PSOE Congressman Pablo Bellido; the untold link between La Línea and Guadalajara
“My name is Pablo Bellido Acevedo. I was born in La Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz), on the 23rd of April, 1976. Therefore, I feel I am both from Azuqueca de Henares and from La Línea; Andalusian and from Castilla- La Mancha,” is how Pablo Bellido’s letter of introduction reads.
At 42-years-of age, this law graduate has a broad political background. He is the provincial secretary of PSOE in Guadalajara, a member of the national parliament and between 2007 and 2015 was mayor of Azuqueca de Henares (Guadalajara) population, 35.000.
“I like to proclaim my roots, even though I no longer speak with the accent or congeniality of La Línea,” he replies when asked about his website bio.
Pablo feels La Línean because he was born and bred in that city.
“I studied at the Las Mercedes school and at Los Salesianos. The neighbourhood of my childhood was Periañez. Later we moved into the centre. I have very fond memories of everything: the neighbourhoods, the people, the Calle Real, the Paseito Fariñas, the Eastern Beach…” he explains.
He also tells us that he visited Gibraltar frequently. “When I was 13 or 14, I would go almost every week. Some days we’d buy cheaper Levi’s jeans, on other days nothing, but we’d always go. We really liked it.”
He still has “good friends” in La Línea although he admits he “doesn’t visit much.”
When he was 16 years old, his father was transferred to Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid Province) and the family set up home in the nearby a town of Azuqueca de Henares, in the province of Gaudalajara, some 523 kilometres from La Línea.
He follows the news about La Línea and Brexit very closely:
“We’d be irresponsible if we didn’t care. Gibraltar has been both a driving force and a burden. It has generated a problem of self-esteem but at the same time a feeling of belonging. I believe this is a permanent element in the reality of La Línea. We should be worried about Brexit and properly handle the situation that it has created.”
Neither the United Kingdom nor “much less Gibraltar”, are interested in returning to a closed system, he affirms.
“It’s an absurdity that has no historical logic. But then again, we didn’t think Brexit would happen and it did. Therefore, let us not discard any possibilities and, above all, let’s apply ourselves to building bridges between both populations. It is a delicate topic. I have good friends in Gibraltar, too.”
He strongly rejects criticism of the Spanish government’s apparent inactivity in the management of Brexit:
“We can’t ask the Spanish Government to be constantly reporting on negotiations with Britain. That would only lead to frustration, not solutions. When the PP was in power, they turned their backs on the Campo of Gibraltar. The current PSOE government is contributing money and resources and showing an interest in the challenges faced by the Campo de Gibraltar. I think it is going to handle the Brexit situation well.”
Come what may, Pablo Bellido is committed to a healthy dialogue and a good neighbourly relationship with Gibraltar.
“An isolated Gibraltar is prejudicial to the interests of Gibraltarians, and their connection with a large part of the rest of the world is through us. We must make the best of that. And moreover, you can’t put doors in a field and much less between La Línea and Gibraltar and the neighbourly relationship they have enjoyed for so many years.”