Following the visit of British Prince Charles, Colombia’s port city Cartagena was left indignant over a plaque commemorating a British assault on the city while still under Spanish rule.
Exposed by Prince Charles, his wife and Cartagena’s mayor, the plaque commemorates “the courage and suffering of all those who died in battle trying to take the city and Fort San Felipe under the command of Admiral Edward Vernon at Cartagena de Indias in 1741.”
The event, however, has not been well received in Colombia as it honors a bloody event in the country’s painful and bloody history of colonization.
Sabas Pretelt, a controversial ex minister, and Cartagena’s mayor Dionisio Velez, have been subjects to strong criticism.
“This is the biggest imprudence our mayor has committed” a local city guide told newpaper El Heraldo mentioning that it makes him feels bad showing the plaque to the tourists.
Journalist Daniel Coronell tweeted : “The final straw: now Cartagena celebrates Vernon, his executioner.”
“Blas de Lezo (Spanish Admiral who fought against the siege) did not surrender to Admiral Vernon; but the mayor of Cartagena and Sabas Pretelt fell in front of Prince Charles” ex-minister Juan Camilo Restrepo told newspaper El Tiempo.
“One of the most unfortunate things of this absurd act of the mayor is that it is happening right when we are on the verge of celebrating freedom and independence on November 11.” Gina Ruiz, ex- director of the Heritage and Culture Institute of Cartagena, told newspaper El Heraldo.
Pretelt has denied he was just honoring foreign military forces, claiming the commemorative plaque could attract more British tourists.
“This is a historic fact. We are not only honoring the fallen British soldiers, but also the people from Cartagena who lost their lives, the plaque makes it clear, it’s about all those who lost their lives.” said the ex-minister according to El Heraldo.
Prince Charles left Colombia on Sunday after a four-day official visit.