremony of delivery of the bullfighting awards of the Real Maestranza, and pronounced a prophetic phrase: “No one will ban bulls in this country; the party will end the day that nobody goes to the lines of a square ”.
Faced with the abandonment —and the systematic attack— of those who govern, the only reliable medicine is in the commitment of the bullfighters. Only a renewed, different, exciting and passionate party, with brave bulls and heroic bullfighters, with modern companies and a serious social commitment of all its protagonists will be able to bring life back to a sick, downcast, sickly and increasingly sad show.
And the minister, who knows calico, warns: whoever wants to see bulls, hurry up …