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February 28, 2024
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Catalonia confronts past racism after slave trade documentary

Programme highlights fact that much of 19th-century wealth was built on the back of transatlantic practice

The government of Catalonia has said the wealthy Spanish region must confront “the past racism” of its slave-trading history, after a documentary revealed how Catalan industrialists and seafarers profited from the transatlantic slave trade when the British abolished the practice in 1807.

It has long been acknowledged that many Catalan fortunes – including that of Antonio Gaudí’s patron Eusebi Güell – were made on the back of slave labour in the tobacco, sugar and cotton plantations of Cuba and, to a lesser extent, Puerto Rico.

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