A modern day siege of Gibraltar

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Gibraltar from the air

IN the 1950’s, the United Nations made efforts to carry out something called a “world decolonisation programme.”

Gibraltar sent representatives to New York to argue their case in favor of maintaining a close association with Britain.

General Franco however took this opportunity to demand the return of Gibraltar to Spain. His retaliation resembled a modern-day diplomatic siege replete with vehicular, aircraft and pedestrian restrictions, closed telephone lines, water shut-offs, and other measures to induce economic hardships.

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Gibraltarians, whose ancestors had lived through much worse, stayed firmly resolved. Separated families and friends would gather on Sundays and communicate with megaphones and binoculars in a mocking display to Franco.

These impositions to Gibraltar lasted for nearly 30 years. It was not until 1985 that democratic Spain finally reopened the border.

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