RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Eight Panamanian Sephardic Jews received Spanish citizenship from Spain’s ambassador to Panama in a ceremony at the embassy in Panama City.
The group swore allegiance to the Spanish Constitution and the King, reported local news website Telemetro, thanks to a law passed two years ago that allows the conferring of Spanish citizenship on those who prove to be descendants of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.
The ceremony held on Friday “is an act of historical reparation” with the Sephardic Jews who suffered “the intolerance that was then not only in Spain,” said Spanish ambassador to Panama, Ramon Santos.
Last year, another group of 23 Jews became Spanish citizens in Panama, including nationalized Venezuelan emigres who had escaped the economic crisis in their native country. Nearly 5,000 Sephardic Jews became citizens of Spain or Portugal in 2016 following the passing of laws on the naturalization of descendants of Sephardic Jews.
“Be you, dear compatriots, welcome to this little piece of Spanish territory is the embassy of Spain,” said the ambassador in Santos last year.
On June 24, 2015, Spain’s Congress approved the law granting Spanish nationality to Sephardic Jews.